Monday, January 27, 2014

I Want to do Everything

Does anyone else hate the question of "What do you want to do?"

I get asked this quite often lately. When I tell my story about leaving youth ministry and feeling as though God is leading me in a new direction, generally, people are supportive and understanding. However, almost every time this conversation happens this question pops up:

So what do you want to do now?

It is then that I am at a loss for words. Which, if you know me, if pretty rare. Once you get me going on a topic I have a hard time keeping quiet.

That's what a blog is for you know. ;-)

I have all of these ideas floating around in my head, but when I'm asked about what I want to do, I don't have an answer for people.

A few weeks ago as I was tumbling down Tumblr, as one does, I came across this photo and quote from Emma Watson. (Who is completely fabulous and amazing.)

Photo and quote came from here, although I did the photo edits.
"I could never really imagine myself doing one thing, and I'm pretty sure I'll end up doing four or five different things. I want to be a renissance woman. I want to paint, and I want to write, and I want to act, and I want to just do anything." - Emma Watson

When I read this, something clicked in my head. 

That was me. 

Well... not really me. Obviously I'm not Emma Watson, even though that would be amazing.

But I could relate to her sentiment. 

My problem isn't that I don't know what I want to do. My problem is that there is so much that I want to do. I want to be a renissance woman. 

Months and months ago when I was first thinking about resigning from my youth ministry position, I had several conversations with my good friend Laura about the situation and where I would go next. She always said "You can do anything." Which is completely true, and that frustrated me to no end. There were too many possiblities. Too many options. How could I possibly pick just one?

I feel like there is this pressure for people to pick one thing, and that is who they are and what they do. It reminds me of the Divergent trilogy. In this trilogy, there are different factions and people's personalities usually only fit into one. They pick which faction they want to be in, and that's who they are. Picking a faction means picking how you define yourself and who you are going to be and how you are going to live your life. Brave, truthful, peaceful, intelligent, or selfless. One of the main characters, Four, says this:

"I want to be brave, and selfless, and smart, and kind, and honest."

He doesn't want to be just one thing - he wants to be all of them.

That's kind of how I am. While I realize picking a career or job is different than picking a character trait, I feel like the idea is somewhat similar. All of the time I see people writing mission statements for thier lives, or choosing a single word to describe their entire year, or have an idea to sum up their lives. In college we have to pick a majro and possibly a minor, and you only add a second one if you're crazy.

When I was in high school, I was in this one art class and we were creating a mural made up of different tiles. Each student had a tile and it was supposed to represent us. Everyone else's tiles tended to be one image they used to sum them up. Mine was a bunch of crazy doodles that represented all of the different parts of me. Also - my artistic abilities only lend themselves to mediocre doodles. But that's beside the point.

I've never wanted one single thing to define me. Where does it say that there is only one job or career a person can have? Where does it say that we have to pick one way to be or live our lives? The only thing I can think of is that I'm a child of God. Beyond that - I can be and do more than just one thing.

I can see myself doing so much. I want to publish a novel and write my blog and do freelance work. But I can also picture myself running a theatre. I can see myself working on web video and telling stories that way. Or opening up a coffee shop/cafe with some of my friends. I can see myself as a girl at the front desk somewhere and helping direct people where to go. I can see myself directing plays and musicals. I could work for Disney at one of the parks or on a cruise line, or if I am lucky enough helping to write a story or doing something creative. (Because remember, I am essentially a Disney character.) I could write book reviews. Or maybe take a year off to travel the world. I could do social media consulting. I can picture myself working at a library or a bookstore. I could start a non-profit. I could go to third world countries and help people. I want to be a renissance woman.

But this isn't the "right" answer. If I went into a job interview and told my employer that, more than likely I wouldn't get hired. The title "renissance woman" won't pay off my student loans, my car, or my credit cards. Which, while it doesn't look like it from the outside, this really does stress me out. I'm probably going to end up with grey hair and I'll cry for a week.

Yet, I feel like this is my answer for when friends and family ask me this question.

What do I want to do?



  1. I love this post!!! SO MUCH! It's perfect. I hate those types of questions too because I feel like with my answers, I box myself into a category. I want everything!!!

  2. who says you have to fit into a box? life isn't like that and if you do, you'll be sorry. do what you want to do whenever you want to do it! that's what makes life so rich

    -kathy | Vodka and Soda

  3. This reminds me of myself. I want to do all the things. I recently blogged about this myself; how limited I feel because of the choices I made especially regarding my career. While I like it, there are a dozen other things I'd love to do.
    I hope you get to find you everything/renaissance career :)

    1. Thanks! And I think you still can too! Even with the career you have, you can still make time for other things. You might not be able to do everything all at the same time, but you can still work on other stuff ont he side. Or save your vacation time to do something awesome!

  4. Great post! Welcome back Em!! I can definitly relate to this post. There are so many different aspects of my life that remain untapped...and I'd love to try different things. I can see u doing all of the things you mentioned in ur post. And that's cuz u r awesome!

    1. Thanks Julie! And you should go out there and do different things too!

  5. A while ago, I heard someone say, "Side projects are the new resume," and that is so true for me. People might look at my full-time job as an administrative assistant and think I'm wasting my master's degree / intelligence / whatever. But working so close to where I live has freed up major amounts of time, so I can still take on clients for editing, data analysis, and job search coaching, in addition to working on compiling a book. The book 168 Hours was extremely, extremely valuable for helping me conceptualize my time and pinpoint what I wanted out of my primary job.

    Good luck!

  6. You know, when people ask me... I feel a little offended. I know, that's horrible, they have NO idea what our situation is. But... I can't work. So when they ask, and I say I am disabled, it's awkward. There IS so much I want to do. But I can't actually go DO IT. Confusing, I know. For me, being a professional artist is the absolute most important career I would ever want. Owning a little new age store / cafe would also be fabulous. Of course, working with animals, or archaeology, or astronomy, would be fab too. Oh, and mythology!

  7. I completely agree! We get pigeon holed into a few small categories. I do so many things all across the board! Unfortunately we have to pick one or two to bring in income and the rest we have to try and fit in for fun and life experience. Makes me sad.

    1. I know! Why can't we do all of the things all at once?

  8. I know how you mean! I feel the same way. And not only do I want to do EVERYTHING, I want to be famous for being THE BEST at it! Good luck to you!


Share with me your thoughts! They make me smile.