Throughout my life, one of the biggest issues I’ve had to deal with is my own sense of identity. As a Puerto Rican living in the US, I’ve struggled with what it means to be an American and an American citizen; the fact that I think of Puerto Rico as its own entity separate from the USA, yet I firmly embrace my American citizenship, is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve struggled with identity issues relating to race (deemed too white to be Hispanic, but too Hispanic to be white), to maleness (obviously male, but deemed too sensitive, not macho/toxic enough), and to body image (let’s not mince words: I’m fat). If that wasn’t enough, one day I decided to go and convert to Judaism, adding issues of religious identity to my plate, then fourteen years later I returned to Christianity, putting the proverbial cherry on top of the sundae.
Although I’ve had rough patches throughout my life where these issues were everything from mildly troublesome to downright crippling, during the last few years I’ve learned to deal with them in healthier ways, embracing the general multifacetedness of my being instead of trying to compartmentalize every aspect of me into metaphorical boxes. I still deal with these concerns, but I try to do it by bringing in help from all other facets of my being rather than by isolating them, a kind of unite-and-conquer approach featuring all aspects of my self.
My blog has been a microcosm of my being and dealings with identity, as a matter of fact. If you were to go back through sixteen years of posts in the archives, you’d see the ebb and flow of my struggle based on what I write. At times I treated this as a fairly personal online journal, other times I’d remove my personal life from the posts, writing only about my games, my designs, my hobbies as if they existed independently of my life. Sometimes I was very open about my religion, other times I scrubbed it entirely. Some interests would be spun off into their own blogs, disconnected from the rest of me, only to later be brought back into the fold.
The latest example of that behavior goes back a little over a year ago when I started Wrestling With The Angel, a new blog to talk solely about faith and religion. My main blog had evolved over time to deal mostly with gaming and nerdy subjects, and though I wanted to start engaging more in conversations about faith, I worried that readers would not respond to that side of me. By starting anew elsewhere, I could set a new expectation, deal with only that side of myself. I’m not saying it was a bad idea; it did allow me the space to explore some thoughts undistracted, but it was all misguided, focused outwardly, on the expectations of others, instead of inwardly, on my needs.
The older I get, the more comfortable I get in my skin. Yes, I still deal with issues of identity, but I embrace the complexity of what it means to be Daniel. The more comfortable I get, the less I care what others think of me in the sense that I am who I am, a fat, nerdy, Puerto Rican/American, Christian (formerly/maybe-still-in-some-way Jewish), cries-during-romantic-comedies sensitive man, and whoever doesn’t like it, well, that’s their problem, not mine. I don’t go around throwing it in people’s faces, but I also don’t apologize for being me.
Because of that, and because as I said, my blog is a microcosm of me, there’s no reason why I should be segregating my theological identity to a separate blog. Starting with this post, whatever thoughts on faith and religion I would’ve once exclusively posted to Wrestling With The Angel will now be posted at Daniel/Highmoon as well, in addition to bringing all posts from WWTA over to D/H, so as to merge all aspects of me in one place. I will keep WWTA going during a transitionary period for those who follow the blog exclusively to hopefully come along for the ride.
I hope that everyone comes along for the ride.