On Crank and Glass

The Importance of Being Between

By Micol Ostow

In-Between Places

If you’ve ever had any occasion to visit my official author website, you might know that it describes me as “half Puerto Rican, half Jewish, half student, half writer, half chocolate, half peanut butter.” I’m here to tell you that it’s all true, every last word. I am a mutt, through and through. And darn proud of it.

Full disclosure, though: I haven’t always been as comfortable with my mixed-breed status as I am these days. Anyone grappling with a diverse ethnic or cultural background (which, I would venture to say, is most of us) knows from the experience of constantly wanting to check the “other” box on the questionnaire of Life, probably all too well. As if it were that simple, defining ourselves by the things we are not (in my case: patient, blonde, and mathematically inclined, just for starters). As if the very act of labeling ourselves–carefully, definitively, unwaveringly–were what cements our sense of both collective and individual identity.

I’m not buying it.

Not only am I determined to argue that we need to embrace all facets of ourselves, as a whole, but I’d offer that in fact, to do otherwise–to rigidly compartmentalize our less appealing personality traits–is the stuff of madness-making. Or, put another way: if we ignore little pieces of our own respective personalities, we can (and do) literally drive ourselves crazy.

In other words, each of our beings–mind, body, spirit–is made from the sum of its parts (another little piece of questionable website wisdom, and the reason why  …

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