Weekly Wisdom: Identity crisis.





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Weekly Wisdom with Gigi Engle
Weekly Wisdom: Identity crisis.
By Weekly Wisdom with Gigi Engle • Issue #238 • View online
Good morning, unicorn baby. How are you today? Feeling well?
I’m 30 years old today. I took the day off because … it’s my birthday, obviously. I’m feeling more positive today than I have been. I’m really glad my 20s are over and I’m ready for the next phase of life. But what is the next phase of life these days? Every single day feels like a new harrowing obstacle with new problems and fewer solutions.
It feels like lockdown and Covid really will never end. I’m living in the UK, as you know, and the government has advised people in the arts and entertainment industries to “retrain” and … become something else? Because that’s just a really simple thing people who have trained their whole lives to be performers can do, right?
We thrive on creativity as a people. And it’s the majority of my livelihood. Luckily, journalism is less threatened than performing on the stage, dancing, acting etc., but it still feels like a real slap in the face. It feels like the world is saying creative people don’t matter - like what we’re doing is just “for fun” and not a real job. This sentiment isn’t just a UK thing. Creatives are being told to fuck off and figure something else out all over the place. If you’re a creative who’s struggling right now, I see you. Trust me.
This UK news came on heels of personal identity crisis. I go through one of these existential anxiety-shitshows pretty regularly, but the lockdown has made them ever more frequent.
I know some of this newsletter might sound complain-y, but there’s just such a dark cloud over any hope for a sex positive world at the moment. We’re looking down the barrel of a shuttered world. Advocating for free sexual expression feels like the least of the our worries right now, you know? I know it’s important AF and I’ll keep on trekking to make sure people have access to accurate, fact-based sex-ed … but I feel super adrift, unicorn babies.
Particularly around my place in the world as a journalist. I’ve always been a writer and have needed to it survive. I’ve written about my fears of becoming redundant in the world before. I know I’m the not the only one who feels this way. I also feel extremely lucky that I’m not at the mercy of one employer and I am aware of the that privilege.
But freelance and self-employment are a tough game, man. And it’s getting tougher. I’ve been pitching to new editors recently and not gotten a lot of traction for new work. Freelance budgets are smaller. Maybe I’m just not as well-known as an educator anymore. I don’t know what it is - probably some combination of the above and my own anxiety stirring up the stew of self-doubt and the fear that leaves me sleepless.
Just the other day I was quoted in Sexual Health Magazine talking about millennials are more comfortable with sex and talking about pleasure. Sex censorship is a constant source of anxiety for me. I keep thinking we’re getting closer to a sex positive world - but men keep proving me wrong. They keep showing me I’m wrong to be hopeful about sexuality becoming a normal thing we can just let be a part of day-to-day lives.
Social media is (well, was) supposed to be this amazing place where people could create educational and entertaining content. I use Twitter and Instagram (TikTok deletes my videos so that’s cute) to help educate people who have been woefully mislead or under-taught proper sex education.
I’m really worried about my social media. I need it to survive - which tbh, is sad - and Instagram is becoming an ever-more censored place to make content. My Reels have been totally shadow-banned (meaning IG has flagged them as adult content and won’t let them show up in search anymore), so my numbers have dropped by nearly 90% in views. This may seem like a trite problem, but if my shit doesn’t perform, I don’t make money. So, it IS stupid that this has such an impact on my life, but the fact of the matter is that it DOES have an impact.
And it makes it harder for me to make more content because I feel stilted and uninspired when it feels like the world’s against me. Have you ever felt like that? Maybe not with content creation (I know that’s hella niche), but maybe at work? Where it feels like you can’t seem to get a leg up or make any moves because no one seems to care about whether or not you succeed?
So, in the midst of my anxiety spell, I’ve decided I want to be writing more. Writing is my safe place. It’s where I’ve always known what I’m doing and know that I have a strong background and ability to produce good, well-researched pieces. And, it’s not going super well. I’ve had some positive feedback and gotten a few assignments, but overall, it’s a scary world from every which way I derive a livelihood.
Things have looked better - but we must keep on trekking along. I appreciate that you keep reading these newsletters and keeping up with my work. You really make it all worth it.
On the bright-side I did pick up a copy of Body Parts by Eliza Clark. I’m excited to let you how it is. It explores very fringe topics in sexuality and gender - so, you know - basically my porn.
I hope you have the most dazzling week - less rain and more fall foliage, eh?
This week’s mantras:
  1. I can only control what I can control.
  2. I am one with my world and my world will hold me.
  3. I am a piece of magic. I am love.
  4. I will love myself.
I love you. Have a great week!

You know they know that you know they know, girl.
You know they know that you know they know, girl.
~Good ReaDdsssSSSSs~
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