Who you are and how you got here – it all applies to what you’re doing and where you’re going.
Leaving any of it out is doing yourself a disservice. Figuring out where it fits in is more than doing yourself a favor, it’s giving yourself freedom.
Don’t take it from me, take it from Jorge Luis Borges:
A writer – and I believe, generally all persons – must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.
You’re a toolbox. You handpicked some of the tools you put in there. Others just kind of turned up. Some even were foisted upon you and you’re not really sure if you should keep them. Either way, use them all. They’re all relevant. They all apply.
Take your toolbox and go to work.
h/t James Clear for this quote