What do you want to be when you grow up?
I’m not so sure.
My mom called me a “jack of all trades, master of none” quite often growing up and still does to this day. I used to think it was an awfully bad thing. I grew up wishing to find a calling where I felt like “this is it” and I would finally be able to narrow my focus to one thing. It would be far easier to pick one thing and stick with it forever, right?
What I’ve learned as I’ve grown up, is that it’s been very valuable to have so many interests and pursuits. I’ve worked in careers from medicine to merchandising, to public service, to education, to photography, and to becoming a business owner.
I’ve explored so many subjects and so many passions, keeping a hold of some that served me well and leaving others behind. I’ve never been without a job, a career, or a passion moving me forward. I’ve never stopped learning and growing in a million different directions. When I get bored and I move on to the next idea that brightens my mind.
I love being a Polymath and chose my current career because of it. I wanted to find that “one focus” and yet still have the world open to me. I thought, where could I go and learn about anything and everything while helping others in the process and narrowing my focus to a single career path: librarianship.
Being a librarian has been an amazing experience for the past decade. It’s a career I literally fell into trying to focus on one path and label myself “something” to fit into society. In the process, I’ve worked in a variety of types of libraries and helped hopefully thousands who’ve crossed my path.
While I am not sure I’ll be a librarian forever in the title, it’ll always be a part of me.
I no longer ask students or my own children what they want to be when they grow up. It’s a hard question to answer at such a young age and to chose a single future when the world is so open. I know today, if I were to become the answer I gave those many years ago, I would be in absolute misery (and my answer was to be a rich movie or television star).
Instead, I ask them what they are passionate about? What do they want to learn more about? These are the things that’ll take us on our next journey, whether down the street to meet new people or across the world.
I’m passionate about so many things; I could go on forever. Every question I am asked, I learn something new and find a new idea or direction to go with my own learning or experience. That’s why it’s been so difficult to find a focus for this blog, as you just have to accept you’ll never know what you’re going to get!
The world is open if your mind is open. I’m still learning the best way to answer the never ending question of, “What do you do?”.
In the end…
“Being a jack of all trades, a master of none oftentimes might be better than a master of one.”