7.10.2009

I Am Not A Chocolate Cake

Am I a writer, or a designer? Or a weight lifter? Or a football player?

Because I absolutely love writing, am I a writer who designs, or a designer who writes? Or maybe a writer who designs sometimes and plays football other times?

Or, because right now I make more money with my design work, maybe I'm a designer who also writes, but owns a small company, so I'm also a business owner, but I get to the gym sometimes...

Why the hell does any of that matter? Why does what we do become who we are?

You don't have to be anything. You only have to do things, and if you choose to do only one thing, so be it. But that doesn't make you anything more than a person who does that thing.

I'm Joe Peacock. I do a whole lot of stuff. Some of it, I even do well. But none of it - no matter how much I do it - is who I am, because I am not one or two or five activities... I'm a person. And I do those things... And more. I get bored easily. I fill my hours with learning new stuff, and sometimes something I learn becomes so interesting I want to do it. Hence the writing thing. I love writing. And I wanted other people to read it, so I built a website and put it up there. And when enough people wanted a book, I learned how to lay out, design, print and publish a book. And when people want to hear the stories, I speak and tell them. And when I'm not doing any of that, I'm designing pretty things, or playing football, or fighting at the MMA gym, or lifting weights, or collecting Akira animation cels, or building my own MAME arcade cabinet...

Not one of those things defines who I am. But together, they are the ingredients that make up me.

It's interesting that "chocolate" only makes up 1/8th of a chocolate cake (unless it's one of those insanely rich cakes, in which case it's more like 1/4th... But still, much less than half). And yet, it's always a "chocolate cake." Because the most dominant taste is chocolate, and it looks like chocolate, and it functions much the same way you've always seen other cakes that look like it and taste like it did. So we give it a name to identify it. We call it Chocolate Cake. And now you know what to expect when you make (or if you're lazy, buy) one.

We are not cakes. We are more than the individual ingredients in our lives... Or at least, I hope we are.

Don't settle for being a chocolate cake. Don't be an anything cake. Just be delicious. That's all that matters.