15 Things You Might Not Know About Me
Grendel + me on the Willamette River in Portland, 2013

15 Things You Might Not Know About Me

Written by Emilie

Topics: Birthday

I’ve wanted to write a “fun facts about me” post for a long time, but I’ve always been a little afraid to. Maybe I worried that you would judge me, or tell me this exercise is self-indulgent or just plain off topic.

But, you know, I actually love reading these types of posts by other people… I am, frankly, fascinated by humans; I am intrigued by their secrets and by what makes them tick.

Plus today is my birthday (I’m 33). Isn’t this a perfect opportunity to turn the camera on myself, so to speak, and make it all about me for a minute?

These 15 tidbits are meant as a supplement to my official bio. Some of them are clarifications or elaborations, but you may find some zany revelations too.

With that said, here are 15 bonafide Emilie Juliette Wapnick facts that you may or may not already know.

  1. I’m a Canadian-American. I grew up in Montreal, moved to Portland in 2011 and moved to an island in B.C. in late 2016.
  2. I lived in a tiny travel trailer for five months in 2014-2015 and traveled around the Pacific Northwest with Grendel.
  3. I’m married to an amazing, witty textile artist/editor (for now… she’s a multipotentialite, too) named Valerie. We have a miniature schnauzer named Grendel, and we’re obsessed with her.
  4. I was born in 1984. I mention this because people often think I’m younger than I am, and I don’t find that flattering. ;)
  5. I identify as queer and use female pronouns.
  6. My parents (both New Yorkers) moved to Montreal shortly before I was born. They wanted to give me “a bit of Quebec” in my name, hence the French spelling: Emilie. (If my parents truly wanted to grace me with a French name, they would have added the accent to the E, to make it the proper Émilie, but alas, I am best suited to the in-betweens.)
  7. I was bullied as a kid and struggled with depression and low self-esteem as a teenager.
  8. Growing up, my multipotentiality contributed to my feelings of “otherness,” but it also provided me with a much needed outlet. In other words, having loads of weird and amazing projects made my life richer + more fun, and ultimately led to an awesome career. But it was rocky for a while there.
  9. I really, really like the well-written teen dramas of the ’90s and early 2000s. Some of the best television writing can be found on shows like My So-Called Life, Freaks and Geeks, and Felicity (especially season one). Such shows were a formative part of my youth. They made me feel more understood than anything or anyone else, and they are still pretty much my happy place.
  10. I hate being told what to do. I have a hard time with unsolicited advice in general, though I recognize that it is sometimes necessary. There have been times when I was grateful for someone (compassionately) letting me know that I wasn’t being inclusive in a blog post, for example. But for the most part, I find unsolicited advice to be obnoxious and I am particularly unresponsive to demanding or condescending behaviour.
  11. To add to my dislike of being told what to do, I have realized that autonomy—alongside social responsibility, of course—is very important to me. It’s definitely part of the reason I work for myself. It’s also part of the reason that doing things like moving to an island, using a dumb phone and getting my boating license (a new obsession of mine) appeal to me. Cause really, can you imagine anything more freeing than soaring across a body of water and to a little island, where you’ll have a picnic all by yourself?
  12. While autonomy is vitally important to me, I also like feeling safe and in control. I sometimes struggle with anxiety and I’ve found that routines, rituals, and strong relationships help me feel safe. Early in our relationship, Valerie told me that she described me to her friends as “solid.” I wasn’t too excited about the descriptor at the time… Now I understand it to be a very good thing.
  13. I have a law degree but never took the bar or worked as a lawyer. I actually think I would have made a very crappy lawyer. I hate paperwork and bureaucracy. But mostly, I quit the field because my heart was no longer in it.
  14. Ok Meyers-Briggs devotees: I’m an INFJ through and through. Funnily, INFJs are called “The Advocate” (see previous point).
  15. I’m kind of a tech-savvy luddite. I taught myself basic HTML at the age of twelve and I’m definitely the tech troubleshooter in my family. Yet, over the last few years, I’ve become increasingly irritated by my addiction to social media and email. Of course, I work online and I love my work and this community! I’ve just learned that I need to consciously create balance in my life by getting outside in nature and taking adequate time to rest.

Alright! I think that’s a pretty good primer on me. If you got this far, you must be as fascinated by other humans as I am.

Now it’s Your Turn!

What’s one interesting fact about you? I would love to hear it in the comments below.

Emilie Wapnick is the Founder and Creative Director at Puttylike, where she helps multipotentialites build lives and careers around ALL their interests. Unable to settle on one path herself, Emilie studied music, art, film production and law, graduating from the Law Faculty at McGill University. She is the author of How to Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up (HarperCollins). You can learn more about Emilie here.


  1. Maryske says:

    First of all Happy Birthday!!!

    And I thought your list was pretty funny. The early part of it didn’t tell me much news (I’ve been following this blog and regularly reading back old posts for nearly two years now), but I was laughing out loud at number 10. Believe me, I can say exactly the same thing of myself! To the point that when I’m told to do things this way, I’m determined to try doing them another way, *just* because I was told to do it in a certain way. I’d be a nightmare for the army, for “Befehl ist Befehl” would never work with me. Which I suppose does have its upsides. ;-)

    As for sharing an interesting or funny fact about me… um… I’ll have to think about that. Too many to choose from! (Maybe you should start a post about this in the puttytribe?)

    • Maryske says:

      Okay, here it goes.

      It may be partly due to my moving around so much, but even though I have no trouble whatsoever making friends wherever I go, I would say the one I consider my best friend is a 38-year-old rubber bunny. He’s six inches tall, yellow, and somehow has lost the ability to squeak – but over the years he’s taken on quite a character. So when I’m home, no matter what I’m doing, I’m actually doing puppetry by the side. And I love it. :-)

      • Antonio Pisante says:

        Happy birthday Emilie And thanks for sharing your most human aspect.
        It’s incredible how many common points I have found with you and the community.

        All the best

  2. Maria says:

    I love these kind of things, thank you for sharing!
    I don’t find it at all self-indulgent, it’s cool to share and fun to know more about you.
    And Happy Birthday! (Grattis på födelsedagen as we say in Swedish)!

    I’m kind of new around here but I must say your TED Talk and this website is exactly what I need right now in my life. So thanks for being out here :-) (I am counting the days ’til May 9 now).

    One interesting fact about me… As a kid I had a very strong will and vivid imagination.
    I once saw an article in the paper about the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. I got super sacred that the world would end without any rainforests so I got my whole class and parents committed to raising money by selling cookies and we even put up a play, in my small village with about 800 inhabitants. In the end we collected about 300 dollars, “bought” a piece of forest via WWF and received a diploma that hung in the school cafeteria. I was mighty proud.

    I am still proud of that stubborn 8 year old version of me and your TED Talk make so much sense to me because I can see so clearly how norms, standards and expectations of society have impacted my life since then. As kids we tend to be unafraid but that is very easily taken away. That’s a shame I think.
    There are so many things to do and why shouldn’t you, right?

    Thanks again!

    • Maryske says:

      Hey, another Swede! :-) (Okay, I’m import, but still…)

      • Maria says:

        Hej! Import or not, nice to meet you! Just love how the internet makes the world such a small place ;-) In which part of the country do you and your bunny hang out?

        • Maryske says:

          At the moment, we live (together with a whole bunch of other pluche and rubber bunnies…) in the little village at the one major railroad junction in Kronobergs Län :-)

          So where are you? Anywhere near? Actually, I’ve lived all over Sweden over the years, so we might even have met without knowing! :-)

          • Maria says:

            Ok, I think I know around what area you are ;-) I sometime travel to those parts for work. I live in Gothenburg my self (The only city in this country with an English version of it’s name, I always wonder why?)

  3. Claudia says:

    Happy Birthday Emilie :)

    You share the day with my mom who is so happy today…
    Thanks for sharing all those facts, they tell a nice story and the rhythm of who you are, or as far as I’ve gotten to know you through your work, is beautiful.
    Facts about me? I am INFJ as well, and while structures and systems can be great, many are highly irritating for me as there is no intelligent thinking or design behind them. Also indecisive peeps ignite anxiety in me … working on this.
    Being who I am, I’ve learned to accept my uber strength/talent as strategist in theoretical and practical way – so exciting right now.

    Enjoy being 33 :)


  4. Sandra says:

    Hi Emilie,

    I just wanted to tell you that I adore you so much (as a human being) and I really appreciate what you do, your openness, your honesty, and genuineness. We need more people like that. I hope you’re having a great day – happy birthday!!

    This is the first time I comment here, but I always read your new posts and you always make smile, and I’m thankful for that.

    How is Canada? I’m sure you’ve been settling in nicely and now that spring is coming, hikes must be amazing!

    An interesting thing about me is that I usually zone out when someone tells me “tell a story” or “tell something interesting about you” :D, so I’m guessing, I have to postpone answering this question for now. :)

  5. Happy Birthday, Emilie!

    The unusual random thing about me that most people don’t know is that I received a blood donation as a preemie. As a result, I donate as often as I can, both whole blood and platelets.

    You might not think of yourself as much of an “Advocate,” but between creating Puttylike, and your TED talk, you have brought the idea of multipotentiality to so many people, which opened our eyes — so THANK YOU for all that you have done for us, and continue to do. :)

  6. Jodie Utter says:

    Emilie! I love that you pushed through the fear and shared intimate parts of yourself with us. Makes me love and relate to you and your mission even more. I met you at TEDx Bend after hearing your TED talk. Per your request to know an interesting fact about me, I’m a writer and blogger now! Due in part to learning how freaking awesome it is to be a multipotentialite, thank you kindly! Goodbye, otherness. I had to push through some big fear as well before I clicked the Publish button and it was so worth it. I hope you feel the same now about your post. Please check out my first blog post if you feel so inclined and if you like it, read my last one too, post #3, because you’re featured in it! Love you and what you’re doing for the world to pieces! THANK YOU.

  7. Melissa B says:

    Happy Birthday Emilie!!!

    My interesting fact is that I have several constellations on my body comprised of moles and brown spots such as Orion and the Big and Little Dipper. I am also a *NTP….the * is because I seem to waffle back and forth between am ENTP and INTP most of the time.True Multipot…I can’t even choose a personality type!

  8. Alex says:

    Freaks and Geeks! I remember enjoying the first few episodes of that, but somehow I never finished it.

    Happidy Birthday. :-)

  9. rasik says:

    happy birthday Emilie . Keep doing what you are doing.

  10. J2 says:

    Congratulations on living for a full 33 years (so far)! You are definitely not alone in this world as a staunch independent who was bullied in elementary school for it. I’m hopelessly embroiled in my current existence as an ENFJ. I’m not sure if this is because I survived a groin-to-ankle blood clot a little more than a year ago or *despite* it. In any event, you and I are both “Advocates.” I’m just a bit noisier about it than most. ;)

  11. Edward says:

    Happy Birthday, Emilie!

    You know how I feel about you, and adding this to your bio makes you all the more endearing. I can identify with the fear of being judged, though, and I admire your courage. I, too, don’t like unsolicited advice but I have gotten much better with it over the years – if it’s valid. It always gets my hackles up when I hear about people having been bullied. When I was a kid I had some sort of innate drive to protect the kids in my neighborhood who got picked on and I got the crap beat out of me a few times as a result. Regardless, it really drove home how important it is that we stick up for one another.

    Thank you again for creating this space for us, Emilie.

    Edward xx

  12. Edward says:

    P.S.- I forgot to mention that it is my mother’s birthday today, too.

  13. Michael Hurley says:

    Tell you about me. Hmmm. . .that’s hard to do because for all my talking about myself I don’t really tell anyone about me.

    Like you I was bullied all throughout public and high school. That followed me into the working world to the point were I hate working for other people. I started my own business which I gave up when it was no longer fun. I started another business which I’m trying to build. I have an artistic streak in me which photography and writing give me an outlet. I’ve written two books which aren’t published but I’d like to. I have notes for other books. I have an exwife (don’t get me started, not good). I have a current wife, we’ve been together for over 20 years. Children, a dog lots of books. Speaking of books I never learned to read and write until my late teens early 20’s. I enjoy history, poetry, photography, reading, historic re-enacting, music but not country and western. I also suffer from depression which has haunted me all my life. However it’s only in the last few years that I’ve learned to except my depression as a part of me and to deal with it.

    So I guess that’s about it. Oh there might be more but that’s a start.
    Cheers. Happy Birthday and all the best of the day.

  14. Sara says:

    Happy Birthday! Mine was yesterday, however I turned 61. Interesting fact: I lived with Bill Gates for 5+ years. Enjoy your posts.

  15. Michelle says:

    One thing about me is that freedom is more important to me than just about anything. I cannot stand situations where I feel trapped (not myself), where I am micromanaged, told what to do, or places where I cannot see a choice. It is very painful for me to give pieces of myself away- which happens when I don’t feel free. I am not a control freak, I can easily listen and change my mind, but I need to have the freedom to do that.

  16. Andy Murphy says:

    Happy Birthday, Emilie! You have indeed been an inspiration to me. I love the help you have offered to multipods like myself, and I appreciate how you have been enriching my perspectives on life and career.

    In terms of nationality, I am the mirror image of you. I was born in the USA and then lived nineteen years in Québec (in Gaspésie). I returned to the USA five years ago and now live outside of Orlando. Those long winters are just a memory now (and not all that pleasant of one either).

    I hope this will be a marvelous year for you!

  17. David Stavis says:

    <3 This was fun to read, Emilie. Thanks for sharing about yourself!

  18. Susana says:

    Happy birthday Ém!
    Enjoy your day and keep inspiring us :)

  19. Jo Clutton says:


    I’m Jo – artist, writer, traveller, wild west nut intrigued by science, and renaissance soul. I’ve recovered from thirty years of depression – a medication crisis was the catalyst, I’ve never felt this good – and I’m chronicling the rebuild of my polymath creative lifestyle on my blog Creating My Odyssey.

    I’m hoping to reach people with mental health issues, and creatives in general to give encouragement, inspiration and hopefully some enjoyment.

    I’ve also been writing a humongous (my fave word) novel forever, on and off, particularly during young parenthood, to help keep me sane. It’s a beginning, muddle and end called Alias Jeannie Delaney and it’s the life story of a devastating cowgirl who’s the fastest gun in the west and also bisexual. I’ve been very self conscious about the subject matter but since my recovery from depression have decided it’s time to get it out there! I’m blogging about it on my site.

    Thank you for reading. If you feel like dropping in that would be brilliant!

    Jo UK
    (My new website, but I’ve only just started using it.)
    (My old one. Most of my old stuff is still there)
    http://www.kitty-le-roy.co.uk (wild west website)
    Facebook Jo Bennett
    Twitter @Clutton_jo

  20. Emily M says:

    Happy birthday! 33 is one of those balanced numbers that I like. It use my favourite number twice, and feels symmetrical. I have been in love with computers since dad brought home an Apple IIe and some programming books when I was 8. I did IT at uni but never ended up working in the industry – I’m a high school teacher. I am a little sad about this. It is something I have internally vowed to fix. That being said, I am pretty scared of change!

    I can relate to so many things you have talked about. Especially being bullied as a kid, feeling like a weirdo, and love routine and structure. I am INTJ (Architect) – I still need to work out how that works best in a career, and I’m 34!

    I suspect I need to accept the invite next time they are open so I can start getting involved in conversations with multipotentialites and feel less weird.


  21. Ian Anderson says:

    Many happy returns of the day Emilie! Always good to read about what you’re up to. Living near water is good for you, along with real fires, sunrises and sun sets for that matter, and of course the woods and mountains. All building blocks for a happy soul.

    I’m lucky, I live on a fjord in Norway, so all of the above is, well, outside. Fun fact? I take my son out in the kayaks or the canoe fishing, but I don’t give a damn if we don’t catch anything (we don’t catch much anyways!). It’s enough just to be out there on the calm water with him, fish or no fish :-)

  22. Tom Niessen says:

    Hi Emily, been a while. Happy 33rd!

    Interesting facts you ask?

    Born in Germany
    Grew up in Belgium
    Emigrated to UK
    Also lived in Sweden, Switzerland, USA, Singapore
    Canadian, German, British Citizen
    Ridiculously high IQ which counts for nothing
    Rinzai Zen Buddhist
    Industrial Engineer
    Straight and comfortable with all
    Junior world ranked Tennis player
    3 x Meyers-Briggs including INFJ

  23. Elizabeth says:

    Hello and happy birthday, Emile!

    I am also an Aries birthday, INFJ, multipotentialite! I’ve been following you for awhile but didn’t realise the extent of our overlap before.

    Instead of law, I went the business route. I have an MBA, worked in corporate finance (briefly), then gov’t international development (in Ukraine), then started a financial planning firm and built it up over 10 years and sold it, and just last month finished a PhD in Anthropology of Dance with a year in Cuba and 3 in Ireland. I’m already looking for a job outside of higher education and the arts (for now) ….maybe public health this time or I’ve become intrigued by energy reduction technology start-up companies…who the heck knows! This is the first time I haven’t known what I want to do next and I’m trying to be relaxed about that (not easy).

    I’ve really enjoyed your site. There may be few of us in any given place at a time, but we are many across the globe!

    Happy Birthday!

  24. Anka says:

    I love all these facts about you :) I’m amazed by you. Period.
    One fact about me: I’ve got a black Cat and a White dog and two teenagers and a strange guy at home with me ;) oh, and I teach English to preschoolers being actually a fitness instructor :)
    High five in one :)
    So relieved to be an multipotentialiate – everything makes more sense now :)
    Thank a lot!!! and happy birthday :)

  25. Tony says:

    I also have a law degree and practiced for 30 years. Other than the money I hated every minute of it. Finally I had enough and walked away from it, wishing I had never gone into the profession.

    Happy birthday!

  26. August says:

    15 things: I used to play tackle football in my teens (I am female); have a firearms license; certified by National Coaching Certification Program of Canada in lawnbowling; hold a Diploma in Herbal Studies; enjoy chess; can’t draw worth a darn; like making soap; enjoy archery; love horses; play three instruments; write songs; I wear a hat every day; have built two violins from scratch; used to make bobbin lace but have forgotten how, and finally, I live not too far from Emilie!

  27. Els says:

    Happy Birthday, Emilie!

    Believe me, when you become 50 you’ll be glad to hear people say you look younger ! And yes, you do look younger. Enjoy!
    Please excuse me if my English isn’t perfect. I am Flemish

    I also recognize myself in your story. Being bullied as a kid/teenager, because of the ‘otherness’. Even now, people don’t Always seem to understand my way of thinking or acting.

    I always seem to see things different. I ask ‘weird’ questions, where others do not even think of. I give them another point of view.

    Never could be forced of doing something I didn’t like doing.
    I remember being 13 and having to knit a little baby sweater and trousers in school. Hey, what was I going to do with that? So I couldn’t commit me to it in school, but meanwhile I knitted things I liked at home, even without a lead. Just from the eye.

    This is the story of my live : I do a lot out of free will, but never force me. I’ll quit. Being an employee, I have quit a lot :)… also because of the loss of interest. Once I have been there, seen that, done that I look forward to a new challenge.

    It makes life interesting. I just told my friends I wouldn’t want my life to be different than it has been till now. All experiences made me who I am. And I am proud being me, even if others think I am ‘different’. They should try a little bit harder to be ‘different’ too and see the richness of it.

  28. Judi Piggott says:

    Happy Mirthday (as my friend Ted always wishes to me, which makes me smile)!

    Glad you are sharing and hope you are getting some sun over there, too. I’m heading to Vancouver Island for the rest of the week to visit my Dad and my brother as well as do some business.

    What don’t you know about me? I went to West Africa in 1977 and had several proposals of marriage that involved the offering of various numbers of cattle and goats in exchange…

  29. Nicole says:

    Love it.

    Funnily enough Emilie, I think I knew most of those things about you already! And the ones I didn’t know, didn’t surprise me. I had a smile and nod when I read those new ones, because it fits with the rest of you, and I could relate very much.

    It is good to read these kind of lists about people, because apart from offering further insight into interesting people, it makes one think about oneself too.

  30. Pura says:

    Happy Birthday Emilie. Thanks for sharing facts about yourself. Well, I’m an INFP(a very recent discovery), l love animals, enjoy drawing, dancing,public speaking and camping. As much as I love outside love my home. Has been a admin assistant, jewelry designer. Planning on taking up studies as a teacher. All my interests can be chaotic and confusing at times but everyday I learn more about myself :) which is amazing.

  31. Glenn Davis says:

    Well, there are too many things people don’t know about me to list here, but I’ll mention one that is pretty crazy. At a Rotary Club meeting, it was my responsibility to make some lite introductory comments such as jokes, recognizing birthdays, etc. early in the meeting. Well I started out one night asking 8 people at one table picked by someone else at random, to tell me their home phone numbers out loud. I thanked them and immediately told a couple jokes, and we sang happy birthday to one long time member. At that point, I went around the table and recited correctly each of the phone numbers they had given me. This was shocking as I had never done anything like this at the meetings before. The secret however was, that I had previously memorized the home phone numbers of all 52 members of the club, so it didn’t really matter about where they were sitting and which 8 I had to know. But what is even funnier is that one person gave me an incorrect number. I noticed it immediately and was able to memorize it on the spot, totally eliminating the possibility in his mind that I could have memorized them ahead of time. He was shocked. And what is even stranger is that this was in 1991 and I still remember most of those numbers even though I never called any of them and most of them are now deceased. For weeks after that, when I would see them, I’d recite their numbers too them backwards and give them the total of the digits. I’m a freak. I don’t remember what I ate for breakfast this morning, but I can give you the phone numbers of some dead people I memorized almost 30 years ago.

  32. amanda ewin says:

    Thank you Emilie!

    FACT – I enjoyed your keynote at PB EVent on the Gold Coast, Australia last September. It was a thank f__ for that moment where I stopped being paralysed by finding my ‘niche’ and realised I could combine my passions. Women’s wellbeing and mountain biking! Hosted first MTB/hiking retreat last November.

    Happy Birthday!

  33. Angela says:

    I am also a tech-savvy luddite(had to look that word up though). I have been the go to person for tech related questions for the past 12 years at least but over the past 3 years I have become sick of the glut of societies dependency of technology.

    I think the most interesting fact about myself is that I have an insatiable craving for creative pursuits. I am always looking for the next crafty thing to learn and more often then not am learning two or three at the same time.

    But what most other people find interesting about me is that I am walking the Druid and Celtic Paganism paths.

  34. Hi Emilie,

    Happy birthday! While reading your post I said to myself: wait a second I am 85 born and I am 31 yet. Didn’t realize that I will be turning 32 in June. (Now 32 is a big number for someone legitimately calling you an uncle by right:)

    Great post this one and I could totally relate to it. Really appreciate your honest approach and definitely back-up your multipotentialite theory. Had I not come across this terminology and approach, I would have continued to remain confused about myself. You really nailed it.

    Keeping it short. Enjoy 33 and many-many more to come.

    Best wishes,

  35. Andreas says:

    Happy Birthday Emilie :)
    Have a great day,

  36. Lucy says:

    I just took the test and found out I am exactly the same personality type (INFJ-A). Is it really just 1% of the population? That seems pretty special. What are the chances?
    One thing that people might not know about me is I was once a Copywriter for the radio industry. I got out of this career pathway when I discovered it was full of egos.

  37. Okay, here’s my fun fact as a multipotentialite: Not only am I a published author, but I am also an multi-media artist and a singer who plays the piano.

  38. Bob says:

    Happy birthday Emilie’!! Hope it was a great one!

    I was a volunteer EMT from 1974 until about 1996. I started out when I was 16 years old as a Cadet. As I moved up in the ranks, my primary interest became rescue. I took courses in everything I could. As a result, it became common to get a phone call at home when I was off duty because there was a “bad one”–a call where the situation requiring expertise not held by many, and usually resulted in me helping remove people from just about any situation. By the end of my Squad days, I had been a Safety Officer, Lieutenant overseeing vehicle and equipment maintenance, and finally, a Crew Chief supervising a crew of 14 people staffing 3 ambulances, a rescue truck and 2 rescue boats. I had trained many people in a host of subjects, but mostly in rescue: vehicle extrication–taking vehicles apart to remove the patients, rope rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue, and hazmat rescue. In the course of my service, I began to study nursing, but it wasn’t for me. I needed to be in the field. But I did earn a Master’s degree in Health Care administration with an emphasis on Emergency Services Safety Education. But the most interesting fact is I have worn hearing aids since I was 5 years old. With about 2/3 of my hearing, I overcame many obstacles including using a stethoscope. But in the end, my hearing got to the point where I could no longer hear lung sounds, and it was becoming more difficult to hear on the often noisy and chaotic scenes. So, I gave up being an EMT. These days I continue my 39 year career as a draftsman–first, drawing on the board by hand, and now using computers to draw civil engineering projects–everything from roads to bridges to sewers to water mains in the New Jersey-New York-Pennsylvania area. In my spare time, I carve wood. I carve a lot of things, but I tend to carve a lot of small teddy bears which I call Whittlebears. I give the Whittlebears away just to see people smile. This stems from my days as an EMT when we would give small stuffed bears to people who were having a bad day.

  39. Anna says:


    Fun fact about me: I have tried many different art forms and am obsessed with tiny things or tiny things that build to make bigger things. Ex: Tapestry Weaving, Mosaics, Bead Embroidery, or miniature flowers (1/4″) made of sugar.

  40. Elena says:

    Just wanted to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! And thanks for sharing!!!!! I will post something about me next time…

  41. Yoyo says:

    Hi Emilie,

    please note that a French “Emilie” is also written “Emilie”.
    French do not put the accents on capitals.
    You can thus feel confident that your name is French, and written the propper way in French.

    Computer brought the possibility to have “”Capital é” (I can’t even type it !) and the Microsoft brought the possibility to erase your own culture, if you are not American.

    Look for Emilie on .fr site, or on books, and you’ll have the confirmation (I have accents in my name myself).

    Take care.

    Microsoft and its power to ntoposi

  42. Leo says:

    Happy Birthday Emilie, from one Aries born on April 3 also, and a Canadian by choice although I have American family. I am a multipo not only in work but in nationalities ? I identify with many of the things that you mentioned. Must be an Aries thing!

  43. Sara says:

    Interesting facts about me: I’m bilingual, I’m the type of multipotentialite who likes doing a lot of things at the same time long term (not jump from one thing to the next) (I forgot what this type is called), and the most important thing to me is friends!

  44. Lena says:

    Happy Belated Birthday Emilie!

  45. Erika says:

    OMG Emilie. I’m Erika, Argentinian, 32 years old (33 the 29th of april), gay, lawyer, tech lover, and surely multipotentialite! I have studied Photography, English, Yoga, Help desk support, Database, etc! I also have many sport interests and I’m good at all of them, but sometimes all of this make me feel guilty or bad about myself so I really appreciate what you do, thank you for your articles darling! Xoxo Erika.

  46. Nitsan Tal says:

    Hey, we share a birthday! Happy birthday! I’m a bit older than you and I do like it when people think I’m younger than I actually am because as a “multi” I’m finding myself taking classes with much younger people and feel somewhat out of place. Right now I’m into film making, and many of the classes I take and groups I join are comprised mostly of people in their twenties.

  47. Sarah Kelly says:

    Your multipotentialite talk was (not to be dramatic) but life changing for me! I finally am cool with accepting that I don’t have one true calling and that even at 40 (eeeek!) I still love to learn and don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. And how funny that almost all of your points you made about yourself are so very similar to myself, except the techy stuff, I am so un-techy it’s not funny (and work in Technology Innovation for the love of goddess!).

    Anyway, you asked for us to share one fun fact about ourselves. hmmmm.

    Although I am a 100% full-on, look-at-me, extrovert, I am drawn to shy, awkward people. I love to see what makes them tick. I find their shyness so appealing and love to be able to draw them out a bit.

    I’m happy to have found your site and plan on stalking…er, enjoying!

  48. Bridget says:

    I thought you might be an INFJ! Me too. :)

  49. Mary says:

    Hi Emilie… A very happy belated birthday to you!

    A friend I hadn’t seen in a very long time and I were talking and she kept saying that everything I was expressing reminded me of your TED talk. I just watched it and have to agree!

    I am a researcher currently working on one project with young adults who experience psychosis and on another project looking at the disparities in the family court (custody cases that do or do not include domestic violence) experiences of women of ethnic and language minorities in the state of Oregon. I’m also a video artist and fiber worker… I hand card, dye and spin many different animal fibers and then design and knit custom knitwear.

    I also identify as queer, am from the East Coast originally (rural VA) and was bullied throughout public school until I started telling people to F*** OFF in high school. I also ran around with different crowds throughout my life–still do at the tender age of 50. And I have tested ENTJ, INTJ and ENFJ on the Meyers-Briggs over the past 20 years.

    It’s great to find a forum for multipotentialites! My partner of ten years is also part of the tribe. We both are finding it very compelling and reassuring because it is pretty much the glue that keeps us together.

    One thing people may not know about me is that I was born with no tear ducts in my left eye, which makes it quite watery. I also have extra pigmentation in that eye, which makes it completely black with bit of dark “birthmark” in the white of my eye. My eyes read super dark brown… but sometimes people comment on the different colors or think my birthmark is cool. I used to be self-conscious about it when I was a kid, but now it’s nice when people notice.

  50. Karina says:

    Belated Happy Birthday,Emily :) I really like your blog and it’s great to learn much more about you! Well, and you have a schnauzer – a great indication of a great person, I say (although I had a giant one) :D
    Hope one day I’ll have guts to step into the tribe properly…

  51. Wow – you have laid my identity wide open. You should be someone that all school kids have to listen to – your message is great and full of wonderful energy – and – so simple, too! Thanks very much!

  52. Hey Emilie,I wanna thank u for all you’ve done to bring us together as a community(or a tribe,maybe?).you’ve changed the way many people think about multipotentials with your inspirational talks and ideas.
    Now,i would like to share some Facts about me,
    Im iranian,21 years old,a shia muslim,an INTJ,a civil engineering student,environmentalist,a martial artist(im a judo practitioner and i used to do karate before),a guitar player,can speak farsi and english and know a little arabic and turkish,a blogger,(maybe!) a novelist(i havn’t finished it yet)…and to cut the long story short,im a multipotential :)
    I’ve been living alone since i was 18
    I feel anxiety when i sit on car front sit and motorcycle seat (it’s weird,isn’t it?…the reason is I Experienced a car accident and motorcycle accident when i was a child)
    I fear of spiders a lot!(aah,seriously,what’s wrong with those strange creepy ugly things? )…
    Oh,by the way,i guess it’s too late to say happy birthday but,Happy Birth Day!enjoy your 33 :)

  53. Carol says:

    Hello fellow INFJ! Thank you thank you thank you for sharing and for Puttylike! I am encouraged and touched by your positive message. I’m glad I found Puttylike!

  54. George says:

    May you have many, many more awesome birthdays. Thank you very much for this website and the work you have invested in it.
    I never had one single ‘what I want to be when I grow up’ since there were at least 30 things I was interested in, with many having several more sub-topics. I studied soil science in college for 6 months, was a Navy Musician for 5 years, Programmer/Analyst 20 years, RN 18, House-husband raising grands 10, various other including at a Home Depot now (hate it). Over 35 jobs in my lifetime, never satisfied in most of them. Have been feeling like a misfit and a failure. I gave up playing folk music on fiddle last year after 32 years of it. Haven’t composed music in a long time. All this plus high levels of anxiety and depression and rating up on the Aspergers scale to boot. Mediator Personality (INFP, -A/-T). Sometimes I think I would like to write a history of an imaginary world including politics, culture, maps, art, music, inventions …. then I get bored with it before I even get started.

  55. Craig says:

    I’m super late to this post and only just discoved Puttylike today, i saw your ted talk video on Face book about a monty ago and have not stopped thinking about it, not that i had time i decided to research what the multipotentialite is. super super happy belated birthday. Thank you so much for sharing your story and creating this website.

    Joined the navy at the age of 32, i’m 37 now. Have issues with being told what to do and problems with authority, everyone in my family was shocked when i joined. I am very ready to move on and go back to my creative pursites of music art and exploration. Grew up on the east coast, Connecitcut to be exact. I lived on the west coast for 3 years from 2013-2016 thinking all i wanted to do was move back east, now that i’m back i realized i’m no longer an east coaster. One good discovery that has come out of my time in service was that i realized that i love medicine and helping people and currently working towards pursuing that field, yet knowing myself, i’m not holding my breath and have several back up plans. oh yes i also play ice hockey, i’m a goalie.

  56. Emily says:

    This post is a moldy oldie, but after watching your TED talk, I’m feeling drawn to your section of the universe:
    – my name is Emily, thanks to my decidedly American parents
    – my daughter’s name is Juliet
    – I turned 33 in April (although you’re 34 now)
    – I’ve always had a strong feeling of otherness
    – I also hate being told what to do
    – I’m an INFJ (or INTJ, when my dark, unfeeling heart kicks in)

    Thank you for creating this space and sharing your story and your wisdom. I can’t wait to learn more.

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