It's been proven that multi-tasking is impossible. When we talk about multi-tasking, what's actually happening is that we're moving very quickly between entirely different things and then we become shocked by our own dexterity. But doing separate things at the same time is not actually possible. Humans don't come with compartments. The brain is not a Munchable. If this is true, then why is so much of life organised this way?

Everyone talks about multi-tasking on an extremely small scale, as if it's a matter of cooking dinner and watching TV at the same time, or booking a doctor's appointment while simultaneously scanning groceries. It seems to me that this hardly compares to the absolutely head-splitting reality of multi-tasking. I'm not talking about doing something with your body while doing something with your head, like walking and talking, walking and seeing, walking and thinking, walking and just literally anything at all (actually it's very hard to think about the possibility of walking in isolation). That is nothing on the scale of multi-tasking that I'm talking about. I'm talking about multi-tasking your entire life, which also very common, to the point of comprising an absolute mode of being unless you live nowhere, know no-one, and no-one knows you.

So many of us have at least two words in our bucket of identities which we toss out like it's feeding time at the seal enclosure when someone asks us what we do, or who we are. Mine are so piled up in there that I often pull out the wrong one and then watch it fall to the ground with a slap like a flung slug, entirely unappealing. It seems like there are millions, not just for me but for everyone I know. And more, now that even our sources of income have become so fragmented by freelancing, short-term contracts, part-time work, and degrees in industries which (surprise!) do not hire paid staff. It's shocking to me that there are people with one label they are happy with, that seems adequate to them. It's like hearing about the past, or a parallel universe of people who are just slightly cleaner and all smell good. These days, I hate nothing more than the pressure of crafting some sort of identity for an audience, and it is always crafting, because how could I possibly have anything ready to go? I'm too busy trying to get on with walking and talking. It's impossible to do both.