loving yourself for loving ALL of the things
I always claimed to be a “jack of all trades, master of none” … on my good days, I was a little proud of this, but most days it was said with a hint of shame behind the words. I struggled for years believing I was inadequate compared to my friends -- they all seemed to have a thing, a specialty, a niche. I admired a lot of their interests, but I truly believed I couldn’t love the same things as any them. I had a friend who danced, a friend who learned sign language, a few friends who read -- I know, it seems stupid to think "My friends like books, so I can't like books." ... even though I loved reading and read so much as a child. But this is how I truly felt as a teenager! I didn't want to step on anyone's toes -- or worse, try to become knowledgable about something but come across as a fool because my friend was the "expert".
So what would be my specialty?
I didn’t have the confidence in my writing at that point in my life, but I certainly like to own it now as my thing. That was the other piece to all this: I firmly believed it was a requirement of life to only have ONE thing.
It wasn’t until this year that I learned the word “multi-passionate”, and it has changed my whole perspective of how I live my life. It’s pretty self-explanatory: someone who has multiple passions. But it’s not a word that was ever said to me, or written anywhere I had read. If I had known years ago what it meant to be multi-passionate, I might not have given myself such a hard time.
(Side note: After learning about the word “multi-passionate”, I then came across the concept of Human Design and discovered I’m a Manifesting Generator! … Individuals with this Human Design type are known for being multi-passionate, apparently.)
Now that I know this is a thing, and that I’m not alone in the world -- if I'm remembering correctly, I believe more than 30% of humans are Manifesting Generators -- I’ve learned some self-love techniques around living with multiple passions. These are some things to remind myself that it is okay to be myself.
Embrace Your Open-Mindedness
If you’re like me, a lover of many things, then OWN IT! Be proud, because it means you’re open-minded, potentially more willing to learn about and try new things. This is a great quality to have in life. It’s a quality my Grandfather possessed; when he passed away last year, I found out he owned 3,000 books (yes, you're reading that right: three THOUSAND). They ranged from fiction to nonfiction, on a variety of topics -- physics, ornithology, owning fish 101, Russian literature, learning the Chinese language ... you name it, he probably owned it. I hope my bookshelves reflect my multi-passionate nature to that level one day! (… Although, perhaps with less than 3,000 books.)
Having this open-minded attitude means I’ve had some amazing conversations with people; half the time I can find something I have common with someone, and the other half of the time I find out the other person is interested in something I’d love to learn more about. It’s a win-win for me either way!
Do What Feels Right to You in the Moment
I go through phases; I’ll binge-watch a television show for a couple weeks, and then move onto a new show before finishing the other. Or I’ll be really into reading for a month, and then the next month I’m more into movies. Apparently this is normal with multi-passionate individuals.
I’ve wanted to be an author since I was 13 years old. It’s taken me more than a decade to have the confidence to believe in my writing ability, which has been a huge obstacle to my creativity in the past. The other piece to my struggles: having “shiny object syndrome” when it comes to ideas. Just like my other interests, I go through phases with my ideas. I’ll start working on a book for a few chapters, come up with a completely new idea, and abandon the first idea … and, in the past, I would delete my entire work on the first idea, believing it was stupid and that I wouldn’t ever come back to it. Well, I’ve come back to the same idea multiple times for 13 years now ... the original chapters are long gone, but I’ve made an effort to save any notes I’ve made in more recent years, now knowing I’ll eventually return to the idea one day (even if it’s not the exact same story I originally envisioned; it’s grown as I’ve grown).
I’m also a planner -- I constantly decide “On the first day of next month, I’m going to start this project/challenge!”, and I make all of these arrangements for it. The new month comes, and I’m no longer excited for the project. I’m over it, I’ve moved on to the next one. I’ve gotten so frustrated with myself for not following through, or playing around with something for a few days and then not feeling it anymore. I get so disappointed with myself, even though the idea no longer feels right or fun at that time. The feelings of shame have put me in a creativity slump more than once in my lifetime.
Forgiveness is something I’m still working on -- I truly believe there is an art to it, especially when it comes to forgiving ourselves. But it’s so important, because that forgiveness is what moves us past the shame and guilt. I now tell myself, “If I’m not working on this project right now, there is a reason for it -- I’ll come back to it when I’m ready, or I won’t come back to it at all, and either way it’ll be okay”. (Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert opened my eyes to seeing ideas in a new perspective; highly recommend it for all creatives!)
Knowing all of this about myself now, I'm trying to live more in the moment; when I get an idea, or an urge, I try to avoid starting on the first of the month. Instead, I start now, because I'm in the mood now. Like my writing, for example: I saw all of these ads for Vocal, and old Kaitlyn would've started planning content for certain days, maybe writing some of the articles out but not publishing until the first of November. But you know what? This is Day 3 of me being on Vocal -- I feel so liberated and creative, and I've never been more inspired to write! I don't always publish everything right away -- I have a couple pieces in my drafts currently that I want to come back to later -- but when I've gotten an article or poem idea, now, I just start in that moment. And what I love most about writing is that it allows me to explore all of my random passions and interests.
If you're into affirmations, feel free to use this one:
I am a proud multi-passionate creative!