I wasn’t always a multi-passionate creative. Ever since I was little, all I wanted to be was an English teacher. So that’s what I did for a few years after graduating from college. If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know how the story goes. In 2012, I fell in love with a Dutch man, and in 2015, I moved to the Netherlands. At that time, I took a break from teaching and created this blog. And shortly after, I started to call myself a writer. I also started my own clothing business. And not so long ago, I went down the exciting path of illustration.
I have to admit that having to split my focus into so many creative endeavors made me flustered at first. I have always thought that it is better to put all your effort and focus on one thing, rather than on a hundred things. But I also think that we can be more than one thing in life. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker will hold 10 to 15 different jobs in their lifetime.
When we were little, we were told we could become doctors, lawyers, or teachers, and we were encouraged to pick one thing. Choosing a career path generally starts with this simple question: What do you want to be when you grow up? I wish this question was juicer. Something like, What are you curious about? What skills would you like to develop? What strengths? These would have led many of us to think that the possibilities are infinite and that we can pick more than one thing.
If you’re wondering how I manage to juggle many things at once, well, I schedule blocks of time during the week to work on each activity. I try to get my writing done in the mornings, Monday to Friday. And I draw at least two times a week. As for my online shop, I work on it per season. Spring, summer, and Christmas time are usually the times of the year when I make the most sales. However, this schedule is constantly changing, and my priorities change from month to month.
I am aware that splitting my time into many areas means it will probably take me longer to master my craft and to see results. But I am ok with that. I believe that as long as we are consistent, each one of our passions will continue to evolve.As long as we are consistent, each one of our passions will continue to evolve. Click To Tweet
Something that helped me figure out if I was meant to pursue multiple jobs/careers was my last client work. A month ago, someone reached out to me to help her with an illustration project. It was my first big project of the year, so I gladly accepted. I had to create 25 illustrations and paint them digitally. I thought I could do this in less than a month, but the project ended up taking me longer.
So, I dedicated my days to work only on that, putting aside everything else. After a few weeks, I started to feel burned out. Doing two illustrations per day felt like a burden. It was in those moments that it hit me: maybe that’s what it would feel like if I had to dedicate 100% of my time to illustration. In the past, I thought nothing would make me happier than landing a whole bunch of illustrations projects. But now I know that drawing day and night is not what I want.
I’ve also come to realize that I cannot not write. I get cranky when I don’t write for days (same goes for my other creative endeavors). I’m simply someone who enjoys switching hats throughout the day. So, after meditating about it for some time, I realized I wanted to pursue all my passions (including teaching).
Also, switching from one job to another keeps things spiced up and makes me feel happy. And the best part? I can choose to put my energy into whatever I feel more pulled to. What’s more, having multiple jobs prevents you from putting all your eggs in one basket. I don’t rely solely on one stream of income. For instance, the times when I don’t have illustration work, I land writing gigs or sell a few items of clothes from my shop.Switching from one job to another keeps things spiced up. Click To Tweet
In this information age, it is easier than ever to be whatever/whoever you want to be. If you want to be a videographer, you can make videos with your phone and share them on YouTube. Social media has made it easy to reach millions of people, and the advantage of living in these times is that we have the opportunity to explore more.
Education is changing as well. More and more universities are offering online programs. And you don’t have to move across the globe to seek a new career. You can learn from top universities in the comfort of your home. If this idea excites you, check out the post “The Shirt Method: How to Learn a New Skill.” In it, I have a list of some of my favorite online learning platforms.
Lastly, I’d like to share with you this quote by St. Augustine. It perfectly illustrates the message I’m trying to convey here. I just had to make one small change to it.
If you, like me, have refused to choose just one path in life, then let me know in the comments how this decision has changed your life. Do you lead a happier lifestyle because of this?
And if you’re thinking of becoming a multi-passionate creative and need some inspiration, I invite you to watch this amazing TED Talk by Emily Wapnick.
Disclosure: Jessica Araus is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.