Why did I start FakeID? Why should you be listening to this podcast? In this intro episode I cover my journey of FakeID and why it matters to me. I cover the inspiration in 2019 that led me to starting this podcast, and the challenges in 2020 that deterred from launching it.
Almost a year ago. I was at the peak of my life. Everything was falling into place. I had overcome my heartbreak was working on my shortcomings. I started becoming transparent with my family about who I really was.I started cutting ties with toxicity around me. And I had found friends that were accepting of me with all my complexities. My faith was getting stronger. I was promoted at work. I even lost 12 pounds. I honestly loved who I was becoming. I was confident and I was excited about the future, but then six months later, everything changed.
Before I tell you what happened, I want to tell you why I started this podcast. When I was at the peak that I just described, I started thinking about why it was so hard to get there. And I realized it’s because I’ve always had a complex identity. I never really knew how to navigate the world with those complexities. No one even talked about it.
You see society, doesn’t like complexity. It doesn’t care. For example, when you fill out that form, asking for your ethnicity, how many of you have had trouble finding which box you fit in? Am I Asian? I thought I was South Asian. There’s so many types of Asians. Why are we all in one box or what would I do if I was half would I put other, but what if I was adopted? And my parents were of a different ethnicity. That’s just a simple example of how taxing life can be for people who have complex identities. And here’s the thing. I think everyone has a complex identity and anyone who thinks they don’t, they haven’t looked deep enough. Everyone has something unique about their identity, but the problem is that we’re all taught to fit in a box and perceive each other as being in those boxes. And if people don’t fit in the boxes, we think there’s something wrong with them. As I started thinking about this, I realized how long it took me to lean into who I really was. There were many personas I took on in my life that weren’t fully me. They were all fake identities pretending to like, or do something because I wanted to fit in or intentionally leaving out bits and pieces of myself because people couldn’t fully accept who I was.
For example, when I lived in Pakistan as a kid, I couldn’t express how much I loved video games or anime because girls around me had different interests or having some really close friends in North America. But I couldn’t share with them some of my life struggles because they would never understand why I think culture and beauty to family is important. There was a time when I was afraid of my colleagues judging me one day for getting into an arranged marriage, even though I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. There have been many, many times when people mock me in my community for being too Asian, only because I was learning a new language and love traveling to Japan or being told by my parents. Why can’t you be like other Pakistani girls? Why don’t you have more Pakistani friends?
Self-blaming because I thought there was something wrong with me. There were many people who looked like me, but I had no common interests with them. The list is endless. How could I be me when the very concept of me is unacceptable by so many.
Over time, I’ve learned that our identities are shaped by things beyond our skin color and where we were born. It is constantly evolving. Formed by our interests, the people we surround ourselves by the decisions we’ve made in our life and the experiences we’ve had. And most of all, the values that we hold. And if you have an identity that’s complex, I think that’s beautiful. It means you have a lot to give to the world.
So this got me thinking if I had heard stories of how people navigated this world would their complexities, man, that would have been nice. It would have been nice to know that it will all be okay. You will figure it out. It would have been nice to learn from people who have dealt with their identities with similar problems.
That’s why at the end of 2019, I decided to start fake ID to share stories of people who have navigated these identity struggles. So we can learn from each other. But then at the beginning of 2020, something happened other than the pandemic, I was faced with a few key decisions that called into question, everything that I stood for in that moment.
All of my confidence, all of the values that I had held came crumbling down and looking in the mirror. I could barely recognize myself. I had lost my identity, my purpose, my clarity, and this podcast became really hard for me to continue. It is. Then I read a passage that really resonated with him. Never be too sure of who you really are because someone or something will come at you and challenge everything that you stand for.
So I’ve learned the hard way that identity is an ongoing journey. It never ends. Well, I hope this podcast inspires and teaches other people about identity. It’s now also a personal journey for me in the hopes that it will help me return to where I started confident, purposeful, and comfortable with my identity.
I hope you’re ready to go on this journey with me. It won’t be all roses. There’s some pretty heavy stuff in there, but I think it’s really important to have these talks.
So, what is your real identity? Let’s find out.