As your mother once said to me, let’s go a little bit deeper.
Recently I’ve been asking myself a lot of questions. Questions like how, and why, and what, and who. Once I asked myself how long I’d had the milk in the fridge, but it was the question of ‘who’ that’s been troubling me the most.
‘Who’ doesn’t come with an expiration date. ‘Who’ doesn’t taste funny when you put it in your tea. ‘Who’ doesn’t eventually turn into a fine cheese if you leave it long enough.
Nah, ‘Who’ is a bigger question, and one that I’m still struggling to find the answer to. Now, let’s get beyond all that philosophical bullshit and get to the point. When I’m asking who I am, I’m not doing it in a wishy washy hippy way – I’m doing it in a professional, career focussed way, and that makes it important. Let me explain:
I am, at the heart of it, a sarcastic, irreverent writer who takes great pleasure in pushing the limits of what is acceptable in order to create something different, provocative and edgy. Some people would call me a dickhead.
The problem is that, for the most part, I don’t get the chance to write different, provocative or edgy copy – I just have to write what is expected. I have to write what the brief asks for and not push it in a new direction. The dickhead in me is not required, which is alright – it pays.
The more I write ‘safer’ copy, the more my provocative side wants to come out. The more I’m expected to produce the predictable, the more outlandish ideas emerge in my head. This is where the confusion comes in:
The ‘who’ I am goes against the ‘what’ I’m expected to be.
The ‘what’ I’m expected to be blunts the ‘who’ I am.
Now, as your mother once said to me about 3 minutes later, let’s clean a few things up – if you don’t like something, it’s entirely up to you to change it. Write more dickhead blog posts, continue with your dickhead story, post more dickhead tweets. Find your edge elsewhere where it’s more appreciated.
Or maybe, just maybe, accept that the ‘who’ you are isn’t what is required, and it’s time to become something else.
Send my love to your mum, she cuddled.