I learned a new(ish) term recently: “information addict” – and this, I learned as I was reading up on one of my favorite YouTubers, MatPat. It compresses the phenomenon of, “Some people think I’m really smart, but I just know a lot of random bits of information.” (Or Jack of All Trades, Master of None [better than Master of One.])
I believe that this is one of the things related to me not being good at waiting, or starting strong, finishing weak. I like learning aboutthings, but most of the time, I lack follow-through. For example:
- I can discuss the plot, art, twists, nuances in characterization, and back up my personal interpretation when it comes to Fullmetal Alchemist; but I cannot bring myself to even try and talk about Amestrian politics.
- I enjoy drawing. I can say with confidence that I can draw well enough to make distinct and distinguishable human forms albeit with a Japanese animation aesthetic. However, I still need real people references, and I need to practice more with coloring and backgrounds.
- I love music, and I can appreciate a wide range of genres, correctly match the artist/composer to the piece, know a bit of history behind the artist and/or song, but breaking a song down in terms of musical technicality leaves a lot of room for improvement. Or, I know how to read notes for the purposes of piano-playing, but not for sight-singing.
The information that I have accumulated so far goes wide, but not deep. Many things capture my attention, and I am quite glad to know that I know so much across the board. I find a downside to that, however: I cannot bring myself to fully appreciate a craft, or a domain of knowledge. In my hoarding, I find myself zipping from one domain to the next, always wading in the shallow waters and never really diving in deep. I also find myself envying others who, at my age, have already mastered one craft.
I do wonder as to why I have come to this. When self-fulfillment/-discovery articles ask about That One Thing that you were passionate about when you were younger, it always boils down to three things:
- Music: I started singing and dancing when I was three, and my family were very supportive of my playing the Electone when I was five. I dabbled for a few months at a time in chorale singing, and now I volunteer at my church’s music team. I now find the need to step up my game.
- Drawing: I have always enjoyed coloring books when I was little, and the visual arts have always stirred my imagination. The adults in my family were also very supportive by buying me art materials and by providing me with scrap paper to doodle on (or else I deplete my school supplies before a quarter ends). Among the three, however, this was the craft I was able to sustain the longest – from fourth grade, right down to my second year in college, and I am quite happy to say that I am self-taught in all that I know.
- Writing: This was the craft that came much later. It had small starts in that my uncle had my letter published in the Junior Inquirer back when I was in third grade, and when fellow readers responded, I started a habit of writing letters. My writing skill improved all throughout middle school and college, and my style evolved as I dabbled in fanfiction writing, and eventually, role-playing. Now, I exercise this through blogging.
Notice that I do not even talk about my college major (European Languages – French). I am fascinated by languages, and foreign literature, do not get me wrong! They are what fuel my writing, after al! But now I feel the need to be able to focus – to actively invest in the gifts I was given; and, just like in hoarding things and thoughts, I find that I need to let go of pursuits that ultimately get in the way of my passions.
I have come to this revelation in my journey as I have learned to put God first: “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:31-33).
For a time, I felt that I had no passion, or that I had lost it. But I remember that I used to forsake sleep just to release thoughts onto my diary. I have put my grades at risk because I liked drawing better than engaging in mathematical formulas. I remember that I was never a stage- or camera-shy kid, because I embraced the opportunity to perform.
Then I realize this: God has a deep passion and love for His children and His creation , and I am made in His own image and likeness. I can therefore love and create with passion and abandon, too.
So for the past year, I have come to let go of a few things: I gave up role-playing so as I have more time for my blog. I had to let go of the ushering ministry so as I can align my passion and God’s gift of music. I gave up being pressured to make the most of a gym membership to spend more time with friends and family. And soon, I will have to let go of something else so as I can reclaim time and focus for drawing and playing the piano.
I look forward to being reunited with my pencils, pads and coloring materials, and getting dirty in the process. I look forward to teaching my nephews to get their hands dirty while being creative. I can only wish to be part of an exhibit, and I will not say “no” should the opportunity come knocking; but regardless, I pray to be able to inspire and to “disturb” people the same way that I am moved by the artists that I look up to.
I pray for excellence over the generous investment that God has made in me. Which is why gifts are called, “talents”, after all.