Create your own meaning.

This post continues the series on my notes and thoughts from TEDxStanford.  The first thing it says in Jay Kuo‘s bio is that he is a Broadway composer and producer.  Further into the fine print, I read this:

Kuo is also a social media consultant and an appellate attorney admitted to practice in California and before the 9th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.

I love this.  Why not be a Broadway composer and producer, and also a social media consultant and also an attorney?  I’m an attorney, though sometimes I forget or feel uneasy about that fact.  I also teach fitness classes.  I write poems.  I’ve written a Christmas cookie-themed love song that I want to perform at an open mic night, whilst playing my ukulele.  I’ve worked in publishing, volunteered at hospice, studied massage and healing touch.

How do all the parts fit together?  How do they make sense?  That’s what I’ve been asking myself, and feeling insecure about. When someone asks me what I do my first impulse is to say, “It’s a long story.”  Because I feel like I’m lying if I just say “I’m a lawyer” or “I’m a writer” or “I’m a fitness instructor” or “I’m an artist”.  I worry that people will find out that I don’t fit their idea of what a lawyer / writer / fitness instructor / artist should be.

Which is one reason I loved reading Jay’s bio and performance.  From Jay I wrote these notes:


We create our own meaning, purpose and identity with our movements, action, and experience.

Jay Kuo

It just all works.  It all fits.  The meaning comes from inside, from us.  We have many interests, and can pursue whatever we like.  It is not an intellectual process and there is no outside authority.  It is a function of our movement, action, and experience.  I love that.