throughout my entire life, i have maintained a diverse range of interests. when i was younger, i would leave soccer practice to head straight to the dance studio, come home in the evening and practice piano for my weekly lesson all while also trying to squeeze in girl scouts, tons of reading, gymnastics, school plays, horseback riding, competitive chorus, schoolwork and dog training (i took my work with our westie, sassy, VERY seriously!). the older i got, the more torn i felt about not being able to give any one of these activities my all. i even had a couple of people tell me that the muscles i was building from playing soccer were in direct opposite to the body type i needed to build for ballet. thus began the first signs that i was trying to do too much.
in high school and college, i narrowed things down a little, mostly choosing soccer, but still trying to dance on a rec team and take acting classes. the older i got, the more i noticed that people in these activities with me … were focusing solely on that activity. i took my first job after college, excited to showcase my wide skillset and enthusiasm for marketing and public relations. and yet, alas, at my first official “review” with the ceo of the company … i heard, “you can’t be a jack of all trades. you really need to find something to focus on.”
here i am, many years later, and not entirely positive that i have changed my scattered ways at all. though my job takes up most of my time, leaving little room for soccer or dance, i still see the same patterns. i work at a pr agency, where i try to assist with traditional media outreach, event planning, new business and social media. i work with a wide range of clients in industries from information technology to consumer packaged goods. even in my workouts, i hop from hiking to biking to running to yoga to strength training.
i realize, particularly in the two examples above, that variety of knowledge and expertise can be supremely beneficial. especially with respect to fitness, where doing the same kinds of workouts over and over can lead to a plateau in calorie burn, muscle development and lowered metabolic rate. on the other hand, sometimes i think i should pick one thing to focus on; maybe i should get my mile time down to a more respectable number or perhaps i should work at pushups until i can do 50 in a row without stopping. every time i set these kinds of “goals,” however, i get bored easily and find myself wishing i could go to a zumba class instead of spending another day running.
so, what’s the deal? am i broken? this “all over the place”ness is present in all areas of my life. i have always had the most bizarrely widespread taste in music. my ipod contains everything from mahler to glee to zz top to metallica. it’s rare for me to read a book or watch a movie i don’t like and furthermore, i thoroughly enjoy both mediums via a spectrum of genres: fiction, non-fiction, documentary, biography, self-help, scientific, political, historical fiction. i enjoy pretty much any sporting event you take me to or put on television – tennis, soccer, football, basketball, you name it! but what ends up happening is that because my brain, like anyone else’s, is finite in capacity, i know a little about a lot of things, but in very few instances do i know a lot about anything.
in keeping with my lifelong propensity to avoid picking just one thing, i can’t decide if all of this is a positive or a negative. all i know is that it is who i am, and it doesn’t seem like it’s likely to change anytime soon. i pick up more hobbies by the day (photography, cooking, baking, blogging, pottery…) so i guess i’m doomed for the moment to continue my multi-pronged ways.