The thing is most people are afraid to step out, to take a chance beyond their established identity.
Remember when you were a kid and you said I want to be a ballerina, a skydiver and a teacher?
You didn’t? That’s okay. You still can.
You can be many things. Maybe not all at once but you have a lifetime to discover all that you can do.
I read about a woman who was a doctor and later a restaurateur; a nurse who became a lawyer in her sixties, a teacher who turned to cooking, an acupuncturist who turned to construction, and a homemaker who later became an actress.
What does this have to do with being creative?
I hope you’re ahead of me, but I’ll say it anyway: Don’t get wrapped up in one identity.
You can be many things. Not all at once, but you have a lifetime to discover all that you can do and be.
My potential is more than can be expressed within the bounds of my race or ethnic identity.
Why am I bringing this up? Because when you base your identity on one thing—status, awards, fame etc..– when it gets hit, it can have devastating consequences.
I was saddened to read about the possible suicide of renown chef Benoit Violier, it reminded me of the suicide of celebrated three-star chef Bernard Loiseau who died in 2003, a hunting rifle found next to his body. His death followed rumors that his establishment could possibly lose one of its three stars in the Michelin Guide. A terrifying thought to any chef.
I know depression is real. So is burnout (and a host of other emotions) but in order to avoid being or having just one identity consider this:
Be more than your art.
Be more than how people perceive you.
Be more than one thing, because in truth you already are.
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“Forget Having One Identity” copyright© 2016 Dara Girard; Image copyright © 2016 by 123rf
My latest non-fiction title, 10 Things to Forget: to be Creatively Free was a blast to write. On this blog, I’ve been writing on topics that didn’t make it into the book and others I’ve expanded on. You can read the other posts here.