About me

Writing about yourself is difficult. I feel this particularly when writing a bio in the third person. The sentence starter: "Joshua is..." always feels like an attempt to describe myself with what I think an audience should value about me, which isn't a natural voice. 

So for the purpose of a more honest version of an 'about' page, I will write here as if explaining myself to myself.

I'm thoughtful

I listen much more than I talk. Being considerate is how I show affection in my relationships, and making an effort to understand people is how I develop empathy - which I think is important. 

 

Something I like about myself is that I pay attention. Being open to things around me and allowing my environment to affect me feels like the most important thing to my creativity. That is, letting things in. Because of this, I see sensitivity and creativity as the same thing.

My energy is focused on creation

I'm at my best when I'm making or imagining something new, and try to design my life around making this possible. Writing is my best expression of this. It makes me really happy to finish crafting an idea, or get a story across in a way that feels right. I can get really involved with what I'm working on - this website for example - and sometimes find it hard to switch off. When I feel in the flow of creation, there are few reasons to stop. Hunger usually does it.

I'm a slow thinker, so free time is crucial for me

Most of the things I come up with, or the solutions I find to problems, come from time spent looking inwards. This makes it important to set aside alone time. This isn't to say I don't benefit from collaboration - my ideas and work will often develop further with others than what I could do myself - but it does mean I try to avoid overcommitting myself or being overly busy, so I can keep space available for myself. Being a slow thinker, time is tranquility. I tend to agree with my instincts or feelings when making decisions even when I don't understand them fully. Later, when the awareness follows, I'm often glad to find that my behaviour matches up.  

My journey through university is a good example. I initially chose to study a Law/ Commerce degree, being guided by what I was good at in school and not necessarily aware of what I wanted to do. But after a year I felt confined and didn't quite fit. I dropped Law after and spent the next year travelling through North/ South America. An opportunity to explore and have fun but also a necessary pause. I thought that coming back to a Commerce degree would provide a bit more creative freedom (being able to choose majors, electives etc.). I was right, but I didn't know why.

 

At this stage I saw business as the only way to express my creative side in the 'real world'. During this time I ran a clothing business with some friends (which went pretty well) and an online tutoring business with some other friends (which did not go well). I do think business is definitely creative, but it's wasn't supposed to be the only thing for me.

Being able to choose electives kickstarted my formal writing education and opened my mind to what else I could do. It has taken some years of growing confidence, developing craft and self awareness (and will still take years to come) to find meaningful work that moulds my skills in writing and business. I'm still spending time with the problem of how and where to find the environments and people with which to do the best creative work I can.

I'm better one on one, than in groups

I have a tendency to switch off in group settings. I daydream a bit, like JD in Scrubs. I'm not sure why this is, but I am much more engaged speaking with one person than I am with 2+ people. If you want to have a good chat with me, don't make it a group thing. I will survive, but I will not thrive.

Nothing I believe is set in stone

I tend to avoid thinking about my personality as 'that's the way I am', because I can't expect to know what I'm capable of understanding in the future. Maybe I will be vegetarian one day. My attitudes towards religion and spirituality are evolving. One thing I do believe is that our identity is managed by our surroundings, which can change with intention.

Sometimes I maintain control to a fault

I learned to take care of myself from a young age, growing up between two houses with divorced parents. In that environment, I kept my emotions under control in formative years to look after myself and avoid conflict. 

But as an adult, I've seen how trying too hard to be independent - and trying to maintain that control - can prevent showing people my true self, which limits intimacy. When I fall prey to maintaining control I'm not asking for help, not expressing my emotions naturally, or letting my personal boundaries be infringed to avoid conflict. Part of overcoming this is trying to hear myself better and practice listening to my internal cues. I'm still working on achieving a better balance between thinking and feeling, and surrendering control when it's needed.

I don't have life goals anymore

I used to have a 'bucket list', like many people do. Not on paper, but in my head. For example, I wanted to do a marathon, an ironman, study overseas, write a novel or two. Though I found this painted a picture of life as a whole, where everything was something I wanted to do 'one day'. When I stopped thinking that way, and instead thought more about what decisions would actually serve a better life, I became better able to bring the important things forward.

Adding to this: It stresses me out to think in terms of life goals, because everything I want to do is something big. It means I put unnecessary pressure on what I can do each day to contribute to them. But big things are made of many small efforts, and I feel much more present when I think about the importance of those efforts instead.