I believe that we subconsciously place people, including ourselves into boxes, so that we can find something tangible to associate them with. For years, I never had a televised example of women that looked like me, with lives that mirrored mine holistically.
That ended when I saw Issa Rae’s Insecure. There are some absolutely dynamic women in my life, but nothing compared to seeing those complexities be celebrated on television, and HBO at that. It confirmed to me that you don’t have to choose between being/doing all of the things you love. You don't have to choose only one category for yourself to explore professionally or personally, and this idea is why I decided to expand my blog.
If I know that my purpose in life is to help people, but I'm not offering up all of the ways I could be of help, then I'm not really helping to my fullest extent. But deeper than that, I'd be doing myself a disjustice by not exploring where each of my passions and strengths could take me.
From a professional perspective, this is where branding comes into play, and why it is so important. It's about how you can find a common ground amongst each of these strengths, and package them together in such a way, that you can physically see a common thread amongst each of them.
Often times when working with clients, or through public speaking, I ask them the simple yet very important question, "what is your purpose?" With the hopes that if they can seek to understand what that means or looks like, then they'll be able to have a brand that is rooted in purpose and truth. It's easy to fall off of something that's not your calling, but once you understand that purpose, it has a way of bringing clarity to your brand.
I'll use my muse, Sevonna Brown to illustrate a way that this can be done. Sevonna is passionate about Black women, their rights, their reproductive justice, and protecting that. Professionally, she is a Human Rights Project Manager for Black Women's Blueprint, which is an organization that envisions a world where women and girls of African descent are fully empowered and where gender, race and other disparities are erased. She is also a highly regarded freelance journalist who's work can be read on TIME, Huffington Post, For Harriet, and EBONY among others, where she provides her voice to the very movement she is fighting for through her work. From a hands on perspective she is also a full service Doula, where she works with brown women from underserved communities.
Though extensive, this is an example of how you can take your passions and marry them in a way that makes your work both actionable and true to you. Don't sell yourself short by living your life confined to a box, you are boundless.