Puttylike is now five years old, and I’m a little stunned. The time flew by, yet so much has changed.
I was 26 when I launched this site, and I’m 31 now. The late twenties tend to be significant for most people, and they certainly have been for me. They also happen to coincide with Puttylike’s life thus far. This makes my inquiry into the last five years of Puttylike a little tricky and hard to pull apart.
I sat down to try to draw a timeline, or give each year a theme. Honestly, I’m not sure I can make things that neat for you. But, as much as we find comfort in structure and clear directives, I’m realizing more and more how profound and helpful the nuances and complexities can be. Here is a rough overview of the last five years, personal and life transitions included.
Year One (Sept 2010-2011)
Year one was about explosive excitement, inspiration, new directions, and community. I moved from Denmark to Portland. I felt like I was pursuing this big, important, and different lifestyle. I was making friends who believed in my work, and I in theirs. We cheered each other on. I made bucket lists, did gratitude jogs, read The Alchemist, and thought a lot about how I could make a difference in the world.
I also hustled like a madwoman, working many many hours a day, in a state of near-mania. I launched Renaissance Business at the end of that first year, and remain very proud of that work.
Portland blew my mind. Never before had I felt so at home in a city. Year one gave me a sense of belonging, both in the blogosphere and in real life, that I had never before experienced.
Year Two (Sept 2011-2012)
Year two was about stabilization. Things were starting to work in my business. Puttylike was more-or-less fully supporting me. I loved Portland, but had been somewhat unstable, living in big houses with 3+ roommates.
Year Three (Sept 2012-2013)
In year three, I was pretty much cruising. Puttylike was going great, and I experimented by launching a video course and bundle sale. I traveled to L.A. to write and record an album with my friend Rena, a longtime dream of mine.
I also made a big decision: to leave Portland and move with Valerie to Chicago in the Fall. She had been accepted to a graduate program there.
Year Four (Sept 2013-2014)
The first half of Year Four was hard. Chicago was not the city for me. We moved a few times, finally settling on an apartment and neighborhood we liked. We eventually learned how to co-habitate, and give each other the space we needed. But it was a stressful time.
The winter was cold, but I escaped the dreariness by taking a chemistry class (why not?), and flying to places like California and Colorado to speak about multipotentiality.
Being in Chicago made me crave nature, human connection, and the physical world. While traveling that summer, we decided that I would move back to Portland while Valerie finished up grad school in Chicago. Making this decision was a great weight off both our shoulders.
Year Five (Sept 2014-2015)
Being back in Portland was incredible. I felt renewed. I also had this idea for a quest I wanted to pursue — traveling around the Northwest in a trailer — and I got right to it. I bought a Boler for my adventure. I lived in my little house for months, in a friend’s backyard and finally hit the road with Grendel, staying at campgrounds.
It was a ton of fun, but there were also major annoyances. Various parts of the trailer broke, there were leaks, hitching/unhitching was a pain in the butt. I started thinking the slightly-more-luxurious-than-camping lifestyle and cuteness of my abode were not worth the hassle.
Meanwhile, Valerie sustained a back injury, and was having an increasingly hard time in Chicago. I made the call to fly back to Chicago for a few months to help out. Best decision. It gave me an opportunity to be generous and give more of myself than I ever had.
In April, I fulfilled a longtime dream of giving a TED talk, and it has meant more engagement and wonderful discussions/multipotentialites here at Puttylike. The TED talk was a milestone for me. I worked my ass off, and am supremely proud of it.
Valerie graduated in May and we moved back to Portland. We’ve been settling into our life here, and things feel more stable, happy, and right than ever before. We just got engaged last week (SURPRISE!!!)
How have I changed as a multipotentialite?
I’ve become more confident as a multipod these last five years. I’ve experimented and stretched myself in important ways. But it’s my lifestyle that has changed most dramatically. I’ve gotten closer and closer to the life I want: one filled with great people, independence, creativity, and variety.
The specifics of my “ideal life” have shifted, but I’ve become more comfortable with the shifting itself. Complexity, nuance, and adaptability. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
How have you changed in the last five years (or since learning of your multipotentiality)? Post in the comments and/or tweet about it using the hashtag #multipotentialite.
Emilie Wapnick is the Founder and Creative Director at Puttylike, where she helps multipotentialites integrate ALL of their interests into their lives. 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 an occasional rock star, a paleo-friendly eater and a wannabe
scientist carpenter. Learn more about Emilie here.