Most of us are driven to define who we are. We’re not quite comfortable if we can’t put labels on ourselves. We want some feeling of certainty.
I’ve struggled with my sense of identity over the years and I’ve talked about it several times. Eight years ago was the first time I tried to explain what I had gone through in this regard. That article was my first attempt at explaining how I got from being a broken businessman whose company had shut down to being someone eager to create art. It was my best understanding at the time of what I had gone through.
I’ve come to understand so much more since then, though, that I now see that I was asking the wrong questions back then. From the depths of my depression after I shut my company down, I was asking myself, “What am I?” I was asking myself, “Who are you, David?”
I had been a journalist. Then I had become a businessman. Because my company had shut down — which I finally explained last year was because of my father — I felt like a failure. Just being a journalist no longer felt big enough. I felt like a failure as a businessman, so I thrashed around in depression trying to find some new definition of who I really was.
I now know my questions were wrong, so I was destined to find the wrong answers. My understanding of my own story keeps changing.