A lesson in being ok with not always being ok: Kate Spade.
The question that permeates our species, “Who am I” is constantly changing.
In an age where it’s quite the norm to have your own website, more than a few hundred followers on social media, and with a pressure to constantly self-promote — the idea of change can seem “detrimental” for ones personal brand.
Learning more about Kate Spade taking her own life has inspired me to speak out about this crisis. Kate presented herself, and her brand, as fun, happy, and fresh. But obviously, like any normal human, Kate didn’t always feel fun, happy, and fresh. And when her low feelings persisted, apparently she still refused to seek treatment because she was scared of the impact on her brand.
I’ve used the word “brand” multiple times now, and in this case (of our modern world), it is synonymous with identity — how we choose to show ourselves to the world. We put on our best-selves suits for the Instagram uploads and Vlogs, the Facebook check-ins and Snapchat stories, but the tragedy occurs when we aren’t feeling our best-selves. And guess what?! IT IS NORMAL not to feel and look and act like a million bucks every single day. This is just the first time in history when we have merged our identity with our Instagram following, and that can be harsh when you feel like a total dump some days.
Here, I’ll share my story. According to my “identity” online I am the following: a traveler, a model, happy, loves yoga, business owner, digital nomad, healthy, etc. Yes, all these things are true, but not all the time. I love to travel, but sometimes my bank account laughs at my desires. I was a model, but am no longer actively pursuing this career path. I am generally happy and positive but oh lord, some days are grim. I love yoga but some days I want to punch the yoga teacher if I have to stay in this downward dog one more second. I own my own business but don’t make enough money through this income channel alone to support myself. I can work from anywhere, but that means I have to pay to be in “the office” in the form of cappuccinos. I am healthy but I ate Ben and Jerry’s last night (and it wasn’t the vegan kind!).
Point is, I struggle, we all struggle. I agonize some days, suffering from impostor syndrome, where I feel like a total joke. The next day, I am feeling myself. One year, I want to be a model and the next year I want to learn about yoga. One day I have long blonde hair, the next day, I buzz all my hair off.
And the question persists, “Who am I?” Who am I through a career change? Who am I through an aesthetic change? Who am I after a passion change?
I am not my work, I am not my hair, I am not my hobby.
I am simply, now. I can only answer this question on a moment-to-moment basis, because I AM ALWAYS CHANGING, as are you :)
Please, trust in the now, because it’s all we have. You are not your past or future. When you’re feeling low, ask yourself who you are — without dipping into the past or reaching out to your projected future self. And remember that suicide is never, ever, ever the answer.