At social gatherings like parties, weddings etc. we're introduced to people we don't know. “What do you do?” is a common probe; it's a polite way to ask a seemingly innocent question: “Who are you?”

We are all lots of things. In fact, singularly, you, are so many things, too many things to fit into a response of reasonable length to the question. Often I settle on something like “I am a software developer working with Nasdaq” because that offers a few things for people to grab on to, namely that I work in tech and that I am at the very least informed about the US stock market. Not everyone knows about tech but we're almost all beholden to and aware of the US economy. But this is hardly a complete answer and especially over the past year simply stating “I am X I work at Y doing Z” has done an increasingly poor job at providing an adequate answer to the question.

I'd like to tell you how much I love French house snowboarding Shibuya-kei my fiancé IIDX DDR cars my poodle bare-metal servers Rust Go anime sketching painting architecture journaling art decentralized finance fashion living in Tōkyō and finally run-on sentences but that's a bit too dramatic for first impressions. The fullest most complete answer would be to AirDrop™ you the RSS feed of this blog via your Neuralink™. But until then my time and addressable breadth is limited.

We're all incredibly complex people; to expect us to be "simple" or "understandable" for a question like this is almost un-askable. And yet a lot of people have some expectation that you can fit right into their little box they've got for you in their head: a little you-sized box with just enough wiggle-room for a few quirks. But there's no room to put actually all of you inside that box, and if you try they'll cast the runoff out or just find you unpalatable, distant, and maybe a little weird until they know you better.

Actors are incredibly complex people; but the characters they play are far less so.