Thanks to a recent(ish) TED Talk, I am now playing with the identity of “Multipotentialite” – a person who doesn’t really have one true calling, but is lucky enough to find success in a variety of realms. I say lucky, but also recognize the challenges of this identity. It’s hard to focus. While it’s easy to find something that really grabs me, it’s harder to find something that sticks for long. Simply put, a Multipotentialite is in a potential state of mid-life crisis. The idea of finding that one thing that will keep me happy, settled, and satisfied for a long period of time is probably a concept I should just let go.
With that in mind, I pondered what matters to me today. Many of these things have been the focus of my life for a long time, while others are pretty new to the scene:
Issues I am passionate about (and may or may not have done anything to address them):
- Incorporating healthy relationships into sexuality education. This goes beyond the new emphasis on teaching “enthusiastic consent” – which I am pleased to see – but to me needs to come from a more strength-based, inclusive foundation that addresses not just sexual and romantic relationships, but relationships of all kinds and across all domains (including digital ones).
- Developing supports for those who have survived their own suicide at There is so little out there on this topic and I want to do something about that.
- Supporting LGBTQ youth as they navigate their identity development, schooling, relationships, and family life. The idea that young people are at risk for losing their home, don’t feel safe going to school, and suffer abuse just because of who they are attracted to/how they identify on the gender spectrum sickens me.
- The complex issue of welcoming and supporting Syrian refugees. I know nothing about this issue and I have no idea where to begin. But the news coverage and stories of struggle move me.
Note: I’m surprised I am somewhat stalling out here. I have strong opinions on MANY other issues, but nothing else right now – at this moment as I write this blog – really calls to me as something I want to dedicate a significant portion of my life to.
Things that I love/interest me (I dabble in these with varying degrees of success, enthusiasm, and expertise):
- International travel
- Road trips
- Karaoke (especially the idea of singing in all 50 states and anywhere else I go)
- The NHL
- Sports talk radio
- Mystery novels and crime shows
- Interacting with people, especially my friends
- Mindfulness and Buddhism
- Cooking/food in general
- Bikram yoga
Things I used to do with great zeal, but have dropped off my radar:
- Being involved in community theater and improvisational acting
- Playing hockey
- Reading tarot cards and horoscopes for others
Professional rabbit holes I have gone down that can still suck me in:
- Policies related to how youth can successfully transition from adolescence to adulthood, especially those with “system experience.”
- Respite for those who are taking care of chronically ill loved ones, as well as those in professions that are dedicated to supporting and healing others (this includes teachers).
- Sexuality education inside and outside of school.
- Strength-based approaches to incorporating youth voice into issues that matter to them.
- Social networking to create communities
- Access to education for women in developing countries
- Creating culturally appropriate approaches to health care, especially mental health care
- Policy issues related to women’s reproductive health, especially those related to fertility treatments.
- The juvenile justice system.
- Social justice as it applies to youth and young adults.
Work-related activities I enjoy doing:
- Creating and reviewing surveys/interview protocols
- Teaching/providing technical assistance
- Synthesizing data
- Seeing how different disciplines and theoretical approaches can fit together: Looking at systems and the big picture.
I am sure I could expand on all these lists, but will leave them for now. I both look forward to what my next passions will be, but also hope to be mindful of the fact that no longer will I assume something will be the “one thing” that changes my life and moves me forward. I hope to find comfort in the fact that there will always be a “right now” but not a forever.
Today I am grateful for discovering Emilie Wapnick and her website puttylike.com. To me, her approach to life is one I hope to emulate while following my own path.
“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.”
― Pema Chödrön