What do I want to be when I grow up? I am not sure now, nor have I ever been. In recent years, I have started to embrace this concept. I DO NOT KNOW and that is ok! I can try on different businesses, ideas and jobs. If it doesn’t work, that is fine. Well, some folks would call me scattered, afraid of commitment or unfocused…..
So, this morning I listened to a TED talk that a friend shared on my Facebook wall. I found myself listening to it twice, first to sit in AWE that there are others like me, and the second time to take notes. I visualized a blog post manifesting as I listened the first time.
Emilie Wapnick so clearly outlined ME. (Listen to her TED Talk here) She validated my existence and my way of being in a way I had not heard anyone do before. I am a multipotentialite, a scanner, a renaissance person! Finally, a name (or multiple names?) for what I am. I have many interests and varied artistic pursuits! YES! I am not alone in this world, but there are more of me and it is OK!!
My inability to hold a job for any appreciable amount of time has been something that I felt was a lifelong failure. I couldn’t (or didn’t want to?) fit the mold. Jobs are exciting at first, when there is a challenge. I LOVE a challenge and I embrace change. Once the challenge is over, and a job becomes mundane, I am no longer excited. It lost its shine and I am done.
Why have I considered this to be a failure on my part? Because we are programmed to believe that we pick a career, we study for that career, and then we spend the next 40 years honing our skills. Yuck. Society tells us, from a young age, that we must decide what we want to be when we grow up and then pursue it. I have been there and done that. It isn’t fun. Jobs, in cubicles or offices, make me feel trapped and sad. Just the idea of doing the same thing, 40+ hours per week, day after day, week after week, year after year, makes my head hurt.
Why would I pick one of my passions over the other? Is there something inherently wrong with liking to do multiple things simultaneously? I don’t believe there is. Here is a short list of the things I have done over my working life from age 12 to now:
Mom (best job ever..)
Licensed family day care provider
Accountant (several capacities from staff to Controller, self employed and employed by others)
College student (yes, this again…to get a Master’s degree)
Grandma (now, this is the best job ever….)
Yoga Teacher (this has been the most steady….15 years and counting!!)
Deli worker (yup, again….)
Restauranteur-Owner, chief cook and dishwasher
Some of these jobs have happened concurrently, others for short stints and some have reoccurred on a few occasions. This is just my “work for money” life! I have done all kinds of other stuff too, like running marathons, sewing diaper covers, knitting…yup, they all lose their shine with time.
So what does this mean? Well, it means that I have many passions, interests and skills. None of these opportunities were wasted and each one gave me skills to move to the next passion! As an example, I have always loved to cook. When my kids were small, I made it a challenge to see what I could make with whatever was in the cupboard, fridge and freezer. When I bought my restaurant in 2013, I decided that farm to table was important to me. So I began preparing the menu based on whatever I could get my hands on from farmers and other local producers. The results were fun and challenging! The running of a restaurant of course became mundane to me, so the business morphed. Now, I produce prepared meals, delivered once a week, from locally sourced produce and meats! It has been an interesting journey, from preparing food for little children, to creating meals from amazing local food! I could have never made this transitional journey without starting out feeding the small children 30 years ago!
Yoga has been a constant in my life since 2001. I think because it lets me ebb and flow without judgement. There is always more to learn, more to do and more that challenges me with yoga and the yogic lifestyle path. But even on this journey, I sometimes run into stumbling blocks that make me feel like my mind is scattered and that what I do in my life may be wrong or abnormal. At a recent retreat, we were asked to think about our “Dharma code” or purpose. Wow, this is a hard one. I guess my main deal there is that what I do is a help to others and society? But wait….there are many things I can offer to others! I can help them find health through simple nourishment and effective movement. But, I can also help them to find right work and to create financial health. I can help them to clear their spiritual path and create positive relationships! I can teach people things, like how to do their taxes or cook their own meals. Why should I pick one thing to do?
Wow! I can do lots of stuff with all this history I have! Why should I feel bad about the life I have led? Oh, yeah, I shouldn’t. The knowledge I have, the skills I have gained and the experiences are all part of what I can offer others.
In Emilie’s words, I can follow my curiosity down the rabbit hole, embrace my inner wiring and I can be myself, and I don’t need to feel guilty about any of it!
Have a great day!