I am a Multipotentialite, MP for short (Military Police, Member of Parliament, Multipotentialite, all basically the same thing…).
I was going to start off this post talking again about how uncomfortable I am adding all these labels to myself, as if trying to apologize for my uniqueness. As if trying to explain away the part where I’m justifying all my odd behavior.
That’s a terrible thing to do, especially when part of the purpose of the discovery is becoming MORE comfortable with me.
Here we go then.
What is an MP? This is the simple definition given by MP hero, Emilie Wapnick, on her site Puttylike.
A multipotentialite is someone with many interests and creative pursuits.
(If you want to read more or think you are one, head to her website. Seriously, I could spend hours there.)
An MP has many interests, and those can be far ranging and disparate. They don’t have to match or verge on any scale.
There are different kinds of MPs. Some pursue one passion for a while, then completely switch to another, while some pursue many at the same time and some switch between these two paths.
I learned I was an MP when I heard Emilie’s TED talk. It was serendipitous. I wasn’t looking for it. In fact, I think I was so bored I resorted to TED to pass the time. But when I heard her describe Multipotentiality, my brain sat up and took notice. Yes! I cried. Yes YES! This is me!
All my life I have felt like there was something fundamentally wrong with me. Something ingrained in me that was just…off. I could never settle on any one passion or hobby. When I was young, I was very artistic and hands-on. I did knitting, jewelry-making, needlepoint, quilting, doll-making, woodworking, and any other kind of handiwork. I basically lived at Hobby Lobby.
As I got older, my interests expanded to be more academic as well as artistic; I got into 2D mediums like drawing, started reading about science, linguistics, history, politics, and scoured every shelf of the nonfiction section in my library.
From there, it has continued to expand. Self-help, comic art, philosophy, feminism, spirituality, herbalism, holistic living, Asian culture, team building, the psychology of creativity, dream meanings, and so on.
Right now, I would put my biggest passions as writing, blogging, self-discovery, and multipotentiality itself (exploring what it means).
That’s a huge list. You can see how frustrating it was to bounce back and forth and think each new “thing” was “the thing” that I was meant to do with the rest of my life. I kept thinking I needed to settle down and find my “soulmate” of a career. Never mind that I never believed in romantic soulmates either…
When I never could settle, when my passion inevitably wavered after a month or six months, I felt like an utter failure. A short period of bluesy depression would fall upon me. Until the next passion hit, and I was off again, convinced that I had finally found it. And thus, the cycle would repeat. I thought I was a flake. I thought I lacked grit. I thought it was just laziness.
Now I know it’s not. Now I know that in reality, I’ve been embracing and living out my life as a multipotentialite. A scanner. A renaissance woman. I learn what I need to, and I move on. I enjoy this life. It’s not like having all these interests has ever stressed me out. On the contrary, I love that I can talk about raising horses, WWII politics, quantum theory, language families, and whatever else. It makes life a heck of a lot more interesting.
I could never thank Emilie enough for opening my eyes. It has given me new direction in life as I try to understand how to leverage my strengths and varying passions for a new kind of career. It has also given me comfort. I don’t hate myself every time my interest in something wanes. I don’t feel guilty for letting something go, even when I’ve spent tons of money on it. I don’t feel like I have to justify myself when people say, “Weren’t you going to do/be this?” Most of all, I don’t feel pressured to settle on one thing, an idea that made me feel suffocated.
I want to share more about this. I want to talk about it until WP has to impose a new word limit on posts. I want to hear about your stories. I want to spread them all, and let the hidden MPs know it’s okay to be you. I want the world to accept us, accept our way of life and thinking, and make it a little easier to live our way.
My next post about Multipotentialits will be about how I’m seeking an Umbrella – a general theme or idea that links my passions together. And when I have it, I can think about a business that will use them.
It’s an exciting life, and I’m grateful to be excited again!
More in the Discovery Series:
P.S. For more information, head over to Puttylike. Or read Emilie’s book, How to Be Everything. There are other books and resources as well, but I’ll try to make a neater list and share that seperately.
P.P.S. I was on vacation in Middle Earth recently. I’m still going through pictures, of course, but you can expect some amazingly awkward stories coming soon!