I have always admired those who ‘knew what they where gonna be when they grew up.’ – I’m going to law school, – I wanna be a dentist, – I’ll dedicate my self to human rights where sayings that, when growing up, almost struck me nauseous with envy. These kids had it all mapped out, it seemed.
I always knew what I wanted to be too but only for a month or so at the time before my mind wandered off to something new.
The first occupation I can remember wanting to pursue was police officer. I was in sixth grade, obsessed by mystery books and saw it as my duty to chase the ‘bad guys.’ The ‘bad’ were, of course, always guys. When I was growing up, girls where nice, moms stayed at home and guys could do what they wanted. I was told in school: girls don’t become police officers, why don’t you look for something else? But that didn’t stop me, at least not for the first few weeks. I read everything I could about becoming a cop, which wasn’t a lot at the time, I watched the TV series and since I already was a target shooter I felt I had an advantage.
Back then I hadn’t heard about the 10 000 hours rule, but I knew it took dedication and I was willing to work hard.
But the weeks passed and when there were no more books to read and Charlie’s Angels had finished their jobs, the desire wore off. And I thought – journalism sounds exciting; I can chase stories instead of bad guys. So off I went, interviewed a fashion editor (that was my idea of journalism at age 13) and found her so utterly annoying that I though – I don’t wanna be like her, and dropped that desire within the first week. Maybe a professional athlete would be the right thing, I thought, realizing I had to find a funnel for my energy. Needless to say, I didn’t attend the Olympics.
My urge to constantly try something new has left me with several degrees in areas as diverse as marketing, computer science, design and even management psychology. I have worked as an IT- manager, had my own fashion handbag brand and co-owned an accounting firm. But even though I have always loved working I would eventually move on to something completely new when the novelty of my job wore off. I have usually stayed in a job for more than a few weeks or months though, but the novelty would always wear off after I had emerged myself almost obsessively in learning everything I could about the job I was in.
And it wasn’t until a friend said ‘you’re like an eternal student’ that it hit me; it’s my hungry mind, my love for constantly learning new things, that has kept me whirling off like a dancer to new occupations, new offices and new destinations. I’m a learning junkie.
What I also realized had stayed with me over the years was my love for books as these where the holders of the knowledge I was seeking. I could go to the library, open a book and instantly learn something new, whether it was about a certain subject, the human mind or, equally often, about myself.
I still admire people that have a dedication in life, and I love watching skilled craftsmen that has perfected their profession, but I must say I am extremely grateful for my hungry mind. It has made my urge to constantly explore new land a life of adventure.
I realize there is no clear-cut answer to this so my question to you is then: What have you done? And how has your decisions affected your life?