What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?

It's been a bit quiet on Free to Pursue lately. Sorry about that. 

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. The deep, wandering-through-the-desert type of thinking I haven’t done in about five years.

The reason? I feel I’m in transition. Again.

I find myself asking myself the question we usually hear and ask ourselves as kids:

What do I want to be when I grow up?


Every three to five years or so, I feel this itch, this need to immerse myself in new things. I need to stretch myself in different and interesting ways. By doing so, I learn new-to-me skills and information and learn more about myself in the process.

The itch I'm describing is stronger than the general openness that leads me to gradually expose myself to new things. The telltale signs are that I'm increasingly bored with my current activities and don't stay as on top of them as much as I usually do. I start to feel lazier and sloppier and I start to consume more than usual (content, stuff, fluff).

A specialized life is portrayed as the only path to success, and it’s highly romanticized in our culture.
— Emilie Wapnick, How to Be Everything (2017), p. 7.

I’ve always defined this constant trickle and/or wave of evolving interests by labelling myself as a renaissance woman or generalist. Emilie Wapnick, author of "How to Be Everything" calls is being a multipotentialite.

Whatever label you want to use, it just means I like to learn about and do a lot of different things and that these things tend to evolve over time. And, often, they're quite different from each other. (So much for specialization.)

[Multipotentialites] go through different seasons. Sometimes it makes sense to dive deep into a single area, and other times a great deal of diversity energizes and excites us.
— Emilie Wapnick, How to Be Everything (2017), p. 49.

Over the past four years or so, I’ve:

  • Quit my corporate job
  • Finished adding a Kinesiology major to my degree (I was almost there where I quit)
  • Started blogging
  • Rediscovered my appreciation for Web design
  • Learned to shoot with a bow (archery)
  • Participated in a few Olympic lifting competitions
  • Travelled to a new continent
  • Rekindled my love for books
  • Volunteered for a new-to-me not-for-profit organization
  • Become a book curator
  • Participated in a humour contest
  • Resumed my public speaking in a big way
  • Accepted consulting engagements in new specialty areas
  • Participated in TV, radio and podcast interviews
  • (Re)Discovered my passion for paint-based costumes and makeup
  • Wrote and rewrote a book that I haven’t published because it’s just not “right” yet

All of these experiences have been extremely valuable to me. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve grown a lot. But sometimes, I feel the need for a greater shift in what I give my focus and attention to.

That’s why I’m exploring a number of projects and opportunities and they all have three things in common. 


  • Scary
  • Awesome / exciting
  • Out of my comfort zone

And that’s why I know I need to stick my neck out and try them—at least a few of them—otherwise I'll always wonder what it would have been like and why I didn’t at least give them a try.

Heck, if I can jump out of a plane, surely I can handle the few butterflies associated with activities based on solid ground! Right?! …Right?!

Regret is a b*tch after all.

I don’t want to expand too much on the above but what I will say is that 2018 is going to be a heck of a year. I can feel the excitement already. 

And it needs to be.

I’ve wandered the desert too long now (since early this fall) and it hasn’t felt all that good. Actually, I've felt pretty miserable at times, like standing still when you want to get going. Miserable but also extremely grateful because I have the freedom to pursue these professional and personal interests, and that is a real blessing.  

I promise I’ll introduce these projects when they’re ready for prime time. One of them will likely even bring us closer, dear reader. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear about what you’re planning for 2018. Any projects or events on the horizon that you’re excited about and want to share?

Image credit/copyright: winnond / freedigitalphotos.net

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