Do you ever spend time thinking about yourself? Not just surface things like “Probably shouldn’t have said that” or “Damn I look fine in these jeans” but the really deep stuff? About who you are as a person, what your defining traits are, celebrating your strengths and finding work-arounds for your weaknesses? If you don’t, you really really should. It’s very cathartic and something that I’ve been doing more and more in my own brain.
One recurring thought that I’ve had many times in my life is the frequency in which I get bored and start looking for something new.
Let me explain.
You see, I’ve never been one of those people that can pick one thing; be it a job, a hobby or even a college major, and stick with that thing for the rest of their life. Even as a child, I always wanted to try new things. I was a dancer for a lot of my youth but also did many years of karate, was a cheerleader for 2 non-consecutive years, gymnastics, choir, band, and Indian Maidens (though the YMCA, now called Adventure Maidens. It’s somewhat similar to Girl Scouts but everything is mother-daughter). I loved all of those things but even as a small human, the thought of only picking one of those and doing that exclusively forever would have driven me crazy.
As I got older and it came time to start thinking about careers and college majors, I changed my mind more frequently than the average college student changes their bed sheets. So many things sounded interesting, how could I just pick one thing to do for the rest of my life?! I would pick a major and study that for a while before my brain would start pulling me in a new direction. “Yes, history is delightfully interesting but have you heard about medicine? That shit is fascinating!” And the major would change again. I never found a subject that I disliked but after gaining some knowledge in the field, I would start to feel those cravings to go fill my brain with something new.
This continued in my working life as well. I have worked an obscene number of jobs in my life. I did the math and I have worked for 22 different companies in total. Twenty two. Now, in all fairness, quite a few of those were short term seasonal positions, or times where I was working multiple jobs concurrently but still. For a 30 year old woman, that is a lot of freaking jobs.
Now, this indecisiveness is something that I’ve always considered a flaw in myself. That I can’t commit. That I’m flighty. Or one of those dang entitled Millennials I keep hearing so much about. (Don’t worry, one day there will be a whole post just filled with my ranting about how I love the Millennials and how they have an unfair reputation.) But I’ve been thinking, maybe it isn’t a flaw at all.
You see, I am a very curious person and I desperately love learning new things. While I have spent many years longing to find the one subject or job or whatever that I can dive into and stay with forever, maybe that doesn’t exist for me. I will probably never be the master of any one thing because I would rather be a jack of all trades. And it’s quite honestly something that I have found useful so many times in my life, having so much seemingly random knowledge about a lot of different things. I’ve even had employers comment positively on how the experiences I’ve had have made me a unique but useful employee to have around.
I treasure any opportunity I get to learn a new skill, or some new information. I enjoy learning new jobs and live for the thrill of starting a new hobby. To me, trying new things is the best because you might find something really fun. And that’s where the optimistic part of me kicks in. You see, when I find something new, I don’t just get a little excited about it. I get incredibly freaking pumped. It’s even something that I get made fun of for by my closest friends. I don’t just dip my toes in, I strip off all of my clothes and take a flying leap in while screaming excitedly the whole way.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many things that I have found enough enjoyment in that they frequently re-appear or appear in a slightly different way. (For example, I’ve always loved writing and have explored writing in a lot of different mediums). And because of the number of things I’ve done in my life, I can often be heard excitedly exclaiming something along the lines of “Oh my gosh, I forgot how much I love (fill in the blank thing)!”
And some people will probably always think of this as a negative thing. “Just pick something already and settle down ya crazy whippersnapper!” For a vast majority of my life, I agreed with them. I hated that I just couldn’t seem to do just that. But I don’t think of it as a negative part of me anymore. I find it to be an exhilarating way to live my life and since it’s so ingrained in me anyway, I’m going to go ahead and own it and let myself delight in the whims of my brain.