What I Want to Be When I Grow Up . . .

No, I don’t want to be a Tufted Titmouse with a beak full of Husky fur, and I don’t really want to grow up, but this guy looks wise and I ran into some wisdom today that changed my life , , ,

A Titmouse with a beak full of fur is focused – on nest-building.

Not being focused on any single thing is a stick I have used to beat myself up for all of my life.

My purging tasks have brought this to the forefront in a big way as I unearth the strata of my existence on the planet: painter, teacher, gardener, photographer, graphic designer, web designer, polymer clay artist, video maker, glass artist, jeweler, business woman, traveler, writer, journaler, inventor, illustrator, blogger – yada yada yada

Yes, all of these are somewhat united under the “art” umbrella, but EACH of them could be a full time passion, that I could excel at with focus and concentration.

I actually am pretty good at them anyway (not bragging – just making a point about something that will come along in a minute). BUT – I have always longed for the focus to complete works of art that are mind blowing – because they took years of focus to create.

I have known many artists and creators for a very long time. I run into some of them and they are STILL doing the same thing – only doing it so much better because they have concentrated – and not gotten bored and moved on as I have.

We are taught by our culture, in no uncertain terms, that concentrating on a single pursuit is a good thing, and if you can’t do it, you are a flibberty-jibbit, a scatterbrain, and all the other not-good things to be.

If I had given all those answers above when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, it would have entertained when I was five years old, and shocked when I was eighteen. But, I had no idea then that all those things would come to fascinate me at one time or another.

When an interest comes for me – I really dive after it. I learn all I can on the subject, and do it until I understand it enough to use it as a conduit to communicate my ideas.

Then, I don’t necessarily quit doing it, but I will often go do something else with the same fervor.

So, I have called myself a self-sabotager more times than I want to remember.

But, today, I ran into something so wonderful, that I have to share it with you. I know many of you resonate with everything I have just said.

So, here is a TED Talk that just changed my life.

It is 12 minutes long – 1/5 of a therapy hour. I urge you to take the 12 minutes right now, or save it to come back to if you can’t “listen” right now.

This is new information, but something we knew inside all along. We just didn’t know we knew it, and we surely did not know it was ok.




  1. This is great. Before listening, I was going to reply that you’re merely curious about many things, you dive in, then get restless and bored after immersing yourself. I totally relate!

  2. Thank you. I always have wondered why I couldn’t just stick with one thing. I’ve tried many things… and always move on to something new.

  3. Multipotentialite……what a great description. I’ve always considered my self curious. Thanks for posting this talk.

  4. Well, that 12 minutes definitely changed the way I perceive myself! Thank you Jessica for sharing!

  5. Wow! That knocked me over! Thank you, Jessica, for sharing it. I now have another name for my tribe!

  6. Loved the video. Gives me more to think about.

  7. Here’s the thing: the Universe is expanding. Are you? Deep thanks to you for sharing this TED talk. Now, how do I process all the tools and sacred artifacts of a life lived as an unrepentant multipotentialite?? We seem to be in the same expanded pickle!

  8. Wow, what a great presenter with a wonderful message!
    I’m very happy to now be labelled a multipotentialite, rather than apologising for having so many interests and not specialising.

  9. Great video. Now I know that I am a multipotentialite. Just hope I can find my superpowers.

  10. I was told many years ago by an artist friend of mine, who is a sculptor, that I wasn’t an artist, that I couldn’t call myself an artist because I had no focus. I had too many interests to be good at one thing. Although as the video explains, I truly dive into something and totally immerse myself in learning my current interest until I know I am good at it and have garnered some recognition in my field. I even tried to find a name for myself if I couldn’t call myself an artist…I came up with ” I am an art technician”. I thrive on new & multiple art techniques. Yes, I have several techniques/fields of interest that I go back to quite frequently, such as stained & fused glass as well as quilting….but recently I have discovered the art of weaving and yes, I now have 2 looms, not floor looms though! Right now I seem to be focused on digital designing.. I found Skillshare.com & am currently learning Adobe Illustrator so I can design patterns….for fabric, digital scrapbooking…whatever! End goal. passive income. Tomorrow who knows….
    WOW! I am a “potentialite” and I can finally feel comfortable in calling myself an artist!

  11. Wow, this was an enlightening perspective. How often do you find a new way of looking at yourself? I have been “defending” my constant changes in creative pursuits for years, often pretending I was celebrating them. This young woman really gets it–and I am SO happy she shared these insights. If you could see me now, you would see a big grin on my face as I do a Yee-Haw Happy Dance!

  12. Thank you for sharing this great Ted Talk! I used to have people tell me I should just choose one hobby or art form. I love so many things that when I tried this I felt I was cheating myself from the joy I derived from all of the medias I love. One day I met a person who said I had a “Renaissance Soul” and we love many things because we are multi-faceted. She wanted me to know this was “as designed.” This was very freeing for me.

  13. Wow, now I know who I really am. And my father was too. I always wondered why his interests went from one thing to another, and he was criticized for that too. Thanks for posting the link to this talk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *