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English: Traditional Devil's Food Birthday Cake

Make room for cake. Why? Because today marks the official birthday of the Marti Ink blog! (Cue the balloons and confetti.)

I would be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about creating my own blog sooner. For some reason the timing just felt right to take advantage of the opportunity now. I have to admit there is something freeing about being able to express myself to the world on my own terms. Well, that’s at least true for now anyway (as long as we don’t have to worry about censorship). But hey, I digress. That’s another post for another day.

Even though I don’t really care for “titles” too tough I see it as a personal accomplishment to add “blogger” to the list of creative things I already consider myself to be. There once was a time when I used to be hung up on job titles, like a lot of people, but not anymore. When I first moved to Chicago from Ohio I attended a social function where everyone mingled, ate and drank to their heart’s content. While minding my own business and people watching (which I love to do) a woman approached me and said, “So, what are you?” At first her question threw me off. Clearly she could see that I was a black woman. There was no hiding that, but I sensed that she was looking for more. With a confused look on my face I said, “Excuse me?” She gave a nervous laugh and rephrased her question. “What I’m asking is what do you do?”

Typically I, like most people, would quickly fill in that blank with whatever job title I happened to be holding at the moment, but back then I was at a major point of transition in my life. I had just moved to a new city, I didn’t have a job yet, and I was contemplating going back to school with what little money I had saved up. So, what did that make me? An out-of-work-want-to-be-student? Not a good look at a function like that.

Prior to my move to Chi-town I was an associate fashion designer conceptualizing girls graphic t-shirts, skirts and dresses for a popular clothing company with the initials A&F, a position people often seemed impressed by. Before that I was a student studying design, art and journalism. No one ever really passes judgment on students, unless of course you’re one of those who can’t seem to get it together long enough to graduate. But, at this social event I felt as though I was about to be judged if I didn’t give an answer that was short of anything other than  “Oh, I’m assistant VP of Whatever-whatever Inc.” I was stumped; you could even say embarrassed. For the first time in my life I felt as though I had no identity, all because life had taken me for an unpredictable ride where I would have to reinvent myself. I had no fancy title to give.

To be honest, I can’t remember what answer I gave that woman that day about “what” I was. I do remember that the situation taught me a very important lesson, which is not to place too much importance on titles. After all, we are our experiences. Just because I wasn’t being paid by a huge corporation to design clothes, did that make me any less of a designer? No. If I still posses the skills to create fabulous garments and accessories I am still a designer.

At my core I am a creative person and always will be. I am also an artist, journalist and a writer of fiction. Over time I’ve come to the conclusion that the term I like to use that bests describes “what” I am is a “creative spirit.” Those two words encompass all of the things I love to do without pulling too heavily in one direction or another. To many the description is vague, but to me it feels complete (and makes for interesting conversation).

I know a title can’t make or break who I am, but now that I’m considered an official blogger I hope you decide to come back to Marti Ink on a regular basis. Your visit will be forever welcomed.

Until next time…


Before you go, here’s a question for you:

If you didn’t have your job title to fall back on how would you describe yourself?