• Grace Novak

All These Boxes

Updated: Apr 20, 2019

I think since I was very young I knew what I wanted to do as my “job”, whatever that means. Whether it meant being paid for it or not, but being paid is ideal, I wanted to create and tell stories through video. From an early age I was using a Sony handheld camera my Dad passed on to me and editing videos of my friends and family in Windows Movie Maker, adding star wipes and colored effects and burning them to DVD’s.

But this isn’t really about what I knew for most of my life - it’s about the aspects of my identity and goals I’m still unsure about. The internet, sort of like most of the world actually, pushes you to put yourself in a particular group or a couple of groups. One kind of this group is a “fandom”, but there’s other groups too. A lot of people represent their profession through their social media or their “personal brand” (which is a gross phrase) which you’re told to narrow down so it’s more consumable to an audience. I've especially been thinking a lot about this after starting graduate school, realizing how important a network is and wanting to start building it through the internet.

personal branding venn diagram

Yeah, I'm really not sure how I feel about this...

People construct these identities throughout their lifetimes and now this translates online as well. Blogging mom’s, Youtubers, experts on the forums that center around (still) the Harry Potter novels. Besides for video editing, I’ve never really found one or two interests I could stick with and be loyal to online or offline. I always felt overwhelmed by the amount of interests, hobbies and activities I wanted to do and try. I still do. There never feels like enough time in the day, the week and even worse, my life. It’s one of those sources of anxiety that hang over my head even when I’m just trying to relax. It almost makes wish I liked less things. At least that way I wouldn’t have to choose.

When I was younger, there was an anime series I watched and quite liked called “Honey and Clover”. Essentially it was a story about young, college students attending art school and finding themselves. At the time, it resonated with me as I did what every other 16-year old was trying to do which was build my identity. One character had a monologue in particular that comes to mind when I think about my overwhelming problem.

Maybe in actuality I’m spoiled by all these interests and liking less would be boring or perhaps it’s the byproduct of not using my free time to expand on my social life (although I probably should).

I guess the moral of this story is: even if you feel like there are about a million things you’d have fun doing, just try to live in the moment and enjoy the now. Do what is it you love and try to find the time to try new things. And I think the more things you actually try, without just thinking about doing them, you’d rule out some things you actually don’t like doing and have more time to concentrate and get better at the hobbies you really like! (At least, that’s what I’m telling myself).

Some boxes I’d like to explore and dreams I have:

  • Write and publish a book

  • Direct and edit my own documentary

  • Learn & develop a physical art

  • Develop and produce a small RPG

  • Have a garden and personal library

#fall2017 #personalbranding #interests #hobbies