Jack of all trade?
Have you ever heard the expression, “Jack of all trades, master of nothing”?
What do you think? Is it true? Does it need to be true? Can you be really not good in anything, if you are interested in everything (or a lot of things)?
I have a few friends whom are really experts on whatever professional field they are working and most of them are working in that particular field since they have left school ( like 20-25 years ago). They are really good (so they and me believes) in what they are doing. Which is kinda expectable as, well you know, if you do the same sort of stuff for about 20 years, you ought to be good in that thing. They might or might not have an extra interest as their hobby (always just one at the time) which they love and passionate about.
Personally, I have never actually managed to stay interested and spend 8-10-12-16 hours/ a day with the same thing for years, after years, after years, after years. But I know plenty of people like that, in fact I don`t see any problem with it. It is a good thing. They have found something which they like that much and they did not stuck with a dead end unsatisfying job for the rest of their life, which I think would be a terrible thing. I could say they are lucky, lucky people.
They also fit into the conventional social expectations. You have to be a fireman, a shepherd or maybe a bookkeeper. You can have “A one” hobby to give you a brake from the everyday grind, but you really should “stick with whatever you do”. Have, what I call the “singular mind”.
What happens to people whom are interested in more than just one or two things at the same time? Well, in my experience, they are being looked down on. Actually, I am considered myself to be one of those “interested in everything” people, hence I say that. They are being considered as the people whom cannot focus on, make up their mind about, or stick to anything. And most importantly the people, who does not really know much about certain stuff hence better not to form opinion, as how is that possible to know everything. But is that really true?
Due to social pressure and my upbringing, I have spent my last 20 years to find the THING which I like/ interested so much, that I can “stick with” on a very long term bases. I am not going to list every single thing here, but there is a wonderful expression which says “I was everything, but a hanged man”. I have enjoyed most of those things and in theory, I could imagine to do any of those things for a long time. Except that I cannot. I have completely failed to find ONE (or two) things which I like enough to not to do anything else.
Well, this has caused a lot of anxiety and pressure on me. I was constantly telling myself, I HAVE TO FIND THE ONE THING. That is what you hear from people, that is what you see around you, that is what you read in books, articles, blogs. FIND THE ONE THING, BE AN EXPERT, DO ONE THING!
With the advent of the MAKEr movement, suddenly there is an influx of people whom are doing a lot of things at the same time and they are immensely popular. Jimmy DiResta, just to name one, whom is being considered the “father of the maker movement” and started the backyard/workshop/ shed maker renaissance. They are real people, and by now, they are alternative media celebrities. I have picked up the habbit of watching these maker videos quite early. I was absolutely fascinated to see people, whom are having multiple interests and they make good use of it without being labelled “handyman”, “jack of all trades” or simply just crooks in a derogatory sense. Some of these guys even making videos about how they make a living from being interested in a lot of things. However, I have never quite managed to put my ind around that, mainly for the reasons outlined at the beginning of that post.
Soon I have found myself in the same whirlpool of trying to find the one thing, the one business idea, the one trade, the one profession. Needless to say, just to fail in the process again and again.
However, I have found and tried wonderful things and every time I have found something I was interested in, I have realized, I still could not choose one to stick with.
Than one night when I was assembling a cheap Chinese electronic kit (a laser harp…), while in the meantime I was looking for new chisels for my woodlathe and for starter 3d printer kit on Ebay, finally I have settled on something.
What if, I am interested in all of those things which I have tried in recent years? What if my one thing is to make, create and know stuff about a plethora of things? Certain kind of things of course – I mean, for example I am not into learning practical brain surgery – and although my list of interests is pretty long, they all involve the process of creating something. What if, this is my art, this is my “one” thing I am expert of. Creating. Trying. Discovering. Making. Knowing. Anything (almost).
So this blog is a start of that process. I will look again on those guys on YouTube with an even wider open mind. I think, I can understand now better when they give names such as “I like to make stuff” or “Make something” and presents this as a strength, not a weakness. I can see now better, what Laura is talking about when she says she want to make content about the process of creating.
This blog is my beginning to live off from which I am doing for a long time as a hobby. Doing things, making, building anything. This blog and other online/ real life presence will be about that. Things I create and showing off which I take interest in at any one time.
It is time to accept myself,
It is time to be me.