This is a living process- I learned a bunch of things from making the last video I made, and I learned new things from making this video. Hopefully I'll keep improving my editing and recording skills until I can present a much more polished finished product to everyone! (that's fancy talk for- I made a bunch of mistakes on my first video, and I've made fewer this one, but I keep surprising myself with new and creative ways I've managed to screw up the process and make it more difficult and weird all around)
I hope you enjoy(ed) watching this, and I would love to hear feedback if you feel like leaving me some!
Transcript below the jump:
Okay, first of all, wow! Huge thank you to everyone who watched my last video, I was totally not expecting the response that I got. I’m glad to see that it resonated with people, because that was kind of the point- for me to feel not alone, and to help other people out there like me feel less alone.
When I was thinking about what I wanted to talk about in this video, I realized that it actually splits into two different topics, even though it’s under the same sort of umbrella. So I’m actually going to split this video in half. I’m not going to do a goal at the end of this video, because I’m recording both of them right now, so it’s kind of silly for me to have a goal for myself and not just fulfill it right in the beginning of the video. Next video I’m going to have my goal for the following video.
A big part of growing up is discovering what your highest priority is. Do I want to be a musician? Do I want to raise a family? What’s my “dream”? The problem is, I don’t really know. You’d think that by my age, people would be pretty set on the path that they want to take, but the truth is I never really gelled on one specific thing which I’m so passionate about that I want to dedicate my entire life to it.
Maybe to be more accurate, I have like a thousand things that I’m really really interested in, and I’d love to spend my life exploring these as a career path, or as a hobby, or whatever it is. The thing is, I don’t think this is an ADD thing. I don’t think this is a “disorder” thing at all. I think that a lot of us just aren’t that single-minded about something in life that we’re going to leave everything else by the wayside and say “this is my goal in life”.
For me, over the years I’ve flitted around between interests and hobbies, and I still have a lot of affection for all of the things that I’ve done in my past. Maybe I’ve even thought about cultivating one of them into a career skill. But it never happened for me. That might be an ADHD thing.
But the concept of cultivating a large number of interests? It’s pretty common! I think a lot of people in their twenties are saying to themselves “Now what? How do I decide what I’m going to do forever?” I mean, how does this even work- how do you figure out what your one big dream is?
I’m not trying to turn this into some kind of existential rant, I really want a concrete answer here. What does one do, what are the steps that one takes in order to figure out what you want from life?
If you really cornered me, I’d probably say that my main goal in life right now is stability. Financial stability, social stability, emotional stability, organizational stability. And yeah, it’s not a passion- it’s not a thing, but it’s what matters to me right now.
Just the ability to maintain a functional routine is so, so necessary for continuing forwards in any other dream in life. And if I don’t know how to do that, there’s no way I could pursue an kind of dream. Maybe I want to be a musician, maybe I want to create jewelry for a living, maybe I want to do nails for a living. Maybe I want to be a technical writer for the rest of my life- maybe I actually like it! But without the ability to maintain a functional routine, I can’t do any of that. Without the ability to pay rent at the end of the month, I can’t do anything at all because I’ll be homeless.
I’m going to touch on this a little bit more in my next video, but the concept that you must pursue some specific big thing in life is really a little bit classist. Some people don’t have the stability to take that kind of risk- some people have to spend more time worrying about where their next meal is coming from. They don’t have time to think about things like “Am I going to be a famous musician one day? Is my next poem going to be the big one that gets me all the attention”
Even assuming that I achieve stability, here’s the next big question: How do I focus in on one thing? It’s like any real passionate interest I develop is competing with too many other things in the space in my head to really become my one lifelong goal. First of all, it’s competing with my functionality issues, but also its competing with all of my other interests. How do I know which one I like best? I like all of them best! I want all of them!
So I guess here’s the real question of this video- What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with cultivating many different small interests that hold my attention for as long as they hold my attention, and maybe I’ll come back to them in a few months, or a few weeks, or a few years, and then it will make me happy again. Why can’t I just have six, or seven, or twelve different things that I love to do, but I’m not going to do all of them at the same time?
Not everyone is cut out for interest monogamy- some people are interest polygamists, and I’m one of them. I think there’s this idea out there that we need to settle on this one big passion that we have, and that’s not for everyone, neurodivergent or not.
That’s already leading into the topic of my next video, so I’m going to end this one here, and I’ll see you next week, or whenever I finish editing this. I dunno, maybe tomorrow.
[Endscreen text: “THANKS FOR WATCHING! (This awful endscreen brought to you by the fact that I do not know how to leave normal pauses at the end of takes and therefore needed to put in an endscreen so that it didn’t abruptly cut off)”]