I am a sieve. You know, one of those kitchen contraptions built from mesh that you use to refine flour. Archeologists use sieves too. They are used for the act of sifting something, so as to isolate that which is most important or useful. Only I don’t sift flour or old bones. I sift my life. Let me explain.
I am not meant to do just one thing. I am not the child that wakes up one morning and declares to the world, “I am going to be a doctor” and then grows up to do it. I am the child that wakes up one morning and decides to have all of my neighbor friends act in a community play of my design. And then the next morning wakes up and builds a contraption using pieces of a swing set to do a free dive from the tree fort. I have always been piecing together ideas. Ideas that from an outside perspective seem to have no correlation. Maybe some of you can relate.
But as an adult I did my civic duty and decided what to be. I put myself in a box. I did each job I had for quite a long time, dedicating myself to become what that job required. Even as an entrepreneur I would delve all of my energy into that idea and try to view myself through the lens of that one thing. In the process, I would stifle the other parts of me that wanted to innovate and dream. Because I thought that responsible adults just stay put and are able to label the one thing that they are meant to be. But now I am free.
So…I am a sieve. I sift through ideas. I have about four to five going at one time. If one does not work then I sieve it out. This is glorious because it gives me room to add in something new. I have something that touches each part of me. For instance I was asked to teach a senior spin class at the recreation center that I joined. And I am working on an invention, because I like to create and fix things. I am writing because it gives me life. I am nannying because I love kids. I am working background extra work because I love to use my imagination. Last week I drove for Uber because I love meeting new people. Uber paid below minimum wage so I sifted it right on through. It was beautiful to be able to do that.
A friend asked me how many ideas I have. I told him less then I used to, and I believe that is a good thing. I used to be bored and therefore daydreamed a lot. Now I find that I daydream less in the infinite and more in the now. I dream of how to complete my current projects, because I have more focus as I do what I am meant to do. To be a sieve.
We are not all the same and that is amazing. Security and stability are way down on my chart, while freedom, fluidity and learning new things are at the top. I have realized a lot of what I need and how I tick. I confirmed it with a personality test (I am ENFP). I am meant to move through a broad range of ideas. Desk jobs kill my soul.
We all have different personalities, it is the beauty of being alive. But wow is it important to recognize what you are without apology. If you are a rock, don’t try to be a sieve. If you are a sponge then don’t try to be a rock. All I am saying is we aren’t all meant to do the same type of life or learning. I am not eluding that everyone make a drastic change in life, we don’t all need that. But actively get to know yourself. Don’t assume that you are just the same or need to be exactly like your neighbor, partner, or friend. It is never too late and you are never too old to learn more of who you are. You are beautiful the way you are, just the way you were designed to be. Here’s a short personality quiz to start your journey.