Monday, June 25, 2012

I Refuse to Choose!



Pelourinho- Bahia-  Brazil

I have always been the type of person with several and ever changing interests. While growing up, the range of professions I was interested in went everywhere from flight attendant to astronaut to veterinarian. In my junior year high school I wanted to be a doctor, in my sophomore year I wanted to be a prosecutor, and by my senior year I decided to study Psychology and be a criminal profiler for the FBI.

It was only when I graduated from college, that I realized I could not choose what I wanted to be when I grew up. So, I went back to college and got a Liberal Arts degree in Women’s Studies. I wanted to work with victims of abuse or maybe for the UN. I got fast bored with anything I mastered to my content and felt the urge to move on to another challenge. I was so lost that right after college, in a span of 3 months, I managed to pursue 4 different careers, only to find I hated them all. 
New watercolor kit

So, I decided to pursue a Master’s in History and be an academic. I got a T.A. position with the department and quit 2 weeks later (both the Master’s and the T.A- you would agree with me that it is insane to pay almost $30,000.00 to read history books if you realize you have no intention on being a professor. I can read the books at home for a lot less money!). I felt frustrated and lost in a world of specialists. I felt there was something wrong with me for being a “jack of all trades, master of none.”

It was in one of the odd jobs after college that I met this woman and while talking to her about my woes, she told me about the renaissance soul. She introduced me to a book called "Refuse to Choose"- by Barbara Sher- and all of a sudden the world made sense. I was not broken or weird or someone who does not finish what she starts. I was someone who dedicated her time to an activity or project only until I got what I needed out of it.

Watercolor cakes

So to all of you renaissance souls out there, to you who have half finished projects in your garages; to you who have been called flighty or undecided; to you who love photography, reading, painting, crafting, pottery and everything else in between; to you who love the process of learning for no reason other than… well, learning: there is nothing wrong with you. And although the world has very little room for us, well, you have plenty of room for yourself!

41 comments:

Kathy, PaperPumpkin said...

The Renaissance soul...I have never heard of this before. Sounds interesting. I do like learning new things but also finding new ways to look at something, or someone. I feel like it opens my mind up more. You are a beautiful artist...I love the flow and the colors of this painting! Gorgeous.

St. Catharines, Ontario said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jane said...

Thanks - I feel much better now, lol!! I've always thought it's because I'm a Libra - we find it tortuous to make a decision - I flip-flop constantly weighing both sides (or more) of any issue. I love your painting, it appears to flow effortlessly from you.

Introverted Art said...

Jane, I am a die hard Capricorn, very determined mountain goat...but alas, I just could not make up my mind about anything :-)

Lisa said...

Ana! Thank you for visiting LifeUnity - sorry I couldn't respond personally but couldn't find an email address for you.

I am so glad you found the site too....because I am HONORED to be connected with you as well. What a fascinating site you have! The beauty of introspection (introversion), the challenges of feeling and being pulled by so many energies, the whirlwind lives of we renaissance souls...what a journey you are on.

And yes - it is something that took me years to realize. I chased one type of art after another (which isn't bad in and of itself), but I was taking little to no time to really listen to my own voices. I, too, have had many jobs (thinking Psychology would capture them in college and learning quickly I wasn't even close...)...and am only recently embracing the beauty of such a wild and exploratory journey.

I look forward to staying in touch!
Namaste,
Lisa

Kathy, PaperPumpkin said...

Ah! I am a Capricorn, too!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Git yer Renaissance vibe on!

:.tossan® said...

Você é muito interessante! Criativa! Isso me agrada nesta blogosfera que tanto navego. Pode contar comigo, a gente se acha.

turquoisemoon said...

I'm a Sag, 4x's Sag and all 4 planets are in the 8th house. That explained it to me many years ago. I think the term "renaissance soul" is a more gentle way of explaining and understanding. Thank you...

Introverted Art said...

Wow Sagittarius all around. All my houses are in Capricorn with the exception of my Venus that is is pices. According to one of the books I had that makes me a little harlot!!!!! Swear that's how it was described

Introverted Art said...
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Kathy, PaperPumpkin said...

I love fellow Cappies, too! I am mid January...

Ducky said...

I finally have a word to put to it. That is Irishman :D I love it! Beautiful, poetic, romantic and just a little bit crazy. THE PERFECT combination for me!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Oh, I so love this! 'Renaissance soul'...it even has such a wonderful sound to it. I am exactly this way and I had no idea that you can apply a term to it. I often thought there must be something wrong with me as I've flopped around my whole life from one thing to another. But as I get older, I'm becoming more and more comfortable with this. I enjoy too many things and find it hard to simply commit to one. And like you, I love the process of learning for no reason other than learning.

turquoisemoon said...

I must tell all you Capricorns that you all will become even more beautiful as you age...ask any astrologer!!!

Laura said...

Thank you for this. I too must be a renaissance soul...tasting this and that, enjoying each delicious bite then exploring something else. It has led to a life rich and interesting, and I'm so pleased to know that I too am not the only one.

Elena said...

Love! Love! Love! Can't believe I wanted so many of the same professions! And love that Renaissance Soul idea. Need to look up that book. Did I say I love your writing?

La Dolce Vita said...

Ana, I am very surprised by the fact that while reading this post, I felt I was reading my personal diary.
I am just like you !!! I am also a Capricorn and I have been through all that you have been through-very similar academic and professional backgrounds, similar interest, and similar traits of indecisiveness and confusion. I feel that {at least from this post } you and me are twin souls separated by geographical distance.
Thank God that I am not alone. In fact, feeling very happy :-)

Jacquelineand.... said...

Hmmm, I'm not a Capricorn; (although I'm surrounded by them) instead I am a Leo...

I like the term 'renaissance soul' but like the concept behind it even more. I've longed believed that as we become more specialised in our professions, our friendships, and our choices in leisure pursuits we are compartmentalising ourselves to death and forcing ourselves and our culture into stagnation.

We are become a culture of the particular and while some specialisation is good and necessary...such as brain surgery...the most explosive growth in knowledge and culture (as well as personal growth) comes when we are able to 'connect the dots' and a country or culture of specialists is inherently unable to do so. It takes the catholic (note the lack of capitalisation; this is not a religious reference) mind...the generalist...the renaissance soul...to see and respond to the larger picture, the rhythms of life. It is the 'jack-of-all-trades' who can see the patterns, make the connections, make use of that connectivity and show others how to do so.

Renaissance souls of the world, connect: your world needs you desperately!

foxysue said...

What is coming to mind here, reading your post and all the comments is that it seems that blogsphere is the perfect meeting place for like minds, Renaissance Souls. Through my connections here on-line I have met many who experience the same thing but rarely have I come into contact elsewhere, "birds of a feather join together".

Nice post. x

NatashaMay said...

Wouldn't it be great if we were told that when we were teenagers? It would spare us a lot of grief. :) I was lost, too, but somehow I've found myself in art so here I am. For now. :) Love your city landscape!

Zena said...

Oh... yes, yes, yes. I have developed a serious academic career, but I always feel like a maladjusted person looking at my work mates, so I know well what you´re talking about. I have felt isolated and misunderstood, because I love to explore new fields, change the ways I do the things, mix knowledges, start new projects, have many interest apart from university and learn things...

I had to do a hard exam to become a professor and I was afraid my profile was not very conventional and one of the members of the board said to me like I was like a bee: people might think that I was wasting my time going from a flower to another, but I was creating something wonderful, he opened my eyes to the gift I had and now I am grateful for it.

Arkansas Patti said...

I was actually encouraged by your last sentence. It kind of makes my desire to be a professional student in the day as not being a bad thing. Unfortunately I didn't have the funds to be a PS so I had to earn a living but given the choice-----.

Kathy, PaperPumpkin said...

Oops, I left my birthday comment on your previous post by accident when I was visiting again...but I had a feeling that your day was the very same as mine...and it is! We are birthday twins!!! Destined to cross paths...again.

Lois said...

I am writing down that title... I've been scattered forever.

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Wonderful post ~ can identify with most of it ~ Lovely painting and wondering what is the brand of your beautiful watercolor set ? and thanks for book title will check it out ~ ^_^ (A Creative Harbor)

Francie said...

Great post! I tend to start a whole bunch of projects at one time and then move laterally between them, which causes me a great deal of anxiety becasue I think I'll never finish any of them. But I do. Feel so compelled. Admire your free spirit!

Sherri B. said...

Oh, how this post resonates...I relate completely! As always, I love your thoughts and ponderings...your painting is beautiful! Happy Tuesday~~ :)

Sulky Kitten said...

beautifully vibrant painting! Renaissance Soul sounds more sophisticated and complex than "butterfly". I'm Libran,and I've changed my mind more than a couple of times as well regarding a career.

Almost Precious said...

Perhaps Galileo too had the problem of committing to one profession -- one career -- one calling. If that is so then we, who find our whims and fancies changing as quickly as the wind, are surely in good company. :)

BTW - I loved your comment on my blog, it gave me pause to laugh. The missing earring has not shown up and I've since resigned myself to fabricating a new one. However I am now keeping a watchful eye on my mail. I expect, any day now, to receive a post card from the Blue Ridge Mountains, happily informing me that little Miss. missing Earring has eloped with bad boy Nose Ring and they are now expecting a wee little Toe Ring. :)

beth said...

this last paragraph is simply perfect !!!!....thank you !!

Naquillity said...

i like that... refuse to choose... i think sometimes you just have to let things happen that will. and accepting yourself... well, i think that's real difficult at times. thanks for sharing your resource... and showing us that we're just as normal as the next in our indecisiveness. hope all is well. have a great night...

thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog today. it's greatly appreciated.

Jeanie said...

First, thank you for visiting The Marmelade Gypsy. I can't think of anything more romantic than being proposed to in Paris! More Paris posts are to come, so I hope you'll stop back.

Now, on to the real comment -- WOW! Your watercolors are just amazing. As soon as your page came up, a big smile came over my face and I said "Wow." I was by myself so no one thought I was too disturbed! Those colors just POP! I'm not sure which I loved most -- the church-scape at the top or the others on the page. Simply lovely.

As a former theatre major who then moved on to other things and finally landed in public relations and public television, I know the challenge of not choosing. And I love it. I'm like that with my art, too -- collage one day, (bad) painting the next, then photography, and sometimes all at the same time! It made me smile!

Shaharoh said...

Such a comfort to read your words and to feel connected with a Like Soul. I really needed to know that my "hand in a million cookie jars" is something that others have dealt with. I applaud you on your integrity and will have to adopt the habit of repeating your words out loud daily "There is nothing wrong with me." Thank you, Introvert.

Beth said...

Ah...renaissance soul...so THAT'S what I am! I like that description very much. It is lovely and perfect. Thank you.

Boho mom said...

Wow - I could've written this post myself. In fact I'm back in school for career number 5.
When all I really want is the privacy and time to write my book ;)

Wonderful, empowering post!

Buttons said...

Oh Thank you I knew I was not the only one. Yeah to the people who know what they need in this life and figure out that is OK. B

The Roof said...

I love that I found your blog. Thanks for sharing your life experiences.
As a student still in university and trying to figure out what I love to do but having a hard time finding out what (because like you, I have so many different interests...psychology, art, history, biology..etc), your post makes me feel a lot better about myself, and ever more confident that maybe this is a blessing, and a lifelong process of discovering myself.

Natasha said...

Renaissance soul! Suddenly I feel filled with color and dancing. There is such freedom to move and breathe in this idea. It throws off labels and limits and allows you to be. Yes, we should celebrate this altogether. Start a renaissance. I want to sing

laughingwolf said...

you call it 'renaissance soul', which is cool... i call it 'charlie brownism', ie. being wishy-washy... that's me, and i don't care who knows it :P

i have more'n 12 years post secondary 'education'... had i stuck to one field, i'd have a phd... in something... i guess

i have no control over growing old, but they gotta drag me, kicking and screaming [as the old saw goes], to growing up!

nazdarovja!

Marlontfou said...

Oh... yes, yes, yes. I have developed a serious academic career, but I always feel like a maladjusted person looking at my work mates, so I know well what you´re talking about. I have felt isolated and misunderstood, because I love to explore new fields, change the ways I do the things, mix knowledges, start new projects, have many interest apart from university and learn things... I had to do a hard exam to become a professor and I was afraid my profile was not very conventional and one of the members of the board said to me like I was like a bee: people might think that I was wasting my time going from a flower to another, but I was creating something wonderful, he opened my eyes to the gift I had and now I am grateful for it.