Gigs not jobs, Love not relationships, Learning not education, Experiences not stuff, Gender not binary

Personality is not fixed, but we act like it is

What if I want to be professional one moment, respected for my opinions — then fall into a more superficial zone whereby my intonation sounds less intelligent (think “I don’t… like… know”), followed by a short period of introversion, deep thought and zero desire to do anything but think and read? And what about the next day? Maybe I’ll feel like dressing super sexy and seductive. And then frumpy and boyish the next.

“A person’s authentic nature is a series of shifting, variegated planes that establish themselves as [one] relates to different people,” wrote Philip K. Dick in 1972.

Perhaps I’ll want to pursue intellectual endeavors and create a new company one year and then travel the world, the following. How can we mix our continual growth as humans with this thing we’ve labeled personality?

In a General Theory of Love, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Life is a train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue…”

From our possessions, which somehow give indication of our worth to jobs which signify status and education — what happens when we blow our patterns through the roof and give people permission to be who they are, moment to moment?

That’s the implication of what’s happening right now. Our economy and social structures are breaking down — from top down and to self and hopefully group directed, open to possibility. Gigs not jobs. Love not relationships. Learning not education. Experiences not stuff. Gender not binary.

What happens to “work life balance,” sexuality, relationships, education, and love when our social institutions are no longer institutionalized? Is this a zone where we can actually drop in and connect more deeply, love with greater passion, and create from a place of inspiration verses perspiration? Or is this utter chaos?

I don’t want my role to be defined by my friends or family, by my profession, by my partner, or by religion. Yet these things box us in to a neat little package whereby we’re socially punished, should we deviate.

I want to experience life as a being who fungible, porous, and dynamic. I don’t want to be accused or shamed for not being the same as people expect me to be. While the spirit and energy of my being might have a common thread, I want to experience the world without constantly conforming.

“A man has as many social selves as there are individuals who recognize him,” wrote William James in 1890.

Are you with me?!

The new age involves letting go — finding out who we are when the trappings of our own limitation are unsheathed.


Chelsea Rustrum, author of It’s a Shareable Life and founder of Sharers Talks series is a consultant for the new economy, helping new companies with strategy and existing companies understand the economic shift we’re undergoing. She also speaks internationally on the topic of Moving from a Sharing Economy to a Shared Economy, citing many examples and economic trends. Get in touch!