Thursday, February 02, 2006

Yep, that's me!

"How do I decide what to do with my life when there are so many things I want to do?"

The Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One

Yeah. Saw the book and HAD to have it. Obviously. (Giving it to the Renaissance Boyfriend next...) And as if I didn't already know this about myself, I took the quiz. Are YOU a Renaissance Soul?

Um, I scored frighteningly high.

Five Signs That You Might Be a Renaissance Soul
1. The ability to become excited by many things at one, often accompanied by difficulty choosing.
2. A love of new challenges; once challenges are mastered, easily bored.
3. A fear of being trapped in the same career or activity for life.
4. A pattern of quick, sometimes unsatisfying flings with many hobbies
5. A successful career that has left you bored or restless.


"How do I define Renaissance Souls? In a nutshell, we are people who's number one career or hobby choice is "Please don't make me choose!" We're much more inclined to pursue a slew of interests than to narrow our options to a single one...What's wrong with me? Why can't I get my act together? Why doesn't anyone *get* me?"

EXACTLY! I am having the hardest time when someone asks me..."So what's next? Taking the BAR exam?" This question only makes me want to RUN to the nearest bar! I don't know. I am trying to put myself in a career (preferably at the agency I am working at right now) BUT I am dedicated, I don't want to take a position that I am only going to want for a year or so. And so far, there have been 3 positions open and now filled by amazing dynamic women...that I briefly considered. BUT I did not see myself doing for the next 3 years. Gulp. What could I do for the next 3 years? Yeah, I don't know. But, I know that I don't know. YET. :)

"I just cringe inside when I think of spending the rest of my life on proposals and bidding and merging and schmoozing and hiring and firing. I know I'm good at it all, and I know most people would love to be in my shoes. But I'm not most people."

YES! Yes yes Yes. I could be a litigator. I could work on our campaign staff. IN fact I enjoy fundraising! Especially for a cause I believe in. BUT I KNOW I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS FOR A CAREER. I know I would be unhappy. I know this. I know there are many things I am good at...I worked with at-risk children in a residential treatment facility for 5 years. I was good at it. I worked at Legal Services for the Elderly. I was good at it. But do I want to work with either of these populations forever? I don't know. And for some reason, I do not think it is fair to sign on with a position that I can only see myself in for a year or so, after all that is a learning curve in any organization! There are people out there, people just as wonderful as me, who would be better for these positions, cause they know they can dedicate themselves to the job for a while. I am still trying to figure this out...I am ok with this.

"When given the choice, Renaissance Souls prefer to be governed by our own energy rather than by a schedule, calendar, or "to-do" list. We may write down an activity in our planner, such as going to the library or doing research on Thursday morning. When Thursday comes, if we feel like doing research, we'll be dynamic at it. But should we not feel that energy, in two seconds flat we'll be out chatting up clients, developing a new system for our files, walking the dog or doing any one of the other million and one things we find interesting and worthwhile. Even we may find this go-with-the-flow process frustrating at times. Nevertheless, it's a plain truth about how many Renaissance Souls operate."

Dear God, did I write this paragraph? ;) My brother and I are on the opposite ends of the spectrums. He is the Mozart. Knew what he wanted to be and followed the path since age 10. And I am the Ben Franklin of the family. Oh BOY does this frustrate him and other friends and family members!

"Most people dread the difficult time spent moving up the front end of the learning curve. Not the Renaissance Soul! We are most fully engaged when learning something new and discovering how it works. Because we love a good challenge, we tend to define success and completion differently from other people...It's this love of new challenges that causes Renaissance Souls to opt for change-not continuation- in the face of success...Some lucky Renaissance Souls come to this understanding early in their lives, before spending years in a career that has lost it's luster...Not everyone will understand your desire to move on to new challenges. You can always remind these people of Leonardo da Vinci. Nowadays, he'd probably be considered a failure because he left The Last Supper unfinished, or because he was satisfied simply with having designed a helicopter instead of having his flying machine mocked up, market tested, and sold to the public at a fifty percent markup. It takes a brave person to redefine success, especially in a time when money and status seem to be prized above all else."

Dear friends and family...let me remind you of Leonardo da Vinci. :)

"I've know clients who wonder, or whose families wonder, whether such versatility is an "avoidance mechanism." In fact, the opposite is often true. Acknowledging your inner Ben Franklin where you're surrounded by Mozart's can require a healthy dose of clear sightedness."

Whew. I think I am going to copy this one and hang it in many places so I can remind myself! I AM normal. Just different normal. Although I do avoid some things...

Choose FIVE of the FIFTY values that are the most important to you right now.

I picked.
Health (emotional and physical).

Whoa. Now that surprises the hell out of me. I also had small marks next to: Affection. Creativity. Family. Love. Pleasure.

I am in a sort of *nesting---wanting to plant the roots* phase right now. And boy oh boy does this list of 5 values prove that! Which is interesting since at the beginning of this year I was researching Teaching English in China! ;)

"If you're saying something is important in your life but you aren't spending time on it, then you need to change either what you say your values are, or the way you spend your time. Checking your scheduled for activities that aren't truly important to you is one way to clear out space for the things that do matter."

Uh, I have to get serious about my health and exercising. Now.

"As a Renaissance Soul, you're full of ideas. But do you have trouble following through on them? Many of my workshop participants laugh with recognition when I quote Jeanine, a sixty-four year old client of mine, describing her predictament: "I don't have the slightest trouble coming up with ideas, believe me. Just ask my husband. It drives him crazy how many things excite me- for a short time. But when it comes down to zeroing in and really following through, that can be a different story entirely."

And this is where the focal points come in. I have to choose 4 focal points and current passions. I chose.
1. Physical Health and Exercise
2. Writing
3. Involvement in Community
4. Reading/Learning

"Here's an idea. Instead of toiling away at a job that drains away every ounce of your vital life force, why not pick a J.O.B that carries one or more of your Renaissance Focal Points forward? A J.O.B. should provide at least one of the following benefits, a really great one will give you two or three."

1. Income or benefits- Insurance, Flexible Schedules (CHECK!)

2. Energy-a J.O.B, that balances your energy. (CHECK!)

3. Time- a J.O.B may save you time if you're allowed to read, make phone calls or work on the computer or maybe offers up free time because of an easy commute (Check! Check! Check!)

4. Training and equipment (Check!!!!!)

5. Networking and publicity opportunities (HOLY SHIT CHECK!)

I HAVE THE PERFECT J.O.B. right now!!!! (I only wish it paid, er, 3 more dollars an hour. That would be nice) NO WONDER WHY I AM HESITANT TO MOVE ANYWHERE! I have a flexible schedule, health insurance, able to take trainings and volunteer in the community, networking up the WAZOO (this social beast sits at the front desk!) And I can read,, whatever I want when I am not answering the phones or doing the basic requirements of my job. I live a mile away so I HSOULD be walking to work. Wow. :)

And at this point, the rest of the book was not quite as useful for this particular Renaissance Soul. However, at the end of the book the author listed a most excellent list of *Relevant Readings* GREAT just what I need ;) More things to read. WAIT, reading is one of my current focal points! Woo hoo! I liked this book. It validated many things I already knew about myself. And that is always a good thing!

1 comment:

Leah said...

sounds like a cool book. i could relate to a lot of it!