I always used to think of myself as a sort of Renaissance Woman. Now I know that’s silly, because being interested in almost everything does not mean the same thing as having the ability to actually do a wide variety of things. Still, more than many people my age, my career has had a hard time taking off, and part of it is because I can’t seem to decide what it is I care about.
I want to teach! I want to write! I want to be an artist! A cook! A gardener! A home decorator! If I do say so, I’m good at all of these things. I even have a degree in some of them. Yet I wouldn’t consider myself “arrived.” Part of what stymies me is that following any one of these dreams feels like giving up on all of the others.
Then I had a breakthrough the other day. An obvious breakthrough. A breakthrough you probably won’t be impressed by.
But I was.
I can do it all.
It sounds stupid, I know, but it really was a revelation for me. I looked forward into my future (cue misty-sounding music, place headscarf on head) and realized that there is no reason I can’t write, and teach, and be an artist. There’s no reason I can’t make all of these things part of my career. No one can tell me I can only be one thing.
In a weird twist of fate, I came across Marci Alboher’s blog post “Serving the Lord, With Humor, and Legal Advice” the same day. In it she discusses how more and more people are combining their loves and getting paid for them. Such people could be described as “slashes” or “hyphenates,” and their intertwined jobs are sometimes known as “braided careers.”
I LOVE THIS IDEA. I want to braid the heck out of my career. I’m so glad for the Internet, for women’s lib, for working from home, for everything that makes saying yes to it all possible.
Yes, yes, yes.