It took me years to discover that it’s possible to enjoy telling people what I do with my time.
For many years, I was borderline apologetic whenever somebody asked what I did. I worried that my job or interests might seem boring or confusing. It took time to realize that it was up to me to be excited about my own life.
Along with all the usual problems, multipotentialites often feel boxed in by any particular label, which can make explaining how we spend our time a source of dread as well as excitement.
When we talk about this subject on Puttylike, we usually discuss how challenging it is to explain our choices to other people. Today we’d like to do something a little different and share a few stories of things actually going well! Think of this post as a little shot of inspiration.
A few months ago, we asked you guys to share your positive memories of explaining your life choices to friends, relatives and strangers.
Here are some of our favourite responses:
I love this story from Tania, who explains that, for her, changing jobs is as easy as changing clothes:
“My daughter asked me why I don’t have a “normal” job. I asked her how much she liked playing dress up, and since I know that’s her favorite thing to do, I told her that I get to play dress up all day and even get paid for it. Instead of having a firefighter costume and a fairy dress, I have a video producer outfit, a coach dress, and a writer’s hat. And sometimes I even get to wear the fancy pant suit to play office. As she pondered my answer and, I guess, picture me “changing” during the day, she replied she was very happy I could do that because she believes a life without dress up must be a very boring life. I believe I just spotted a multipotentialite in the making!”
Slightly more mysteriously, Natahl explains their geologist-to-midwife transition like so:
“Being a geologist is like being Sherlock Holmes for rocks, and being a midwife is being Sherlock Holmes for babies.”
(I wonder if “Sherlock Holmes for ____” actually sounds cool no matter what you put in the blank – this might be a technique to borrow…)
Many people shared that they discovered the whole concept of multipotentiality while trying to tell a friend about their life so far. Take Sarah’s story:
“I told a friend about the tons of projects I was juggling, and he responded: ‘YOU’RE A MULTIPOD. ANOTHER MULTIPOD. WE CAN BE MULTIPODS TOGETHER!’ And then he showed me Puttylike and my life made sense.”
There were many stories of support and encouragement from family:
Nevin remembers his mother saying:
“As much as I want you to have a stable life and pursue a career with the degrees you earned, in the end I want you to be happy and do what brings you joy.”
And Nevin added:
“Now that she’s passed on, I cherish those words and use them as my barometer on my multipotentialite adventures! Do what makes you happy and brings you joy!”
Elodie’s grandmother’s sister also was also supportive:
“That’s a relief. You were always so creative as a child. As an adult, you tried way too hard to match people’s expectations.”
While Annamária’s family were worrying over Christmas dinner that she will never be rich, she took another perspective by smiling and responding:
“I am really rich without money…”
And finally, a reminder that there’s always a place where you’ll be understood:
“The time I am really feeling good about sharing my story of multipotentiality is now, right this moment sharing with you, because my friends never actually get me.”
Sometimes it matters how people react to us, and sometimes it doesn’t, but hopefully these stories are a reminder that – whatever we do with our time – we’re not alone.
How do you explain your life to others? Does it worry you, or excite you? What’s the best reaction you’ve ever received?