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  • Writer's pictureJill Chard

My Many Branching Paths

Updated: Apr 27, 2022

I've had it wrong this whole time; the way I've thought of myself, who I thought I should be. Grow up, choose a career, stick to it and work hard. That's how to become a valuable human being, right?

I tried that. Of all the branching paths before me, I chose the one I thought was right. But I soon found doing the same thing over and over was stifling, maddening, crazy-making. I had to change. I needed to turn my attention elsewhere. I couldn't stick to one thing and the expectations that I should caused me shame, made me see myself as less worthy. I turned myself into a bad joke: I'm a Jill of all know how the rest goes.

Here is where I thank Emelie Wapnik. If I hadn't seen her TEDTalk, I'd still be thinking there was something wrong with me. She helped me realize I have a gift, not a problem. It's ironic that, as a teacher, I used to tell my students each of them has something they are really good at, that they just have to find that one thing, all while feeling like I didn't. My advice is much different now. I tell them humans are neuro-diverse, that we've evolved to approach life differently. I tell them I can't find that one thing because that's not who I am. And that's more than okay.

Post paradigm shift, I see that I have a hell of a lot to offer the world. I yearn to be creative in all sorts of ways and milieus. I want to touch everything, try all the flavours, solve all the puzzles. For the first time in my life, I see all my many branching paths forward as the right ones. #multipotentialite

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