The Multi-Interested: Fearless Mediocrity

I’m not “really good” at any one thing. I’m “kind of good” at a lot of things.

Every time I watch the Olympics, see a professional ballet, or even catch a college basketball game I think to myself;

I wonder what it’s like to be that good at something.

I wonder how to feels to dedicate your life wholly and completely to a hobby or interest. To spend 4 hours a day in the gym or sit at a piano until it feels like your fingers might fall off. To become the expert of a craft and blow minds with your abilities.

I’ll never know that feeling because I have the Curse of the Multi-Interested.

Some of the things I’ve done with over the years are Jazz, Tap, Ballet, horseback riding, vocal performance, figure skating, theater, speech, soccer, cross country, track & field, piano, guitar, writing, and too many more to mention.

When I got to college I was going to be a social worker, then psychology, then digital broadcaster, then theater, and finally settling on Advertising with a minor in writing. (From social justice to facilitating consumerism….how?)

With everything I’ve started, I was certain it was going to be “my thing”. The basketball to my Michael Jordan. The painting to my Claude Monet.

Yet, every time I would get immersed into one of them, I would be faced with the same problem; there are so many things to try. How am I supposed to pick up twelve new hobbies if I’m spending all my free time getting really good at just one of them?

In the past few years, I saw this as a weakness. I thought about some of the things I was into when I was younger and how I could have been quite good at them had a stuck with it. I looked around at my peers and saw them turning their passions into careers or gaining notoriety for their strengths.

And then there was me, with a laundry list of “yea, I can sort of do that”.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized the power that comes with the Multi-Interested Curse. No, I’ve never won a championship of any kind and I don’t have any fancy title to go with my name, but I’ve earned other things.

I am not afraid to try something new. The very worst thing that can happen is that I’ll be terrible at it (*cough*soccer*cough*) and if I am, there are a million other things out there for me to experience. Or, it might be the coolest thing I’ve ever done, like running a marathon or completing the Tough Mudder.

I’m not afraid of failure. While some of my hobbies I’ve stuck with for life, there have been many that didn’t end up being the right fit for me (*cough*soccer*cough*). It’s not so bad to suck at something when you know there are a plethora of other things you’re pretty good at that you can do instead.

Maybe you’ll be turned down for that role at the local theater, but since rehearsals won’t take up your evenings, you can join that community choir you were considering or take a business management class at the college so you can use your delicious cupcakes to open a bakery someday (or maybe you’ll open a community center or a cute bookstore, but one of those three, you’re certain….maybe).

I’ve got a lot of things to do. I have planes to jump out of, mountains to climb, books to write, and countries to backpack across. I have no time to worry and no time to be #1.

Let the multi-interested winds take me where they may, I’m not afraid.

2 thoughts on “The Multi-Interested: Fearless Mediocrity

  1. I love you Kier, even with all your distracted and ever-changing interests. You’d be one boring person if you just did the same thing all the time. That’s what a toy monkey is for. Here is your new hashtag: #proudtonotbeatoymonkey


  2. Im kinda like you and people used to try and insult me by calling me a dilettante, Only I didn’t feel insulted. I think its ok to be an adult with a passing interest and knowledge about a lot of differ4ent things. As long a you can pay the bills, who’s counting what it takes to make you happy . Unless the real meat of the jibe is that “adults” chose do things that make other people happy. So you have to work really hard to get good enough at your hobby(s) that others will want to enjoy the output of your efforts’ Cause if that’s it, then I am a failure as an adult hobbyist. Ii am good enough at teaching others lessons i have learned about buildings to hold an audience for an hour or two..but that is my occupation not a separate interest pursued to make me a well rounded person. What do you think?


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