“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
at 6: “A teacher, I guess?”
at 13: “I don’t know, a writer?”
at 17: “Successful?”
at 19: “I don’t know”
at 22: “An art curator!”
at 23: “A digital marketing something!”
at 24: “An SEO Specialist”
At 25: “A Social Media Manager!”
At 27: “Whatever”
Growing up I noticed that when I met a person with a single vocation I tended to consider him or her a winner. My brother is a person with a specific vocation. My husband is.
I am not and I felt wrong, deep inside, for a lot of time.
I don’t have a talent.
I don’t excel in something, I’m good or pretty good at so many things, but I never get to be “successful” in the way society wants.
One day, 5 or something years ago, I watched a TED Talk that opened my mind
Emilie Wapnick used some words I felt related to immediately. “It’s me”, I thought.
“See, the problem wasn’t that I didn’t have any interests — it’s that I had too many.
In high school, I liked English and math and art and I built websites and I played guitar. […] This continued after high school, and at a certain point, I began to notice this pattern in myself where I would become interested in an area and I would dive in, become all-consumed, and I’d get to be pretty good at whatever it was, and then I would hit this point where I’d start to get bored. […] But eventually this sense of boredom, this feeling of, like, yeah, I got this, this isn’t challenging anymore — it would get to be too much. And I would have to let it go.”
I listened to her words, but never really accepted the fact that yes, damn, I’m a Multipotential Person. Society wants me to be a specialized person, but I’m not – I thought. It’s clear how: Emilie goes deeper on that point, everything starts from culture (if you feel related, look at that TEDx video).
If you’re curious, my story with multipotential is (if you’re not you can skip the bullet point):
-When I was a little girl I loved reading and I used to listen, without talking. Fantasy was my safe place.
-At school I found out about Literature and Italian: I fell in love with them. Apart from school, I used to play the piano and I loved swimming. I was pretty good at both. Not excellent.
-In middle school, I used to draw a lot, during every class. I started loving Spanish. I discovered Facebook and YouTube, opened an MSN blog, and enjoyed everything without succeeding.
-In High School, my grades were kinda horrible. But I joined Europa Ludens and the European student parliament (2 student organizations in Europe), winning a scholarship to visit the European Parliament in Strasbourg. I found out that I had a passion for traveling.
-During my last year of High School I fell in love with Art History, planning and organizing, and developing myself as a “goal-oriented person”.
-During my Bachelor’s Degree I used all the skills that I learned, graduating with the best grades. While working in a bookshop and working as an Artist’s assistant. While founding a cultural association, writing for an online magazine, taking extra classes in digital marketing, and planning a trip to India.
-I chose my Master’s Degree like this: I’ll go on with an art-related degree because this is the path that I have to do, and I can’t change now. But inside I knew I wanted to try something new, and that’s why I chose a double degree in Art History and Economics with a semester abroad. In the meantime, I continued writing for online magazines and I joined another student association, Culturit. I built my first few websites. I learned Spanish. I left the bookshop, and the artist I was working for and closed the cultural association I founded. I wanted something new.
-I graduated 1 semester early and: “Yes, it’s clear. My path is doing something with digital. It was always there in my past”.
-Career started: from Content Manager to an SEO specialist, to Social Media Manager, to Head of Communication. In the past 4 years of my career, I always had 2 jobs and sometimes a side hustle too: my 40 hours/week job, a freelance job, and a blog I built in 2020 that I was monetizing.
In my free time, I learned how to knit, and how to ride (I’m very not good at it), I tried learning Portuguese, I started reading again, and I became pretty good at kickboxing. In the last year, I traveled 7 times.
For someone that’s stressful. For me, stress comes with boredom, and doing just 1 thing for me is boring.
I learned it at University: when I was trying to focus only on 1 exam, I felt unmotivated.
A couple of months ago I was talking with a good friend of mine and I was like “I don’t have a talent. It’s frustrating, I’m always trying new things and I want more” and BAM I realized that’s not society that wants me to be a specialized person. It was me. I wanted to fit in. I always wanted to, but I was never able to. And it was frustrating.
I don’t have a single vocation, a single passion, a single horizon…I don’t even want to! But I judge myself for that – or I used to.
10 years ago, on a moody day, I told my mum that I never wanted to have a job like hers, I wanted to do something different every day, to experiment, to challenge myself.
I am unable to stick with anything.
And when it comes to working, this feels so wrong. I know that I’m gonna follow different career paths because I have the feeling that I’ll never be able to choose every passion. At one point I feel that I’ll have to choose one, and be destined to get bored. Or I’ll find the job that feeds my interest and I’ll take it forever.
And that’s the point, for me: I want challenges. I don’t want to get bored. And I get bored a lot. And I have to accept it. I tried to “fix myself” but I’m like this: I am a Multipotentialite.
If you ask my best friends if I have everything figured out they’re gonna say “hell yes” only because I adore planning and organizing and also because I am goal oriented. But I have nothing figured out and that’s ok. I don’t know what job I’m going to apply for next, I don’t know what’s gonna happen in the US (BTW: at the moment I’m writing I’m leaving my job and my country to move to the US without a job, but really big dreams). And that’s great. Why? Because Multipotentialite has 3 main skills:
–Idea synthesis: we combine two or more fields to create something new in the middle. I see this when I approach a problem: I just simplify it and find creative solutions
–Rapid learning: we go hard when we become interested in something. I learned how to knit in 2 weeks because I was fucking obsessed.
–Adaptability: we morph into whatever we need to be in a given situation. And that’s how I was able to move a lot.
–Networking: we meet so many people in different groups because we have different interests.
–Big-picture: we see every situation in the bigger picture, and we understand processes and how every action impacts other spaces.
So yes, if you’re a Multipotential Person like me, please please please don’t judge yourself. Celebrate yourself (I’m writing this for me in the first place). And remember that David Bowie, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, and Leonardo Da Vinci are Multipotentialite.
Emily Wapnik is a real inspiration if you’re like us. You can take a look at her website here and you’ll find out that she’s into a lot of stuff. You can also take a test to find out if you’re a Multipotentional Person here. I took it and found out that I’m a mixed-style multipotentialite: the test says that I like to mix up the way I work, that I’m at my happiest when I have few different projects on my plate, that I love variety, and yes, that I’m a multipotentialite!
That’s all for today! Feel free to comment below with your thoughts and let me know what kinda Multipotential Person you are. Ciao belli!