I am Dana and this is how my life got mixed up because of having too many interests. This is not a story of success and failure. This is a story of how I survived a stereotypical society and conquered my anxiety.
At the age of 6,
whenever people asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I always told them that I want to be a Singer. That was because I have a talent in singing.
At the age of 9,
I changed my usual answer from a Singer to an Astronaut. Because during those years I was addicted to Science and the Solar System.
At the age of 12,
I was already aware that I was lost. My anxiety started in those brief moments of silence whenever people asked me what major I wanted in high school (my high school was a vocational one). Whenever people told me that I needed to get a major that is closer to the course I wanted to take during college, I became more lost because I didn’t even know the college course I wanted to take up. I ended up becoming a Drafting major because that was the most interesting major in school that time. Not because I wanted to take up Architecture or Civil Engineering for college.
At the age of 13,
I started writing poems, songs, and learning musical instruments out of curiosity. My poems ended up in our school paper and my songs were sung by my classmates.
At the age of 14,
I was introduced to David Gemmell’s Swords of Night and Day. An epic English fantasy novel that made me sleep at 3am. After that, I got all fired up into learning how to write and create the world of fantasy novels that I ended up writing my own fantasy novel entitled Alamnis. My classmates consumed all the pages that I released everyday.
At the age of 15,
I was introduced to Soccer. I became a center-forward soccer player.
At the age of 16,
I graduated high school. I ended up going to the University of the Philippines Cebu. I took Bachelor of Science in Computer Science because I got a scholarship and I was too confused of what I really wanted. The Computer Science field is interesting and I was amazed with it at first. Who wouldn’t? The Computer Industry is awesome and very challenging. Unfortunately, my fondness with the Computer Science field ended very shortly. I got bored with it the moment my first semester ended.
Onwards . . .
During my college years I ventured in a lot (emphasizing in ‘a lot’) of things. My interests just collided and I was so energetic to do them all. I joined a business organization and a political party. I had a lot of advocacies. I became a Youth Leader. I became a cluster soccer player playing every school Intramurals. I started singing and garnering talent fees, creating covers with my friends, and posting them online. I started dancing, joining not just cheerdances but also hiphop and street dances. I even competed in KPOP events with my friends. I did many more things that are greatly not related to each other.
This blog entry is already long, but one thing is sure. I have known after I graduated college that there was seriously something “wrong” with me. I have known that there is always that cycle of loving then getting bored at things that I usually do. When I was young, I thought I was just getting lazy. That those act or boredom was just procrastination.
The cycle will start with me starting to like something. Then, I pour myself out to that thing. Then, I get very good at that thing. And finally, I get bored with it. The worst part of it is, I still end up doing those things anyway because I usually would have committed already to people.
After college graduation,
I felt sorry for myself. I found myself stuck with a bachelor’s degree that I certainly didn’t want anything to do with. Well of course, I still want to do Computer Science, but not as something that I will be doing everyday.
The worst came that time.
I decided not to pursue my field of studies. For 1 month, I was so lost and scared to apply to any company because I don’t want to be trapped again in something that I do not like to do.
People told me that I needed to find my passion because each of us has one.
They say that I need to make that passion my job then I’ll never get bored again. That’s what they said. So I examined myself during that time. I was 20 then. I do not know what to answer myself everytime I asked. I got tired with myself. I was very anxious because I know that I am different with the others and that I have already wasted a lot of time finding something that I couldn’t seem to find.
Eventually, I applied as a Call Center agent. Just to give myself some time to contemplate on things. To allow myself some time to strategize on how to approach this kind of problem. Four months passed and I quit my job. The job was eating up my health.
I eventually ended up becoming a Software Engineer, practicing my bachelor’s degree. Not because I learned to love the IT Industry again but because I needed money. Plain and simple.
Then one random day,
while surfing the internet, I stumbled upon Emilie Wapnick’s Talk at TED.
I was left teary-eyed after watching her talk. There it went, the answers to all my questions. I was after all, a Multipotentialite or before in the earlier days called a Polymath.
“My Definition. A multipotentialite is a person who has many different interests and creative pursuits in life. Multipotentialites have no “one true calling” the way specialists do. Being a multipotentialite is our destiny.”
– Emilie Wapnick
I felt as if a huge chunk of burden was lifted up from my shoulder.
I would never have to worry why I have too many interests and don’t have one single passion.
I would never have to worry why I cannot settle for one specific interest for a long time.
I would never have to worry why I easily get bored on things.
I would never have to worry why I cannot be as good as the Specialists in their own field.
I would never have to be anxious about my cycle of loving-boring things.
I am mentally and emotionally free and I know that I can do anything that I want without all the societal pressure.
If you are in some way, feeling what I felt in the past, watch Emilie Wapnick’s Talk at TED. She can explain it to you clearer than I can.
I have to be honest, though. I still am not a good Multipotentialite. It is normal. We, Multipotentialites, always lack the time to do all our interests because they are too many. That is why I am following Emilie Wapnick’s blog; Puttylike: A Home for Multipotentialites. It is always good to find others like you.
I am now journeying in this world as a self-aware Multipotentialite.
I decided to embrace my nature. I’m currently working as a Software Engineer in the morning. At night, I occasionally blog and practice musical instruments. I am also preparing my plot summary for my own fantasy book (yes, I am planning to officially publish Alamnis). I paint, sketch, and do some artistic weirdness sometimes. I do some dancing practices to stretch my muscles. I play Table Tennis, Badminton, and Soccer when friends take me along. I enjoy travelling as well. I do little self-initiated income-generating projects sometimes. I am also geeking out sometimes with Magic: The Gathering, Chess, Scrabble, Dungeons and Dragons, and many more things that can catch my interest.
In the future, I am planning to take up Masters in Business Administration while I am taking up a Bachelor’s degree in Music. I am also thinking of taking up a course in Robotics because I really want to build my own Baymax!
Being a Multipotentialite is not a curse. It is awesomeness to the nth level, so, be proud. Wear your inner “wiring” proudly.
YOU ARE A POLYMATH.
Disclaimer: All photos used are not mine.