Any other multipotentialites wake up some days to a life that looks nothing like you expected? It makes sense. We’re often rerouted by passion, chance, or circumstance. We’re adaptable and flexible. Weirdness is our playground. We’re strong enough to surprise ourselves.Emilie Wapnick, founder, Puttylike
This year, I turned 47 and joined my first band. We’re a trio of visual artists, in different parts of the world. We meet online and we’re slowly piecing together our first song. It may, or may not, sound like noise to the trained ear, but we don’t care.
If I get a call during band practice, I have to notify friends and family that I’m working on my music. This prompts questions. Lots of questions, like…
Malika, what exactly are you doing in this band?
I’ve never known you to sing, or play an instrument, so what exactly are you doing in this band?
Mom, since you’re the songwriter for the band… [No, I’m not the songwriter] …Wait, what are you doing in this band?
If people don’t respond this way when you announce your next new thing, then either you’ve aligned yourself with the most supportive community in the world (cue The Puttyverse) or you’re not doing this multipotentialite thing quite right. I’m kidding, of course. There’s no right or wrong way to live out your versatility.
One of the many positive aspects of our multipotentiality is that the people around us are sometimes caught off guard, shocked, amazed, and maybe even inspired by the unexpected ways in which we can change life directions.
Have you ever looked around and smiled at the pleasantly unpredictable ways in which your life as a multipod has unfolded? I say, let’s keep that going.
Life is more exciting with a few bends, twists, and turns. Here are four simple ways to continue allowing your diverse interests to spark awe in those who get to witness your unique journey.
1. Be mindful
Ok, so you’re the multipod who’s currently juggling 100 different ideas. You have every single ball in the air imaginable. You know, in your heart of hearts, that you can’t catch them all. So what do you do? Catch what you can and let the rest fall? That’s an option. But what if I said you could freeze time? It’s part of the magic of meditation.
Taking a mindful pause, sitting still and enjoying the rhythm of our right-now moments, helps the past remain history and the future a trip we can save for later. We freeze time by savoring the present. And—if your peers are accustomed to seeing your busy multipod self go go go—your stillness will spark awe and wonder.
I enjoy the series on mindfulness found at AloMoves. They offer online sessions on breathwork, meditation, sound baths, and desire mapping. There’s a healthy variety of options there for multipotentialites to explore. And if you’re searching for a practice that’s not stuck behind a paywall, dancer and educator Maria Broom has a beautiful video where she explains mudras, the hand gestures used in yoga and contemplation to direct and balance our flow of energy. Maria’s guided meditation feels very gentle and doable, even if you’re a beginner.
2. Embrace Halloween, Mardi Gras, Carnaval, drag, or any excuse to put on a good costume
My friends, let’s call them Ash and Tamara, are gifted party people. The first time I showed up for one of their shindigs, I wasn’t prepared for what was expected of guests. Their attendees looked like they had each hired Hollywood’s finest wardrobe designers and makeup artists to transform their Halloween costumes into award-worthy statements. Not everyone in attendance was an actor, but everyone got deep into character.
I’ve written before about how creating fiction can help you live many multipotentialite lives. Well, literally walking in another human’s shoes can also offer the chance to go all out, and be whoever else you want to be.
Ash and Tamara have been spotted as mumu-wearing socialites and placard-toting suffragettes. For their upcoming Italian Carnival wedding, they’ll host a masquerade ball where we can reimagine the exploits of Casanova in Venezia!
Celebrations that encourage us to be other beings, even only for one night, are nirvana for multi-passionate people. Incarnate into a new you by donning some creative regalia. Keep ‘em guessing. Who will you be next?
3. Side job it
My cousin picked up a side hustle at a home decor retail chain. I didn’t think this was a good idea. At the time, she was married with four children, had elder care responsibilities, was an active member of her church, and held a full-time job. I worried that she would never be able to get a good night’s sleep.
When she launched her own holiday decor business, I understood that her previous side hustle had been her way of laying a foundation. Was this why it wasn’t stressful for her to take on this extra effort? It shocked me, at the time, that someone whose cup was already so full would want to have it running over completely.
My cousin is much more measured than I am. I dive in. She wades in—testing the waters very slowly. Though I was shocked at first, I now know this strategy was quite brilliant.
If you’re a multipod who wants to test out a new career or business idea, why not take on a part-time role in that field? Keep your day job and have someone pay you to learn on the job so you can discover if this new thing is really for you. Other people may question why you’ve taken on an extra gig or two, but you can dazzle them all later with your extra pocket cash and your well-researched fresh endeavor.
4. Live authentically
There’s no better way to surprise, shock, and amaze folks than simply living authentically as your best multipotentialite self. It’s very tempting to try to conform to whatever cookie cutter experience your particular culture has manufactured for you. It may feel safer and less scary. Heck, it may even be safer and less scary, but then the world loses out on the razzle dazzle that only you bring to the planet.
If you’d like more guidance on how to love up on all the different, yet still genuine versions of yourself, have a look in the archives where Emilie wrote about The Science of Being an Authentic Multipotentialite.
Sometimes we feel we have to sacrifice some parts of ourselves in order to pursue others. This may be because certain characteristics or work roles seem paradoxical or even antithetical to others. But, if we step back and think about why we are drawn to each of these jobs, we are likely to find that the roles we are drawn to are actually perfectly shaped puzzle pieces that define our true multi-faceted natureEmilie Wapnick
The teenager in my house asked my fellow band members if this music thing we’re doing is going to last. I loved the answer one bandmate offered. “Well, we’ll see,” she said. “Right now we’re just experimenting and having a ton of fun. Adults are allowed to have fun too!” That’s sound advice for grownups, and multipods of all ages. Shock, astonish, and amaze with all your multipotentialite might, but remember to have a good time while you’re out there stuntin’ on the world!
Do you find people are surprised by the way you move through the world as a multipotentialite? What’s your favorite way to shock friends and family with your many passions and endeavors?