In September I traveled to San Francisco to attend Cheryl Dolan‘s Platinum Presence workshop. It was pretty magical. I met some really amazing women, and I learned a lot of techniques that helped me prepare for my seminar. But the whole weekend was pretty revelatory.
One of the exercises she had us do—the one that stuck with me most—was to draw a picture of something we loved to do as a kid. The idea is that whatever you draw is a good indication of what you should be doing as an adult. This was my drawing:
It’s a picture of me, sitting at the kitchen table with my mom and Miss Rabbit, my favourite stuffed animal who is still with me today. We’re making brownies and drinking tea.
We have this great, round, wooden table in the kitchen. Sometimes I would sit there with my mom, and we would make playdough, paint with watercolors, or play dradle. Other times, I would pull up a chair and draw on my own, or I’d host a tea party with Miss Rabbit and my other stuffed animals.
For me, the kitchen table was a place of imagination, creativity, and most notably, concoction.
It’s where I went to bring ideas to life.
Getting back to who you were—before the insecurities and expectations hit
There’s this whole period of your life, between childhood and your mid-twenties (give or take), where you try to deny the dorky, fun things you used to do as a kid, and instead try to fit in, appear “normal,” and do what’s expected of you.
In recent years, I’ve been actively working on myself. Building my confidence, embracing my multipotentiality, becoming aware of what I want in life, and making choices that are in line with my goals.
What I didn’t anticipate was that, as I worked on myself, my life would start to resemble my childhood again. Only in certain ways, mind you: the creative pastimes, adventures, and unbridled curiosity. Kids are the ultimate multipotentialites.
There are a lot of wonderful memories that I could have chosen to draw, but this one felt right. It represents concoction. Something that is central to who I am. Something that I need to be doing on a regular basis to be happy. Be it putting on a seminar, designing a website, writing a novel, or helping my students launch their own businesses, I always need to be inventing something.
Puttylike (and the Puttytribe) is like my big, round, wooden table. It’s my place to experiment with other multipotentialites, connect over shared ideas and bring new projects to life.
Try it yourself
Sit down in a quiet spot and draw something that you loved to do as a kid (doesn’t need to be good).
What does this drawing tell you about who you are and what motivates you? The answer might be very obvious or something more symbolic (like what the picture represents).
Don’t be too literal
In fact, as a multipotentialite who likely enjoys working in many different formats, it’s important to zoom out, and look, not at the particular medium, but at what you were doing with this medium. For example, I don’t love making brownies, per say. “Brownie-maker/Baker” is not what I should be doing with my life. It’s what those brownies represented: concoction and collaboration.
If you’re struggling with this, ask yourself what was it about this activity that you loved?
Next, ask yourself whether you are living a life that allows you to tap into this value on a regular basis?
You can also use this knowledge about yourself to help assess whether or not to pursue a particular path. It’s always good to know what lights you up inside—what drives you. It helps you make better choices.
Now I want to hear from you. What did you love to do when you were a kid?