A proud Jack of all trades

Sun.Star Cebu - - ‘ZUP! - EDI­TOR: Linette R. Can­talejo @lr­cre­ports DE­SIGN/ IL­LUS­TRA­TION: John Gil­bert V. Manan­tan [email protected]­star.com.ph #SunS­tarZUP KIMO CEA / Con­trib­u­tor

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”This is the typ­i­cal ques­tion asked of us when we were kids, giv­ing us the im­pres­sion that we need to fo­cus on only one job when we get older; and as ex­pected, this is what hap­pens to many of us.

We grow up and be­come what we en­vi­sioned our­selves to be—doc­tors, lawyers, ar­chi­tects, en­gi­neers, artists, et cetera. And there are also those who rebel and do the op­po­site of what’s ex­pected of them—they do this, they do that, they do a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing. Of­ten they are called the “Jack of all trades.”

There is no doubt that it feels good ev­ery time peo­ple com­pli­ment us for be­ing good at ev­ery­thing .“Wow! You’ re so multi skilled !”“How can I be like you?”It feels great ev­ery time we are seen as some­body who can do a lot of things and knows a lot of things. But most of the time, it comes with a price.

We can’t avoid it. There are some peo­ple who look down on the well-rounded. To them, we’re known as the “Jack of all trades but a mas­ter of none,” im­ply­ing that we’re not good at do­ing a spe­cial­ized task. We then doubt and ques­tion our­selves: “Am I re­ally good enough?” Yes, you are good enough. Be­ing multi-skilled is a gift, and never doubt that. It will be over­whelm­ing at first, but as you con­tinue the jour­ney to self-dis­cov­ery and fi­nally know what you want, then be­ing a Jack of all trades is ab­so­lutely fine. We can’t blame these peo­ple for look­ing down on us, so in a way it is also con­struc­tive feedback for us to as­sess what we re­ally want to ac­com­plish in life.

Grow­ing up, I al­ways wanted to be­come a na­tional ath­lete. That’s all I ever wanted to do. I was part of the school’s track and field var­sity that com­peted in lo­cal and na­tional com­pe­ti­tions. That was my dream. But when I had my ap­pen­dec­tomy and was not al­lowed to run for some time, I was forced to with­draw from the var­sity team. I felt bad think­ing I would never achieve my dream of rep­re­sent­ing the coun­try. So I had to do some­thing else.

I ex­plored my other in­ter­ests and was brought to the arts. Since then, I have dab­bled in any­thing—the­ater, TV, film, creative writ­ing and other artis­tic en­deav­ors as I bid good­bye to my dream of be­com­ing a na­tional ath­lete. I was left with no choice but to take an­other di­rec­tion. When I grad­u­ated from col­lege, I worked as a writer de­spite my doubts if I was re­ally good at writ­ing. There were so many things go­ing on in my head that my close friend (who was also my devil’s ad­vo­cate) had to ask: “So, what is it that you re­ally want to do? You’re good at things, but where is your fo­cus? You’re such a scat­ter­brain.” I felt re­ally bad at that point in my life.

In my jour­ney to re­dis­cov­er­ing my­self years ago, I met a lot of Jack of all trades. Some are still in the process of dis­cov­er­ing them­selves, and there are some who are al­ready suc­cess­ful in­di­vid­u­als. I have a friend who is good at a lot of things, too, from ta­ble set-up to dress mak­ing, cook­ing and in­te­rior de­sign. She also told me that she was clin­i­cally di­ag­nosed with bipo­lar dis­or­der. Then she found her love for choco­lates, fo­cused on it and started a busi­ness with it. Now, she is known for her choco­lates and con­tin­ues to do things she loves.

One day, over hot choco­late, she told me: “You’re a good com­mu­ni­ca­tor and a like­able guy, so why not start your own PR & Events team?” I was hes­i­tant at first, doubt­ing (again) if I could ever pull it off, even if my friends think highly of my pub­lic re­la­tions and events man­age­ment skills more than my writ­ing. Then it hit me. Maybe the rea­son I can’t move for­ward is that I am not do­ing what I am de­signed to do.

So I took a leap of faith and started my hum­ble PR & Events team. At first, it was daunt­ing to run a client-based busi­ness, but it went well with God’s grace and ev­ery­thing has been okay for three years now. I have a team both in Cebu and Davao han­dling mar­ket­ing and events projects where I still get to prac­tice my other in­ter­ests in the arts. It feels re­ally good to do the things I love. And be­ing the Jack of all trades that I am, I re­cently en­rolled in a culi­nary pro­gram so I can learn to cook. As they say, life is a con­tin­u­ous learn­ing process.

There are so many of us in this world—so many of us search­ing for what we re­ally want to do with our lives. We may be judged for be­ing “lost” and do­ing a lot of things and mas­ter­ing none, but don’t feel bad. We are all de­signed dif­fer­ently, and in this ever chang­ing world, be­ing a Jack (or a Jill) of all trades is per­fectly fine.

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