So, there’s this funny thing that happens when you’ve spent 20 years talking to people on the internet, sharing both your personal and professional journey.
You wake up one morning, 34-years-old, with the realization that a majority of the people who have “met” you over the past 5 years only know you in your professional capacity, while you have your high school friends, your blogger friends, and then your girlfriends who aren’t bloggers but still like reading your writing (you assume).
What follows is a bit of an identity crisis.
I had this little crisis a few years ago when I was meeting a lot of people at conferences and even attempted to “segment” my posts on Facebook for the different audiences I had.
Needless to say, that fell apart pretty quickly.
Then there’s the whole thing where I decided to build a business on my own strengths, without separating the business from who I am, and so my Twitter & Instagram feeds have become a mix of both personal observations and professional insights. Oh, and then I decided to go in house at an agency after being a freelance consultant for a decade, so that’s been a fun transition.
While all of this has been happening over the course of the past few years, I’ve also lost ownership of my own narrative. The most basic truth about human nature is that we all only share parts of our stories to certain audiences. We package up our life to serve the anticipated expectations of the people we encounter. Before the internet, this was limited to our families, our friends, and coworkers that were physically present in our daily lives.
With the growth of our perceived audience, the anticipated expectations of people have grown exponentially.
For me, the consequence of that was being so afraid to share my narrative to my segmented audiences that I just stopped sharing, not only with the world but with myself.
I lost touch with my own healing process—I stopped writing.
I began censoring myself.
I tried to fit the mold of so-called “best practices” not only in my professional journey but my personal life too.
My depression and anxiety began taking over my inner monologue, making it even more difficult to express myself to the outside world.
I became lost in a sea of expectations, seeking validation from people who don’t even know how to accept themselves.
I began to shrink.
Then I had an epiphany.
The most radical act of self-care is reclaiming the narrative.
So, I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about who I am today.
I’m Berrak Sarikaya, a 34-year-old April Fool Baby who is Aries AF, and feels no shame about it. According to the Enneagram Institute, I am Type 2: The Helper.
I am an immigrant and proud of it.
I’m multipassionate, and no, I do not want to monetize every single hobby that I have because I want to just enjoy things without feeling judged.
Hello. Hi. Do you have a hobby you’re passionate about?
May I suggest something radical?
You DON’T have to turn it into a business.
Thank you for your time.
— Berrak Sarikaya | Content Strategist | Speaker (@BerrakBiz) March 21, 2019
Full disclosure: I do however have an Etsy shop
Being multipassionate also means that if you’re following me on social media, you will see me go from geeking out about the latest Doctor Who episode to talking about politics (both in the US and Turkey) to sharing memes to sharing marketing tips to amplifying job postings to connect people to…whatever it is that’s on my mind that day.
Life is too short and I am too busy living to have a curated persona for your benefit.
I’m a writer, first and foremost, but I’ve also worked my ass off over the past decade to curate a career that combines a few of my different passions.
While I am growing as an integrated marketing strategist, I’ve also got a soft spot in my heart for small businesses, content marketing, and freelancers/solopreneurs.
I am not an expert in anything, but I do have a lot of experience.
I am curious as fuck, and I will ask questions. If you have the answers or an opinion, I want you to answer those questions.
In case you haven’t noticed, I am expressive. I am easily excitable.
I make snap judgments. I let my insecurities take control.
I wear my soul and scars out in the open.
I am thirsty for knowledge. I am overwhelmed.
I am a survivor.
I am evolving.
So, welcome to my life. If you’d like to be a part of it daily, here’s a little cheat sheet to connect with me.
- Twitter (@BerrakBiz): This is my favorite platform. You can engage with me daily on here for random thoughts, industry insights, cat pictures, random observations about Seattle life, and generally geeking out.
- Substack: This is a brand new endeavor and where you can find more of my writing.
- Instagram (@BerrakBiz) (personal): This is where my biggest identity crisis is happening and things are shifting. I wanted it to be a curated experience as a small biz owner, but I’m shifting back to it just being me. I use the stories a lot, and I’ve begun posting a little bit more to just share daily thoughts, books I’m reading, etc.
- Instagram (BerrakWrites) (Writing): This is where I’m working on focusing only on sharing my writing and writing process as I work on my first book.
- LinkedIn: This is where I’m professional AF. Obviously. I’m pretty selective about who I connect with on here but if you want to connect, be sure to send me a note with your request.
Now, I’d love to meet you. Tell me something you discovered yourself in the past year.
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