The other day, this thread of lyricism got stuck in my head. It was just some piece of information I thought sounded particularly poetic; the origin of which I couldn’t recall at the moment. I repeated the words to myself over and over and tried to place them. Were they from a song? A snatch of book my brain had latched on to?
Finally it struck me: the words are from my dad’s Twitter bio.
Still haven’t gotten over how a 64 3/4 Les Paul Junior vibrates your whole body.
There’s more, written in the same style, and it describes how my dad feels about SQL coding (it is similarly worded, makes you think I know this person and what is important to him, even if you don’t).
My own bio is not so inspired, and I know I’m not alone. In the past, I’ve poked fun at how predictable Twitter bios are — they are almost always easily categorized. I am defined by my career. I am defined by my employer. I am a dancer, dreamer, writer. I am nothing at all.
I don’t remember what my thought process was when drafting my Twitter bio, but when I look at it in comparison to my dad’s, I feel that I’ve failed to make a connection to my real life. Is the most important thing about me really where I work or where I write? Does anyone honestly feel that way? I could’ve used that space to say anything: that I can’t cross paths with a stray cat without pausing to watch it until it’s out of sight. That I’m in love. That life makes me so excited that I want to explode, some days. That I live for the empty feeling in my soul that’s created every time I finish reading a great book; that I want to read books that make me vomit. That I still haven’t gotten over how a 64 3/4 Les Paul Junior vibrates your whole body.
Any of these things would be closer to what’s true, to what’s me. And yet so many of us choose instead to broadcast our livings—temporary things, holes we are filling, pit stops in our lives. I understand why we do it; we are networking in 140 characters, telling people why we’re important or why they should follow us. But our worth isn’t limited to our work, same as it isn’t limited to our familial roles, our genders, or our incomes. What we’re worth (and in this case, why someone should follow us) can’t be easily summated in a tiny text box. And attempting to pick one or two turns of phrase to turn people on is … intimidating, for lack of a better word. So we choose the default. We choose what’s safe.
I’m not suggesting we shed the labels that give us comfort, the simple ways we deliver information about ourselves to the outer world. But after noticing the contrast between my father’s bold bio and my own, I am left wondering: what makes me vibrate? Do I even know?
This post originally appeared on Medium.