I was chatting with A yesterday as she did a little shopping at Target. I don’t remember whether she was in the cat treats section or the dental floss when she fumed, “What is with all these choices??!? I hate shopping.”
Yesterday I mentioned “multipotentiality,” and today I blundered on a scribbled list from a year ago: “multipotentiality responsibility” is third from the bottom. Looks like a good day for that topic, then!
I try not to talk about my multipotentiality. One, it frequently brings out a kind of exasperation in others: “Is there anything you can’t do?!” I haven’t found any responses I like for this. I default to looking embarrassed, since it defuses the moment.
[There is a squirrel barking at me from a tree. I wouldn’t mention him, except he sounds like he has my voice/chest thing, the one that has me sounding like I chugged a fifth of whiskey. I thought he was a child’s Fart-Blaster before I saw what was making the odd sound. He should go to the squirrel doctor. A says I should go to the human doctor.]
But embarrassed isn’t a good response because it feels like a lie. What I’m embarrassed about is the fuss, which I want to evaporate. Doing the thing under discussion, and the other thing, and that other thing over there are satisfying, not embarrassing, or I wouldn’t do them. Plus there are things I can’t do…but I confess to you that my life experience leads me to assume “can’t do… yet.” It’s awkward, sounding arrogant/prideful when one is trying to be accurate.
This is not the tough part, though. The difficult and weirdest part of multipotentiality, for me, lies here:
As a person who believes in a God-ordered world, I believe God hands out abilities in order for us to deploy them according to God’s will. And In Luke 12:48b, Jesus says, “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.” So I have a responsibility inherent in all these gifts and abilities. Yet I am very far from understanding how I am to discharge my responsibilities across the spectrum of my capabilities! Particularly since, like I mentioned yesterday, some of them–like operational/administrative work I seem to shine at and the poetry I can’t quit–have turned out to be mutually exclusive inside my psyche. Now what do I do?!
And while God’s steering may reveal itself in hindsight, at present I feel fortunate when I manage to notice little knocks and slight nudges. Unlike my son, who told me at age 11 he was going to write flight simulators… and then has been since age 24, I have no grand synthetic insight to bind my overflowing hands-fulls into What To Do.
An illustration: in my girlhood, I had people encourage me–in emphatic voices–to pursue playing the viola as a college student/adult. At age 11, I chose viola as a least-evil path given my parents’ directives. I never practiced, and spent classtime figuring out how I could avoid playing. In fact, I frequently would sit behind the low brass in the band room and read books. Now that you know this, you’ll not be surprised that I would murmur, oh no, thanks, but I don’t think I have what it takes to continue with viola. “Nonsense! You should keep playing!”
Well, no. But what am I then to do with that evident gift? Heck, I’m not even singing with my church choir or band these days! One of my God-given abilities sits gathering dust in a corner.
I’ve been wrestling with this for decades now, so I’m not planning to come to any grand resolution at this moment. I do hope that this round of taking classes will burn off some of the fog from the path, or perhaps–if I’m hoping grandly–show me something that snaps all the pieces together, like a big LEGO kit. We could then all stand around nodding and saying, Ohh yes. Now I see how it all fits together!
In the meantime, I’m keeping my lips buttoned. Like those who are skinny, or have long, stick-straight hair, I know having too many choices is not a complaint one can successfully make in public.
PS: It’s completely unrelated, because it really doesn’t fit. I tried. But for those of you with the 80s embedded in your heads, below you can listen to “faces on posters/too many choices” all you want.