Open Source and Feelings Open Source & Feelings

Nat Tarnoff

Nat Tarnoff

Venn and the Art of Identity

We look at ourselves in context of others. We have a primal nature to classify, categorize, and organize things into groups that support us and help us grow, and those that harm us and make us wither. We do this with nature, food, religion, people, and anything else you can imagine. It is the root cause of strife in the world, but it also is the bedrock on which our misaligned society is built on.

Having grown up a square peg, I often attempted to fit into the round holes. And while sometimes I could slip through the opening and mingle with all the cylinders, I never truly fit in. As much camouflage as I wore, I never had anything that ever felt like my identity, and never thought I would.

Eventually, I settled into a societally approved role in my twenties, only to have it shatter a few years later. I tried again in my thirties with the same results. Now, after an long and arduous journey, I am less sure of who I am, yet more confident that I am true to myself. I know that it is okay to have an identity that doesn't fit a happy little picture of what society says is allowed. I know how society views me, even if it is wrong. I'm ready to be myself, and I'll flip society on it's head to be recognized as square peg in a world of round holes.

Using my journey as an example, we'll walk through finding your personal venn diagram of identity and finding the empathy for others even when we have nothing in common.