Since I was a kid, I have been inspired by the “Jack of All Trades”.
This legendary-esque person who could do it all. You know the type. It’s the MacGyver of the real world. The individual who can weld a pipe as well as he can sew a pillowcase. The one who can fashion a dress out of paper clips but also construct their own dining room furniture. Or maybe they can expertly handle a pairing knife for baking but also use that same knife for performing a life-saving tracheotomy in a restaurant. Who knows?
Ultimately, this has been one of the few things I have actually aspired to in my life (and my wife will tell you, there aren’t many others).
I am starting to believe this is the reason why I held, what seemed like, 30 different jobs between the ages of 16 and 21. Maybe this is why I have had 5 career changes in my life with no eventual end in sight. Or, possibly, why I was secretly hoping to use my weeks of EMT training (15 years ago) by delivering our daughter myself while we were stuck in a massive traffic jam on the way to the hospital (for this reason alone my wife was relieved to begin labor late in the evening – NO TRAFFIC).
It’s this ongoing quest to be good at a variety of jobs and skills.
I have ZERO desire to be an expert or professional at any one thing in my life. As I achieve a point of mastery (loosely speaking according to my own standards, of course), I am ready to move on to something else.
I am not necessarily saying this is a good thing. Fortunately, I have a very supportive and understanding wife who doesn’t seem to mind my pursuits.
What I do know and firmly believe is at the heart of this desire is my enjoyment of being able to quickly and easily connect with another human being.
It’s an amazing feeling when you can identify with another person according to their likes and desires instead of writing that person off because they don’t fit into your pre-conceived ideas of a friend.
Now, I have to come clean here. I am not anywhere near the level of a “Jack of all Trades”. I have had the privilege of knowing a few of those characters in my life and they are amazing.
So, I am proposing this new title for myself “Joker of Various Trades”. (This is not a humor reference, just thinking about playing cards and was pretty sure King or Queen would not be a good fit.)
I am not the most adept person at a particular set of skills, but I am also not the least adept person.
This means you can talk to me about a specific interest of yours and even ask me for assistance in certain circumstances, but this will usually be after your first, second and third choices have told you they are too busy or been hit by a car or kidnapped or something.
Not to worry, though, they will probably perform surgery on themselves or masterfully escape their captors and be right back to offer you the help or camaraderie you actually need within no time.
Until then, I humbly offer my wide-variety of amateur services to everyone in hopes we will someday connect on a level deeper than casual acquaintance.