Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Trouble With Being Multi-Talented

I can't dance.

I also can't play basketball.  Or baseball.  Or football.  Or soccer.  Or tennis.  Or ping pong.  Ok...let's just rule out anything that involves coordination.

I have lousy organizational skills and math and I are mortal enemies. 

I have no idea how to properly operate an iron--unless it involves melting fuse beads.

The only people I can impress with my drawing skills are under the age of six.

My cooking is hit or miss--usually miss.

I am a notorious plant killer.

I can't do a thing with hair...which is why mine usually just hangs there...threatening to eat small children.

With all the things I am BAD at, I have to admit, due to very little (or no) effort on my part, I'm also really good at a lot of things.  I also have a lot of interests.  I consider myself a decent writer, since, you know, I'm trying to sell a book and stuff.  I can sing--even if the only two vocal styles I have mastered are "the opera diva" and the "bad hippy."  My guitar skills leave MUCH to be desired, but I can fool a lot of non-musically-inclined people into thinking I'm a decent guitar player.  I write pretty good songs, too--at least they're good for someone who stinks at guitar. 

I'm good with kids, too.  For some reason, they seem to like me.  I think it's because they can tell I like them.

I'm a good listener, and I'm compassionate.  I'm an encourager  I know this because it's something people have consistently told me over the years.  Not braggin', just sayin'.  That's just the way God's made me.  I can't take credit for any of it.

In the past six months, I've discovered I like to run, too.  I'm not good at it, per se, and I have had to put effort into it, but I enjoy it.  And I'm starting to think there's a reason that all of the sudden I've gone from a pansy who vowed she'd stick with speed walking, to a pansy who is entertaining the idea of training for a half-marathon.  It's weird how things work out.  God's got a sense of humor, and that's all I'm going to say about that...for now.

I'm also an EXPERT in the fine art of sleeping.  I love me some sleep.  I don't get as much of that as I'd like, but yeah--sleep is definitely on my list of talents/interests.

See, I think life would be a lot easier sometimes if I was only good at one thing.  What's that old saying?  "Do one thing.  Do it well."  I've never been able to pick just one thing to do.  That's my problem.  I remember sitting with my advisor at my first college--the advisor they assigned to all the students who were too wishy-washy to pick a major.  He told me, "Ruth, your problem is that you're good at too many things.  You like to do too many things.  If you only had one interest or if you were only good at one thing, then we could narrow down your choices for a major." 

Long story short, I dropped out of school (partly because I couldn't pick a major and at that point they were forcing me to pick a major) and eventually transferred to another school where I graduated with THREE areas of study.  I majored in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in English and Christian Studies.  Then, for good measure, I tacked on a Psychology minor.

And now, I have a wishy-washy degree that is next to useless for getting me a real job.  But that's okay.  I got an education (which is really what I wanted), and I get by.

The thing is, that advisor was right.  I have too many interests.  I have too many things that I'm good at doing.  And while I'm not needing to pick a major or career path at this stage of my life, I'm wondering if it's good for my writing that I have so many other things that I want to do.

I guess there's a couple of different ways I could look at it.  On the one hand, all these other activities I'm involved with are taking up a lot of the time I could use to write.  If I didn't make time to go out and run, or if I didn't do choir at church, or if I didn't take time to write songs or play the guitar, or if I didn't go voluntarily spend my time with kids that I love, or if I didn't make time for my friends, or if I didn't sleep, or if I didn't do all these other things I do, I would have a little more time to write.  And I could always use more time to write.

On the other hand, maybe all these other things I do might actually make me a better writer.  When I spend time doing a lot of different things, not only do I more greatly value the little time I do set aside for writing, but I also have more life experiences to draw from.  I think that the more I live, the more I experience, the more I have to write about.  Running gives me time to think and clear my head.  Talking to people gives me different perspectives.  Music gives my soul extra inspiration.  Spending time with kids help me see the world through a much younger set of eyes.  Even sleeping gives me the opportunity to dream.  All these things make me a better writer. 

So, I'm not about to drop any of these things the Lord has given me to live and love.  I have reason to believe that everything He's given me to do right now, everything He's given me a talent and/or passion for is something that is worthwhile.  It's annoying sometimes, because it's hard to have time to complete tasks when there's SO much I want to do.  But I just don't think God ever intended me to be the sort of person who does just one thing well. 

Sometimes I try to do too much at once.  I know I still need to work on balance.  But all in all, I'm really enjoying life.  Writing is a major part of that life.  It's probably one of the most major parts of my life.  It's just not the only thing.  So it's not the only thing I'm going to do.

I still pray I do it--and everything else my hands/feet find to do--well. 

1 comment:

  1. A while back my agent asked me what I was working on and I told her I was doing research. She inquired what kind and I explained that I was living my life, seeking adventures, adding experiences - all things that I can draw on to write.