I’m very conscious these days of not fitting into any box. Which, as much as I accept & love that as part of me, it can be frustrating.
A box can be an easy point of entry… for conversations, new contacts, marketing, etc. It gives the person to whom you’re speaking a handle of stability. The conversation can open from there, of course, but it starts from a place of easily understood stable ground. A box you fit in.
I dread the “box” questions…
What do you do?
I’m an actor, a former stunt performer, an owner of 2 small businesses with a wide range of services (bookkeeping, consulting, organization, tech coaching, etc.), all of which started with me.
Where are you from?
I grew up in the American South with an Australian mum and a British dad. I am a citizen of all 3 countries. Depending on where I am or to whom I’m speaking, my accent and slang varies, and it’s nothing I “put on.” Often, I don’t even realize this until someone points it out. I’ve lived in many different regions in the US (South, Midwest, West Coast, East Coast, and Hawaii) and now hang my hat in London.
What are your interests?
Ballet to martial arts, quiet walking to motorcycles, choral music to hip hop, great literature to loud action movies. I’m not good at favorites.
I often find it difficult to connect with people because that box of solid ground from which to start doesn’t feel familiar to me. When they ask the box questions, I search for the answer most relevant to the moment and often don’t quite find it. I love every unique detail about my life experience, but there are times when I long for simplicity and a box that feels right.
So what I’m doing now… I’m keeping a mental list of some simple answers to the questions above, trying to have a little wiki in my brain that won’t leave me searching for answers in the moment. As I write this, if someone asks me what I do, I tend to steer towards my volunteer work at one of the city farms in London and the work I’m doing there with the animals and people who visit. It’s a tiny thing, but it genuinely excites me and is a door to further conversation if that comes up.
That’s just one thing, though. The search for more wiki entries for my brain continues. Any ideas? How do you like to answer the box questions?