Do you have a difficult time describing yourself to other people? You tend to word vomit whenever someone asks what you do?
I struggle with this. Like a lot. I describe myself with too many words. Designer, artist, software developer, maker, creative, etc.
I worry that if I pick just one, I will be trapped. Limited. Stuck.
People like us are called multipotentialites, aka people with many interests and creative pursuits.
Over the past 5 years I have embraced my multipotentialite self. I love my passion for learning, my curiosity, and my ability to exist in the in-betweens.
But my desire to not be put into a box… has inadvertently put me into another box. A mixed-bag box of persons-with-unknown-skills-and-passions.
You see, by refusing to put a label on myself or what I like to do, nobody knows how I can help them. But I want to help people, and I have the skills to do it!
I’m a software and web developer with a background in design. That’s a combo that people will pay money for! And I generally like working on projects where I get to design and code!
But I hide away these skills. I rarely talk about them on social media. Heck, I hardly even talk about them with friends.
And that’s when I realized that by refusing to choose, I’ve actually been hiding my creativity from the world.
Hiding is a problem.
Sometimes we hide by telling ourselves that our art and creativity is just for us, not for the world to see.
Sometimes we hide by telling ourselves that our art is simply misunderstood, and that’s why nobody is buying it.
I have been hiding behind a wishy-washy veil of mystery and refusing to advertise my skills and interests.
So here’s my action plan to put a stop to this silly little problem I’ve created for myself:
Re-wrote my website homepage and about page to reflect my true passion for design and web development.
Posted on Instagram that I am offering web development services for intentional business-owners and creatives.
Said “no” to a couple projects that came in that were outside my area of interest.
Said “yes” to a couple projects that sound really exciting!
Started posting progress and process shots over on Twitter.
Signed up for a virtual freelancing meetup this Friday.
Wrote down a list of big-picture goals and dreams I have for myself and my career.
Found a couple exciting fellowship opportunities that would help me grow as a designer and creative. I’m gonna apply, y’all!
It’s ok to be multi-passionate, in fact, I think it’s a really useful personality trait! But for me, it was time to decide. Time to choose. And I’m happy to say that this time, I finally chose myself 🦋
I’m excited to see where the journey takes me!
This week’s reflection question is simple (yet powerful!):
Where are you hiding?
This photo was taken in Febraury in a museum in New Zealand. It feels very far away now.
Explore other places that you might be hiding in this recent Creative Pep Talk podcast episode
My favorite read
Recently subscribed to Haley Nahman’s newsletter, Maybe Baby, which is all about hard-to-describe feelings. Last week she wrote about anti-natalism, or the idea that it is better to not be born at all. I rarely ever save a newsletter to re-read later, but this one hit different.
For instance, how would you label the time a hungover woman threw up on my brother on his subway commute, forcing him to call off his whole morning so he could run to a nearby dry cleaner and then buy a spare shirt in a hurry? I remember him calling me on his walk to the office from Uniqlo, feeling lighter from all his cancelled meetings, both of us laughing about how awful it was, but also kind of how pleasant it was to be reminded that even the most predictable day can veer off course. Or how about the time, just last week, when my wallet fell out of my coat pocket on a walk, and I spent all day retracing my steps in a panic, only to have a local person DM me five hours later that they’d found it. Avi and I walked over to their place to pick it up, gave them some edibles, had a lovely conversation. Are these stories permeated by badness or permeated by goodness? It must be a little bit of both.
Also, I just love reading newsletters written by millennial women. I feel seen, heard, and a little lighter.
Thanks for reading!