Why Identity Is Important & How Not To Let One Thing Define You
You can't allow one thing to define or identify you.
This is something I have to repeatedly reinforce in my own life, especially living out here in Los Angeles and working in the "industry." After all, in this city, "what do you do?" is the first thing people ask you when they meet you. Deep, right?
So many of us get so caught up in our jobs especially, that they almost become our identifying factor. We fall into this trap of basing ourselves around it, when in reality, we are so much more.
For me, I was faced with this after I left my job at PerezHilton.com nearly two years ago. I was "Danielle at Perez" for just about four years of my adult life. Publicists knew me as that, my industry peers associated me solely by my job/what I could do for them through it and I became raveled up in the association, as well.
Once I left, people who used to reach out to me stopped emailing, and it didn't take long before those event invites stopped coming around (at least until I got situated at my current job). I really got wrapped up in this warped thinking that my job was who I was. Now that I had moved on from it, did that mean I had to re-identify myself?
I wouldn't say I "lost" myself after I chose to leave, but I definitely came close. I found myself struggling with who I really was and what my identity consisted of.
It wasn't until I moved on from that job and onto another one, that I started to realize how much more I am than just a job title. I am much more than one aspect of my life. There's more to me than my career path. I'm a daughter, a sister, a partner, a friend. I am a creator, a producer, a woman, a seeker, an extroverted introvert.
It's never a good thing to let yourself fall into this singular-identity way of thinking. Whether you find yourself defining yourself by your career, relationship, past experiences... it's almost a form of self-harm to whittle yourself down to just one facet.
After all, jobs end, breakups happen, and life constantly changes.
You have to remember that you are complex and are made up of many layers. How could we ever think we could only be just one?
But hey, maybe it's just me.