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Pencil Shavings | Tessa Blair

Photo credit: Bobby Jones

I want to be a dentist!” I told my mom confidently, ecstatic that at age six I already knew my calling in life. Then at age seven, I was wiser. I had really planned my future; I was going to be a poet. Later, I changed my mind and decided to be a soccer player, then a biologist, professional snowboarder, kindergarten teacher, olympic fencer, high school drama teacher, stage actress, imagineer… you get it; the list goes on. And I am still clueless.

When people ask me what I want to do after college and I tell them I don’t know, they usually think it’s because I don’t have a true passion yet. But that isn’t my problem. My problem is that I have too many passions.

Imagine this: You go to a restaurant, look through the menu, and the server comes to take your order. You don’t know what you want because everything looks delicious, so you just pick something. It is the greatest thing you have ever tasted and you order it everytime you go to the restaurant from then on. Then one day you try your friend’s dinner and it’s delicious too, so you start getting that every time, occasionally going back to the first meal because you still like it. And the cycle continues.

That’s how I am with career interests.

I can’t settle on one passion to pursue because I have too many I want to explore and too many I don’t want to leave behind. As soon as I think I’ve found my calling, I hear another call from somewhere else and chase that instead. I’ve put myself in a perpetual state of career goals limbo, which, up until recently, I saw as a problem.

Maybe I’ll never have a laser-focused career goal, maybe my mind isn’t cut out for specialization, and maybe my fate is bound to a never-ending quest of curiosity, and maybe that’s okay.

My lack of specific focus has led me to some cool places I probably wouldn’t have found otherwise, including to this newspaper. So while some people are cut out to become geniuses in one particular subject, discovering each flavor and ingredient in one dish on the menu, I’m happy to be a dabbler: I’ll just have a sample of everything.

Tessa Blair
Tessa Blair

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