Who Am I? Finally Answered

Why I Produced a Four-Part Story About Myself…

I was on a date when this idea first came about. Who do you think you are and how do you think you’re actually perceived?

The date went well, though, the relationship soured. But the idea stuck around.

For the past year, I’ve interviewed various characters in my life: from family, friends, high school teachers, coaches, college professors and co-workers. I even asked old flames, the barista that served me coffee and a friend I lost touch with to take part; They all turned me down.

But for everyone else that participated, even strangers I routinely passed by on the street, I asked the simple question — “Who am I?”

It’s not a cry for help, rather a cry for context.

Consider it the prologue and introduction to a much larger podcast idea — the foolish pursuit of life, clarity and context. Each show will spotlight people that confront, challenge and question our preconceived notions of Uncle Sam’s culture, tradition and identity.

But why?

I think New York Times critic at large Wesley Morris beautifully summed it up — we are in the midst of a great cultural identity migration. Our ideas around race, gender, religion, speech and freedom are all evolving just as social institutions are being challenged and movements are forming.

It’s as if the American narrative we grew up with is going through a massive identity crisis — and we’re all living in it.

Is it good? Is it bad? Who is to say? But what’s particularly fascinating about these changes are the people behind them and the forces that drive them. But these stories, the stories of common folk doing uncommon things, are often summarized into click-bait style headlines.

Which is a shame because these stories are complex and rightfully so. Far too often, they get simplified to illicit a reaction of “that’s crazy” or “that’s awesome.” It’s almost as if we’ve lost the vocabulary or understanding to describe it as anything else. We lack context.

Part of that might be simply due to our information overload. Right now, we’re in a never-ending carousel of buzzwords that define what time we’re in. The last one I heard that I am willing to submit to is “the attention economy.” It’s this idea of digital Darwinism where the intent is to win your focus and that the Internet we have today is simply one of our own choosing. And today, it just happens to be very noisy.

So how does a long-form podcast solve that?

The aim of this podcast, Some Noise, is to dive into the context of what might appear as ordinary America — be it those who spend their Fridays in a wrestling ring or those that attend Sunday service and ask, why? The answers, often times, are extraordinary.

And so, if the aim of this podcast is to focus on the context and story of others, I think it’s only fair that I share the story of me, as told by others. This four-part personal prologue is to establish where I come from, who I am, what factors shape my values and why.

At the end of the day, it’s just some noise. Noise that you decide to listen to or filter, to ignore or act upon.

At the very least, it makes good fodder for a date.

Intrigued? Have a listen to the first episode here.

Some Noise is a newly launched podcast project about the foolish pursuit for life, clarity and context.