I’ve been struggling lately with the concept of having multiple identities and not knowing which should be my primary identity.
Like most people, I have several big interests that make up who I am. Writing is one, martial arts is another, and so is music and bass playing. Depending on the time of day, I might say any one of those is my favorite. There are times when I’m so obsessed with writing, but just as often I find myself frustrated and with nothing to say. Likewise, there are times when I adore playing my bass, and there are times when the music escapes me.
Sometimes I wish I could just do one thing and get really, really great at it. Sometimes I wish I could practice playing bass all day, every day. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have anything to do but write this website. Sometimes I wish all I needed to focus on was my martial arts training.
I got to work out with a champion tournament fighter today, and I found myself thinking, “Wouldn’t it be great if martial arts was my life?”. I would love to be able to work out every day and train without having to worry about anything else. But tomorrow, I’ll probably wish I didn’t have to work so I could write. And the next day, I’ll probably want to play my bass for eight hours.
Part of this struggle comes from only having so many hours in the day. I want to be awesome, and I feel to truly master any of these skills, I’d have to fully immerse myself in only one of them. If I want to be a world class bass player, I need to play every day. If I want to be a respected writer, I need to write every day. If I want to be a certain caliber of martial artist, I need to train every day.
I guess what it comes down to is trying to figure out who I want to be for the rest of my life. I’m finishing my formal education and looking for what’s next. Do I want to be Andrew Marvin the Writer, the Bass Player, or the Black Belt? Or something else? I suppose I’ll always be all three, but which do I want to become known for? Then again, who says I have to choose?
So goes the quarter-life crisis, I suppose.