Growing up, I never wanted to be just one thing.
No matter how many times I was asked to choose one favorite color, pick one favorite animal, or pick one thing I wanted to grow up to be, I could never genuinely give the singular answer expected. When I did, I felt like I was being disingenuous because it was a partial truth. These seemingly simple questions have been a source of frustration in my life. I always wondered, how could anyone possibly choose? And why do we have to in the first place?
In college, the frustration continued. Picking a major was a painstaking decision. I stayed undeclared until I was told I must choose something – so I declared two majors. One had the most varied course requirements I could find, as well as an emphasis on working with people; the other was fine arts .
Today not much has changed, I still don’t want to have to choose, and whenever possible, I don’t. Rather than having one career I have a few; each one feeds a part of who I am. I am currently a life coach, academic advisor, yoga teacher, and until recently, I was also designing gardens. I am constantly finding creative ways to incorporate my various interests including my love of beekeeping, gardening, symbolism, photography and art, into the work I do as a coach.
Although I’ve made a conscious decision to seek out a different path for myself, I still struggle with the old internalized expectation that I should just pick one thing, but deep in my soul I know that would not be an authentic or fulfilling choice.
If you are anything like me, these singular, neat, fit-in-a-box answers that are so often expected of us are, for one, annoying, but also, limiting and anxiety producing.
We are time and again asked to reduce ourselves down to these one-dimensional labels, and while part of me has always wanted to figure out how to answer those seemingly harmless questions in ways others found satisfying, the stronger internal pull was towards stubbornly refusing to cater to such limitations, and thankfully I have listen to the stronger voice within myself.
I’ve come to accept that I am a multi-passionate person, with endlessly curiosity, a genuine need for variety, and desire for authenticity in everything I do. It’s simply ingrained in who I am to look for ways to make my path truly my own.
I do so many different things, because I’ve come to realize and accept that no one thing will satisfy every desire, passion or creative musing. I’ve invented ways to cobble together everything I need.
For years I felt silly and even doubted my own dream of having an eclectic life. I wondered what was wrong with me that I didn’t want to become a complete and total expert in one field. But then as one of my own coaches pointed out that having a diverse background and broad knowledge not only makes multi-passionate people highly adaptable, but also different kind of expert altogether. I ultimately came to believe this too.
For the first time, I accepted on a deep level who I am and stopped trying to justify my varied professions and interests as anything other than essential to my own happiness and fulfillment. I learned that what I had previously understood as “logical and responsible” choices weren’t in fact logical after all if they made me miserable.
There is a sense of freedom we feel when we accept and embrace who we are as strengths, rather than deficits we need to fix. It changes the way we see ourselves, and allows us to reconsider what we believe is possible for our lives. It also begins to shift the internal experience of making life decisions, from being agonizingly painful, to an exercise of tapping into our own intuition, and learning to make decisions from our heart rather than from doubts, fears. And certainly not making decisions based on anyone else’s idea of what our life should be like…
My mission as a coach is deeply personal. Helping other multi-passionate people unravel the social conditioning that confines them to narrow one-size-fits-all path is central in my life’s work.
The world needs our unique perspective to tackle problems, to reimagine what’s possible and even redefine our cultural definition of what is or is not “logical”. In doing so, everyone stand to benefit from living in a society that affords us all more freedom to determine for ourselves what is truly our own right path.
Ready when you are,