(Ha. Just went John Green on that title.)
As kids, the first thing that we are asked during that nerve-wracking first day in kindergarten (besides our name, age, and bank account number) is what we want to be when we grow up.
Now, don’t tell me you haven’t been asked this question at least ten times in your childhood days.
Back in first grade, I really put a lot of thought about this because we were supposed to tell it to the entire class. You know what I wanted to be back in first grade? A miner. And that, in itself, isn’t really ridiculous. But why miner, you may ask? Because I wanna give poor people some of my wealth. *sigh* The Seven Dwarfs definitely contributed a lot in my way of thinking back then.
Funny how, when I think about it in retrospect, adults just ask this question because they find children already thinking of their future adorable–while they do the same thing with accompanied depression and/or anxiety, high five anyone?
But over and over, I am asked this question from grade school to high school and even in college. It may have evolved into different forms the older I get–“What do you want to be when you grow up?” “What’s your ambition?” “What course are you taking?”–but what it conveys and how it affected my life has always been the same.
This question about my future career is a daunting reminder that I have to plan for my future. And the heaviest effect it has on me is this mindset that every person has a “One True Calling”.
I’ve been and am interested in different things from various fields–cosmology to art to writing to business. My blog, this blog, is a reflection of who I am and what I like. But I’ve never been the kind of person who is absolutely and completely passionate and excellent in one thing.
I divide my time on numerous interests and, everyday, there’s always an addition.
It scared me. I’m not like this classmate of mine who has endless drive and motivation to focus on just one thing. I can’t do that. And I worry. What will I do? What’s my purpose in life, then?
For years, I’ve struggled to find an answer. And now, I might just have one.
I might be a multipotentialite.
This term, coined by Emilie Wapnick, refers to person who is knowledgeable and good enough of lots of things, never concentrating on just one. Synonymous to this are “polymath” and “Renaissance person”. I watched this TED Talk a couple of weeks ago and it stuck on me. I’ve looked through her website, read a couple of articles, and plan on reading nonfiction about multipotentiality. Because for the first time, I feel like I’m getting somewhere with this part of me.
And I just realize now that it’s so fitting with me being a “I’m More Than One Label” kinda gal.
So basically, I am a Jill of All Trades. But that’s okay! I might be a multipotentialite, a polymath, a Renaissance person of the 21st century. So what? If this is who I am, then I just have to fully embrace it. Like I did when I realized I’m an art enthusiast, and a cosmology geek, and a bookworm.
Just like you should do, whether you’re a fellow polymath or a specialist.