Even for Gen X, figuring out who you are can be complicated. You can’t just assume you are who you are; sometimes, you find yourself later in life than you’d expect. Sometimes, that means that you the adult are suddenly going to go through changes. We grew up being told to be ourselves and not let other people stop us, and sometimes, as adults, we realize that we need to make a major change to our lives. It happens. And then we move on and continue living our lives as who we are.
Katja Blichfeld is not the first person to get to adulthood and realize that, much though she loved her husband—and well as they work together—she simply wasn’t interested in men. She had been a casting director, mostly in stuff you’ve never heard of. I mean, the pilot of Warehouse 13, but other than 30 Rock, you’ve got a lot of “eh, that’s obviously a show.” Still, she did become the casting director of 30 Rock, and that’s where she met Ben Sinclair. She felt he was underutilized, so together, they started High Maintenance.
And then she realized that she was a lesbian. Obviously, I don’t have the inside track on this. Presumably I’d know more if I’d watched High Maintenance, because the whole story was made into part of the second season. She worked through her issues that way. Which is a little . . . public, I guess? But obviously she and Sinclair did okay by it, because they did keep making episodes even after that point.
I won’t say you’re not going to hurt anyone if you decide to be open and true to yourself. I’ve known a couple of people over the years who realized things like that and broke up marriages because the marriage couldn’t withstand it. Sometimes because it revealed a fundamental incompatibility—if you’re only attracted to women, being married to a man isn’t going to work. Sometimes, your spouse became a gender to which you aren’t attracted, and that’s just who you are. And in the case of at least one of my friends, they worked through it and are still married, but they’re a special case, clearly.
You definitely get art out of the struggle, though, no matter what causes it. I also won’t say you have to suffer to be an artist. Art doesn’t come out of suffering, it comes out of life. And, yes, sometimes, that means suffering. But sometimes, that means just doing what you do and seeing the world for what it is. Figuring out who you are. There’s a reason so much poetry and so forth comes out of adolescence, because that’s a time of soul-searching, even for people who will never write poetry again. You create, because creation is part of you.