(A lil ditty inspired by this post, & the comment I left on it.)
I know you. I know how annoyed you get, trying to nail yourself into a box every time, only to find that no, this isn’t the right box either. Nothing fits. Everything stifles. You end up frustrated, feeling pulled in every direction, because everyone expects you to choose one thing and focus on that – and to you, choosing only one thing to do or love or think about is like choosing only one finger to use, for the rest of your life.
Whether you identify as a Scanner or a polymath or a Renaissance soul or multipassionate…I know you, and I don’t think you need to change a thing about yourself or how your brain works.
Because what others will call a weakness, I know is actually a strength. (Funny how that works, isn’t it?)
You see solutions other people miss, because you have a wider background. You can solve the problem while everyone else is standing around scratching their heads & wondering what the hell is going on. You see the connections, the tiny intertwining strands that hold everything together, that apply across fields, across careers. You can tell me what this and that have in common, because you’ve been obsessed with both at one point in your life.
Other people think that you must have no knowledge about anything, because you have so many different interests. But the exact opposite is true! Sure, you may cycle through obsessions, or juggle several different passions at once, or even do both of these things (that’s me!), in a way that mystifies onlookers. But when you get interested in something, you have a driving curiosity to know everything you can about the subject. You’ll leave the library with stacks of books, too many to carry comfortably, and finish them all in a week. You’ll go on eight hour internet reading binges because you need to know, the way others need to eat or breathe or sleep.
And then two weeks or a month or six months later, your interest is satiated, and you move on to something else. But your knowledge isn’t shallow, and you didn’t drop the subject because you’re flaky. If anything, the exact opposite. For those days or weeks or months, you lived and breathed that topic, you totally immersed yourself in it. Your ability to take in, process, and remember huge amounts of information, fast, means that you most likely have much more than a beginner’s level knowledge on that topic – but for someone whose brain doesn’t work the same way, the idea is incomprehensible.
And so they call you a flake, a loser, someone destined to never get anywhere and always go nowhere.
But I know better. And you should, too. You won’t go the same places they want to go, necessarily, but that’s all right – how boring would life be if everyone had the same destination, not to mention the same journey? Fuhgeddaboudit. This way is much more interesting. And you’re not meant to walk those roads, anyways; that would be like taking a Lexus on the Australian outback.
You’re built for something else. Not better, not worse, just different. And that’s okay. Better than okay. That’s fantastic, and so are you. I know this, because I know you.