It’s a common occurrence, and I don’t blame them. I’d probably think the same thing if I was them. I mean, it’s just the next, new thing right? And whatever happened with your last idea?
Sitting around the table, we were all busy poking our index fingers at the edges of our dessert plates, hoping to capture that last sticky crumb of original glaze from one too many donuts, bringing the sweet flakes to our lips, stealing one last moment of sourvered naughtiness in caloric form.
I walked out to the table where everyone sat, holding the royal blue microchip in my hands marked with “uno” in silver foil along the face of the board. Like most new hobbies, I was unsure as to whether my new passion project would be obsessed over by everyone as much as their sticky leftovers before them.
At first glance they all looked at me in curiosity, signalling it maybe the right opportunity to share my news. With that, I took a breath and dived at the opportunity to show them the small set of skills I’d recently learnt;
I connected the board to my smartphone and clicked ‘upload’ to transfer the short string of code to the chip. Watching the board reset, my heart racing in excitement for what was about to come, I sat there as the code compiled and ended with the words ‘complete’. And there it was, in all its glory, the moment I had been waiting for, the same first familiar moment I had experienced many times before, the most exciting moment of sharing any new project…
The blue LED light lit up, and blinked in one second intervals. Flash. Flash. Flash.
I looked up in excitement — only to meet a table full of eyes all focused on me, blank faces, blinking clicking eye lids almost in perfect sync with the LED ticking away in my palm.
That’s, that’s, that’s really cool? [Heads twitching].
I tried the only natural thing I knew how to do next at this point – the upsell; “If I change the ‘1000’ to ‘500’ it will blink for half a second instead of one!”. To my short moment of disapointment their eyes didn’t blink any faster and I quickly realise I didn’t have a fan base.
I’m amused by this whole situation. I don’t blame them. And in reality, I’m genuinely not even saddened, not even the slightest. It’s a familiar predicament I’ve found myself in many times before. Just about as many times as I’ve started a new project or picked up a new hobby. Like the time I showed everyone my new violin. Or harmonica. Or telescope. Or camera. Or book. Or new job. Or podcast. Or… The thought that runs painfully obvious across the minds of those in my life is common; how long is this going to last? They’ve even said it to me once or twice, or thrice. At this stage it’s comical and almost serves to motivate me even more.
To a renaissance, polymath or multipotentialite, these are all too familiar situations. It’s become the norm, something we’ve had to get used to. Settle down and stick to one thing… Those blinking eyes? May aswell poke a needle in mine. Niche? Vomit. Stay in one job for a decade? Someone fire me, please.
Does the very act of having five projects brewing away at the same pace as downing cups of coffee to keep up with our own obsessions to learn, soak up and absorb new information mean we master anything any less effectively than the next person? Not always, no. In fact, it’s the ability of a multipotentialite to absorb information at such accelerated rates that makes us stand out like eccentrics, sitting at the end of a table holding a blue, blinking LED like a crazy person while everyone else eats donuts.
Look; to all the jack-of-all-trades out there, those of you that like a stack of ten books by your bedside, the ones staying up late or getting up early before your day job to complete your third college or university degree, the ones that write music, teach law and run a landscaping business all at the same time – keep doing you. We need you. The world needs you. One day the corporate world will realise that taking you out of accounting and dropping you into manufacturing or web design is totally achievable, and you’ll be able to master that role just as good as the next pal.
Change your mind, and change it proudly. One day you’ll look back and realise that there’s a trail of contribution behind you.
Featured image linked with credit to psychcentral.com.