Hello Hello, is anyone out there?

What should you do when you want to do everything? If you're fascinated by everything, and you've been called dabbler, dilettante, undisciplined, indecisive etc., this forum is for you.

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Re: Hello Hello, is anyone out there?

Postby SquarePeg » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:20 am

BarbaraSher wrote:Choose one thing to pay your rent and make sure it's not suffocating or distasteful, that the people are nice, that your boss doesn't resent your intelligence (by searching for a brilliant boss) at the very least. Then do what you love on your own time.
One summer, between my last two years of college (for electrical engineering), I temped as a designer of printed circuit boards. As a temp, I tended to get the jobs that could be explained easily -- no one wanted to invest too much time or effort into training a temp. Sometimes folks were too busy to give me things to do, ironically. And they'd tend to give me easy jobs, not knowing my potential. I think that's true of the relationships between temps and direct hires, in general.

The work was so easy. I'd finish up a week-long project in less than a day, or a few hours even. I had such vast quantities of time that I was able to teach myself C++ programming using one of those "Teach Yourself XYZ in 21 Days" books. (Of course, that was in 1990 or so. Today's "Teach Yourself" get the job done in 24 hours.) Anyway, I never appeared to be goofing off since I was supposed to be working at the computer anyway. And I'd even get so wrapped up in the lessons that I'd stay a bit later, skip breaks and take short lunches. I'm sure I was perceived as extremely dedicated and hard working.
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Re: Hello Hello, is anyone out there?

Postby SquarePeg » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:26 am

BarbaraSher wrote:-snip-
And then something happened. I found "my people". A field where I felt at home and was energized by the people working in it. And I got comfortable with the idea of being known as "The Desert Auntie" (Die Woestyntannie) I still work in other fields like Foreign Language Teaching and I'm currently working on a project with a colleague in Physics and Engineering (?!). But getting comfortable with a specialty and a supportive group has made me more relaxed and brave enough to stick out my chest and say: Currently I'm also branching out into this.../ At the moment I'm also expanding into.../ I've also been trained to do.... and this ties in nicely with... Instead of finding frustration and feeling trapped in a specialty, choosing the desert set me free and made me braver to research whatever the hell I please.
Thank you! Yes! This is exactly what happened when my daughter started to attend the half-day art magnet school. She finally found her tribe. She fit in, after 10 long painful years. But as I wrote earlier, she has art school burnout. She still loves her fellow students, but the mandatory art assignments are now chores, especially those that force her out of her element. And the teachers constantly push for her to expand her repertoire. And then there's the anxiety about her work being judged and evaluated that has grown to near debilitating levels.
Last edited by SquarePeg on Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hello Hello, is anyone out there?

Postby BarbaraSher » Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:02 pm

Maybe she's burned out on high-school art programs, but not art. And that's why she loves her student friends. When I went to UCLA after Berkeley, all my friends were artists and in the UCLA art department - which was a really good department. The teachers were artists, and they just wanted to help the students do whatever it was they were doing. They respected them. I took a photography course and the teacher liked my work but said (accurately) that my negatives looked like a truck had driven over them. He advised some finer film, and a tripod, etc. I followed his advice, and set up some perfectly awful still lifes to shoot, slowly, with attention to the grey tones and when he saw them he nearly cried. He begged me to forget everything he had said and to go back to what I had been doing before. He said it was exciting and alive before and that was more important. It took me a few years to get back to the earlier freedom, I confess. But I didn't ever feel what you describe your daughter going through.

So maybe she's a real artist. If so, she shouldn't ever put herself through a college version of that high school, magnet or no.

Then, of course, we get to the subject of earning a living. A handful of my friends went on to have relatively successful careers as painters. Which means they had shows and sold painting for good prices. But never enough to live on. They were either broke most of the time or had side jobs. (I'm sure they helped with the census every 10 years :-) I laughed out loud at that, SP). But they all had side jobs in college, too. None of us were from families who paid our tuition. We were all on our own, so we were used to working at one place or another. One of them ran the banana boat at the first DisneyLand. He loved it and invited us all out to sneak in for free, and we loved it too. Everybody had a job and we managed. One went to work for the 'Science Factual' department at Disney and worked with Werner von Braun. He was the technical director on 2001 - his name was spread across that whole screen. I still get a kick out of seeing that. He was a science fiction genius, a farm boy from the midwest who came to L.A. on his own, who cartooned and illustrated and was a super painter, too. He had a real job with more serious money. One became the head of an art department in a community college. I don't know what happened to most of the others. But none of them had to put up with what your daughter is experiencing. They were taught with real respect by real artists.

I say all this because 1) your daughter may not be tired of learning art at all, and 2) she should probably look for some other ability she has that will earn money without eating up all her time. I had another friend when I was older and living in New York, an actor, who was good with numbers and did taxes for performers. He worked two or three months a year and lived on the proceeds quite comfortably the rest of the year, while he went out on road shows, acting and singing to his heart's content.
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Re: Hello Hello, is anyone out there?

Postby BarbaraSher » Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:18 pm

Enteth wrote:Hi everyone,

I've been lurking for a week or so - taking the advice to read some posts before jumping in with my own. This seems the perfect thread to begin with.

I bought 'I Could Be Anything ..' years ago and it has helped me enormously. I'm a Scanner, although I refused to admit that for some years. I've tried out a few different careers in my life but just when they get serious, I get out. I am hoping to overcome this since it has left me feeling very unfulfilled. Not unhappy - I actually enjoy everything I do. However, I showed enormous promise at school but I am still at the same point as I was when I finished, except older and with less energy. I have a much better understanding of myself than I did, but I know it is time to move on. I'd also like a real income, and my husband would love to share the burden of the mortgage and the costs of raising children.

I tend to be very happy with whatever I am doing, until ... I don't know what it is - the enthusiasm drains away, I can feel it happen, within a few hours I know that what I've passionately worked on ,day in day out for the past months, is now done with and I'm able to leave it - no - I'm almost compelled to leave it, I feel an almost physical ache if I force myself to stick with it.

Two of my four children are exactly the same. I've seen it in them from the time they were toddlers and they are now in university and high school. I'm hoping to find techniques to help myself become established before I end my days with no superannuation and no respect from my highly professional extended family, and so I can have the fun that I know is out there for people with a thorough understanding of their field and an authoritative position in society.

I can really relate to most of the things I've seen written here. I'm saving up for 'Refuse To Choose' :)



I hope you both got your hands on Refuse to Choose. (It's in the library, and it sells for a buck or two on abebooks.com so you shouldn't have to save up for it.)

I could come up with very practical solutions to these problems but 1) I already answered them in Refuse to Choose, and 2) for some reason, today I'm seeing words like this jump out at me: "and no respect from my highly professional extended family," and "a thorough understanding of their field and an authoritative position in society."

I'm beginning to wonder how often a Scanner's problems are due to a simple lack of familiarity with the practical solutions, solvable by excellent books like Refuse to Choose :) and how often they're all twisted up in the yearning and sorrow of being different from their own families, and never being seen as valuable in their own right. "Highly professional" extended families with 'an authoritative position in society" can often be totally blind to any other way of living and it's impossible for them to believe anything could be better than what they've chosen.

In Leonardo da Vinci's day, they wouldn't have been admired more than he was - or even as much. The same was true of Plutarch, Goethe and Benjamin Franklin and many more whose names aren't as familiar. In those days, the world respected talent and knowledge - not only the kind you got a universities (which produced, basically, civil servants and priests) but the kind that came from the minds of inventive and creative people.

That time lasted longer than you think, but it passed. Generalists became less valuable, specialists became the ones with "authoritative position in society." And now, the world envies them. They can afford nice clothes and send their kids to good schools. If they're happy, there's nothing you can say to them. All's right in their world. Only the intellectual, philosophical giants among them understand that life isn't that simple. The rest just feel that they got the gold ring and have no reason to question it.

And then again, some of them drink too much, and you might suspect they don't fit in quite as well as they had hoped. If you have relatives like that, even though they might look like the same kind of successful professionals, it might be worth talking to them to see if they ever had other dreams they had to give up, and how they felt about them.

But I sympathize with that aspect of the problem. Unless your family was made up of monsters, you can't help wishing they could see you and admire who you are.
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Re: Hello Hello, is anyone out there?

Postby elizagard » Sat May 14, 2016 11:31 am

"I'm horrified to think about how many people still believe they're broken and useless because they can't find The One Right Thing."

Even though I know I'm a scanner (and gifted which is very often the same thing), I still feel useless sometimes, or at least as though I'm not doing anything meaningful with my life at the moment. Is there anyway to direct more people back over to this board? Maybe I can try a post on some of the Facebook scanner groups. I've tried a couple gifted groups on Facebook, but many are focused on the emotional issues of relating to other people or the focus is on social justice. I feel like I should be doing more to help other people as I've retired early, but really I just want to explore and play and learn all the stuff I didn't explore when I was younger like math and science. That's in addition to all the things that have always interested me - books, travel, language, art, and nature. It's not that I don't care about what's going on in the world, but how much can I really do? I've though about doing some reading tutoring for adults about once a week. Why do I feel that I should be devoting my entire life to service? Isn't that the more evolved thing to do?

Am I just a dilettante who never gets good at anything? When I was working or in school, I never felt an obligation to justify my existence. I didn't feel that I needed a purpose. However, I did believe that I was good at my job, and didn't realize how much of my identity derived from that.
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Re: Hello Hello, is anyone out there?

Postby elizagard » Sat May 14, 2016 9:55 pm

Anybody???
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Re: Hello Hello, is anyone out there?

Postby Elaine Glimme » Sun May 15, 2016 3:12 pm

Hi, Elizigard,

From the things you posted on the scared or lazy, thread, I'd think, 'wow, she's got retirement figured out.' It sounds as if you've been having a great retirement. So I'm not sure what else you want to do.

Here's my two cents - just in case any of it helps you. Retirement is tricky. You have to do some planning or you spend the whole day watching TV. Once in a while, okay, but not something you want to make a habit of. I try to get outside, get some exercise and talk to other people every day. When I don't do this, I get depressed. A lot of my retired friends do some volunteer work, part time of course. That's a way to feel useful, if that's what's missing. I think scanners have an easier time with retirement than non-scanners. For me, it's a challenge to fill the days, and there are times when I get bored. I loved my job, and I had things to do in the evenings and weekends. Now there's more time to fill, and of course there's the challenge of a body that won't do what it used to.

I also wish more people visited the Boards. I'll add another post with a link to two Facebook pages. There are people posting more often there. One is "Scanners look what I've done" and the other is "Scanners look what I'm going to do."

Good luck.


Link to facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1969716 ... 523098885/

and https://web.mail.comcast.net/zimbra/mail?app=mail#2
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
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Re: Hello Hello, is anyone out there?

Postby Elaine Glimme » Sun May 15, 2016 3:56 pm

p.s. I love The Boards, and I also wish more people posted here. If you can think of any ways to attract people, I'm willing to help.
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Re: Hello Hello, is anyone out there?

Postby SquarePeg » Tue May 17, 2016 10:29 am

elizagard wrote:Why do I feel that I should be devoting my entire life to service? Isn't that the more evolved thing to do?
Yes, I feel that way, too, and the feeling seems to get stronger the older I get. I know an old guy who has been retired for a long time. He's a mentor to his local school district's robotics teams and activities. He's fond of joking, "Since I've retired, I'm finally down to a 40-hour work day." He just loves working with the students, getting a spark to light up as they go about problem solving.
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