Friday, June 8, 2012

Many fingers in many pies

* I actually wrote this article over a week ago and then decided not to post it.  However I have just finished reading Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher  (I was so captivated by it that I devoured it in two days)  and it has changed my outlook on life so much that I thought I might just share this after all.  Who knows, maybe there are other people in the same boat who might benefit from it!  I promise we'll get back to something more vintage related again after this ;).
One of my most dreaded, yet frequently asked questions is 'so what do you do?'
I shrink away from it in anyway I can and am always quick to change the subject because I am quite frankly never sure how to answer it.  I don't do one thing and have never really been comfortable with defining myself by my jobs.  I always have a million and one ideas, hundreds of things I want to learn, taste and test, and am perfectly terrified that I might be missing out on something!  It has long driven both myself, and my friends and family just a little bit mad.  And then recently I came across this article that gave me an AH HA moment!  It introduced me to the term Scanner, which basically refers to a particular type of person who can't help but have their fingers in many pies.  We like to learn a little about a lot, we have these fantastic ideas, research the hell out of them, put them into action and then get bored and move on.  We have wild resumes, want to call every country home and can never quite be pinned down.  Phew it's an exhausting lifestyle to lead!

This made me realise (and I know my partner has been saying it to me for years) that you don't have to settle for one thing.  You can have many titles without having to box yourself into one profession.  As long as you can find enough hours in the day then hey, why not fill your plate with a little of everything from the buffet table!  The most difficult part, in my opinion, is to not to cave to the social pressures of how you 'should' be living your life.  If you're perfectly miserable working the same 9 - 5 job, sitting in the same cubicle, having the same mundane water cooler conversations and have the option to trade it in for something you love then you should give yourself permission to do that!  

Having said this, diving head first into a project or new job and then quitting it as soon as the going gets tough or you get bored is also not productive.  I'm learning this the slow and hard way!  At some point you have to see something through to the end.  This is no easy thing for somebody who is used to letting go of the ropes whenever the tug gets to hard. I am currently really enjoying styling and am trying to allow myself to embrace the things I am actually damn good at.  But have to constantly remind myself of this and not let a bad day or a little bit of negativity throw me off course like it always has done in the past.

So what DO I actually do you're wondering?  Well currently my working life consists of;
- Stylist assisting
- Vintage curating (and selling)
- Writing
- Hospitality work (which is helpful when the other jobs are going through slow phases)
- Oh and of course I have several other little new things in mind

What jobs have I had in the past?  Hmm how much time do you have;
- Retirement Village (my first job where the official title was 'tea girl').
- Record store assistant
- Promo girl
-  Music festival assistant
- Translator
- Fashion columnist 
- Photographer assistant
- Visual merchandiser
- Full time student for a total of 5 years (I have a certificate in Communication Studies, a BA with a double major in English Literature and German Language, and am a qualified German to English translator).
- 10+ year of working in bars/ cafes/ restaurants (which I should tell you was a hell of a lot of fun but not a lifestyle that can be kept up forever).

What jobs have I dreamed of doing?;
- Travel writer
- Cafe and small cinema owner
- Vintage store owner
- Interior decorator
- Photographer
- Tour guide
- Furniture restorer
- Explorer

The list goes on!  I've partied with the best of them, met the most amazing people, found myself in questionable situations, ended up in other countries, eaten food that leaves you weak at the knees, played with beautiful clothes, developed life long friendships and gained life experiences that I wouldn't trade for anything.  I always say that it's the closest I will probably come to in fulfilling my childhood dreams of running away with the circus!

As I quickly roll into my early 30s I certainly feel the need to grow up and be just a little bit more focused.  I would like a more stable career (or series of careers), I want children and a house of my own.  But I also no longer feel ashamed of wanting my life to be an adventure, to continue learning and experiencing crazy new things!  I love that when my partner asks if I would consider living overseas again for a while, even if it's somewhere totally random, I can say hell yeah and truly mean it. It seems silly in many ways but I feel so much more comfortable knowing that there are other 'scanners' out there who can't quite bring themselves to slip into the routines of regular life.

Do any of you feel the same way?  Or are you a laser like Tia of Your Life Your way  puts it?  Somebody who has always had their eye on the prize and known their destination?  I would be very interested to know how it is for others :).


  1. This was great to read. I'm 22 and finishing my Diploma in Silversmithing this year (after 3 loooong years) and I feel this huge pressure to know what I'm going to do with myself after it. I've had constant part time jobs, a new one every year because I get bored easily. I've got soooo many dreams and aspirations, this blog post made me remember that it's okay to pursue them all, over time. Fuck yeah! Thanks for writing such an inspiring post, there should be more blogs about this sought of stuff.

  2. You're so welcome. Wow silversmithing sounds exciting! I would definitely recommend getting the 'Refuse to Choose' (cheesy title I know) book out of the library. It kind of tells you how to deal with having so many ideas and dreams, and makes you feel kind of proud for having them! Good luck to you in all your pursuits, will be interested to see how you get on. x

  3. I loathe that question, too. Everyone's career is cooler than me. Lol. I do something daggy to pay the rent and I go lots of fulfilling and exciting things on the side that will never pay the rent.

    I studied something I thought was glamourous and exciting, only to find it was difficult snd boring ( for me).

    That was one of my dear friend's weddings. I wore a red dress When I got married.

  4. Interestingly enough that's what the book suggests you do! Pick the one job that will earn you enough money (and time) that you can still pursue all your other interests. I realised that I had this idea stuck in your mind that you have to turn every hobby into a career, and if you choose one thing you'll never be able to do any of the others again. How stupid is that! It sounds like you have the right balance between work and play.
    Ooo I'm sure your dress looked stunning. I like it when people go for something other than white or cream.