My life was written on ten sheets of paper

I have a lot of interests and talents. I think I came to grips with this when I did an exercise in career analysis many years ago. I read the book "What Color is your Parachute?" a practical manual for job hunters and career changers. It's an annually revised book by Richard Bolles. The exercise I remember best was to take ten sheets of paper and write "Who Am I" on the top of each sheet. The exercise is to find out what your passions are and what you do well. At the time of the exercise I felt devoid of talents. That was 20+ years ago after I finished graduate school, worked a few not-so-fulfilling jobs, had a son, moved across the country, gave birth to a daughter, and then moved back to our original digs. After thought and mediation I came up with my ten aspects of who I was. The end result was I felt better about myself and identified strengths that could manifest into potential jobs or careers. It was an interesting time in my life, twenty years ago. My children and home were my priority and I worked only part-time. I took those ten things about me and explored them with zeal. I felt it was my way of improving myself. I looked at cooking completely different, trying new recipes and expanding my knowledge of chopping, baking, kneading, sauteeing and watched TV chefs for inspiration. Then I started sewing in a completely different way. I spent time understanding my sewing machine, understanding the options and I made lots of clothes for myself and my daughter.Then I started playing the piano more and taught myself the guitar again, practicing a lot. Then I started marketing myself with a technical writing group, writing and editing medical articles and how-to manuals. I feel a little dizzy thinking about this time in my life. I have only bits and pieces of time to devote to those talents anymore. I am writing this blog as my way of rekindling that once tapped writer in me. I have to say it was one of the happiest times in my life because I was totally free to explore who I was. I was the most at peace with myself that I can ever remember. I was true to me and felt good about me. I also realized I couldn't live this way forever because I was changing. I was growing into a more mature professional at work and I wanted more from my work. I wanted to work with people and not just with computers, fabric, food, policies, manuals, pianos, music etc. Exploring those talents allowed me to perfect those skills. There is such much more to understanding any skill or profession by looking below the surface. I realized that I picked the right career and that I needed to complete the dream of my career by being a nurse practitioner. So fast forward to my life now having worked as a nurse practitioner for ten years. This past decade I was challenged to the depths of my resources and knowledge. I have come out the other side having questioned my career path several times, but now affirmed again that I am where I belong. So when people come over to my house they say "Oh you have a piano, do you play?" "Oh I loved your Peanut Butter Banana bread you must be a great cook!" "Oh your progress notes are so organized you are a great writer, have you ever published?" I think of that exercise of Who am I? I am all over-the-place, me.

Patty

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