I was watching a TED talk earlier about knowing what you want to be when you grow up. It’s a talk done by the writer and artist Emilie Wapnick – as she describes the kind of people called “multipotentialites” – who have a range of interests and jobs over one lifetime.
And hello did this strike a chord with me. As I was watching this talk I could feel myself nodding along and relating so heavily to the things that she was saying.
I’ve often felt anxious in a society that as Emilie so rightly puts it ‘romanticises being devoted to one thing’. She shares the cultural obsession with finding that one passion and dedicating yourself to it. She spoke about the pigeonholing yourself into a tight corner by being a person with ‘a thing’, finding the job that you love from the getgo and being trapped into a persona who feels like they need to have one passion that they pursue.
I’ve often felt like this and I’ve always tried to associate my calling and identity with writing or words. I work in a digital content job, I write blogs and books and I read A LOT. That is part of the way that I chose to shape my identity, to fit into the mold and expectation that society has to have a calling.
But in actual fact, I think I’m what Emilie describes as a person of ‘multipotentialites.’ I am the kind of person who doesn’t really fall into one category and although I love the identity and job that I’ve chosen- there’s such a limit to only thinking in that mindset.
I’m ridiculously curious about things and career paths that wouldn’t traditionally fit into the mold I made. I applied to do teacher training at one point, I really seriously thought about advertising, I looked into nursing, I’m very into art and thought about working in a gallery… I genuinely wanted to be a party planner for about 2 years.
As you can see- I’m a fickle person by nature. My mind isn’t one track- and although I think there’s nothing wrong with people who want to pursue their passion, for some of us- it might not exist. For some of us, our passions could be hundreds of different things!
You can watch her talk here: