Yesterday was a bit of a mixed bag. Sometimes, whether I like it or not, something less-than-ideal happens within an otherwise fine day – an injustice or unkindness big, small, or even infinitesimal – that flips on the anxiety switch inside my brain. Even though I have the presence of mind to acknowledge that the issue, whatever it may be, is not worth devoting several hours of unproductive overthinking to it, I unfortunately let myself get carried away all the same.
As some of you will know, moderate generalized anxiety is something I live with in the day-to-day. While I generally have a very good handle on it, there can be times when it rears its ugly head and I’m ill-prepared to face it. Yesterday afternoon, something relatively minor in the grand scheme of things happened, leading me to feel off-kilter the rest of the day. Rather than giving in fully, however, I decided to throw on a fuzzy robe, kick back with a lovely grapefruit gin and tonic and some chocolate, and watch TED talk after talk until I was feeling more in-control of my headspace once again.
I’d like to share with you all now a few of the talks that really spoke to me, in the hope that you too might benefit from them. These will be especially impactful for folks like me, the ‘generalists’ or ‘multipotentialites’ who chafe at that seemingly all-important question that society asks us from an early age: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ I can tell you that at 29, I still don’t know what I want to do when I ‘grow up,’ and what’s more I’m slowly becoming less fussed about not knowing what one thing I want to pursue the rest of my working days. I have many interests but no specialty, and that’s OK. I continue to switch industries every few years, and that’s OK too.
While society often tells me I should be ashamed or embarrassed that I’m 29 and have in a relatively brief span of life worked in several disparate fields – archaeology, library science, customer service, adventurous activities instruction/experiential education, freelance writer – I’m gradually feeling less of these limiting emotions, instead moving to embrace the mantra: ‘You do you, boo.’
If anything that I’m saying now speaks to you in some positive way, then I hope you’ll gather a few nuggets of wisdom from the following talks. Read More