Keeping the Possessions Minimal, but Not My Interests.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAVJAAAAJDY2ZTI5OTNiLTA1YWMtNGEzMS05ZTljLTUzNmRlZTE0YjE1YgSometimes people think (and I think) I’m contradicting myself because I choose to live a minimalist lifestyle with less clothes, less makeup and overall less possessions. Yet, my interests are not minimalistic at all. I’m currently interested in writing: blogging, creative writing and handwriting/lettering.

But I also like to read and talk about psychology, the environment, sustainability, sewing& embroidery, botany & gardening, cooking & nutrition. Not to forget I work full time as an English instructor and I love teaching. And I’m almost sure I forgot to mention a few some.

My old (though somewhat related) interests were in playing the guitar (which I decided to sell as I wasn’t playing for nearly a decade), knitting and crocheting, animal rights, social anthropology, sociology, and political sciences. Last but not least, I also want to learn (and feel the need to learn) more about positive sciences. I’m regretful that I hated Math and Physics in high school.

Does a person who wants to lead a minimalist life style need to keep their interests to minimum? I definitely don’t think so as the whole idea behind minimalism is to keep what matters and what is valuable. So it pretty much depends on the person.

But then again, I sometimes feel guilty that instead of excelling in one particular skill, I tend to go back and forth between these areas, and knowledge and skills  grow slowly. It feels like I need to have a life purpose yet I don’t. Wouldn’t life be easier for me if I just tried to excel in teaching? I sometimes wonder.

However, recently I came across a term, coined by Emilie Wapnick:

Multipotentiality

“An educational and psychological term referring to a pattern found among intellectually gifted individuals. [Multipotentialites] generally have diverse interests across numerous domains and may be capable of success in many endeavors or professions, they are confronted with unique decisions as a result of these choices.”

She also has a fantastic TED talk:

She simply describes those of us who has many interests shouldn’t blame themselves, or be afraid and discouraged. Even if you lose your curiosity in one subject and be a beginner many, many times in your life, you use all your accumulated skills and knowledge and bring a new perspective to your new areas. So in a way, you are always a beginner, but because of your complicated history, you are never a beginner.

This really makes sense to me because as separate as they may seem, all of my interests feed into each other, and help me lead a more meaningful life every single day. I can relate to most of my students, who are studying at different departments, because one time in my life I delved into their profession in one way or another.

Sometimes I decide to quit one of these areas altogether, as in the case of the guitar, and I feel a bit guilty about that too. But after watching Emilie’s talk, I realized practising classical guitar taught me rhythm and mathematics, as well as  how to appreciate music. It introduced me to great musicians as well. So I’m always grateful for that. I don’t want to go back in time and become a master guitarist, though, I just wasn’t meant to be one. I didn’t have the motivation that my teacher had, for example, practising four to six hours everyday. I was too busy researching some other area I found mind-opening.

Learning that there are a lot of people like me is a relief. Learning that multipotentiality is not a burden but a gift made me more confident in pursuing my endeavours (or starting new ones, does learning really end anyway?).

Do you feel you are a multipotentialite, too? Or is specializing in one area more of your thing?

image source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/you-multipotentialite-judi-umali-rajkumar ( a good reading piece too if you’re into it)

you can also visit: puttylike.com (Emilie’s website)

Published by

Pelin

aspiring minimalist, English teacher, coffee aficionado, and maker of things.

One thought on “Keeping the Possessions Minimal, but Not My Interests.”

  1. you’re not alone! I, for one, certainly feel like it 🙂 I’ve had a broad spectrum of interests that changed over time and it’s become my natural state of being by now. so, no specializing for this girl, sorry!
    however, I think that has nothing to do with minimalism and it’s mostly a character trait that one cannot easily change. it’s better to take it as it is and make the most of all those varying topics that we’re attracted to 😉

    Like

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