I got average grades in college. I wrote off university before my friends had even begun work on their personal statements. I’ve had almost as many jobs as I’ve had years on this spinning rock. And it took me a long time, first, to understand why I should learn, and second, to begin enjoying it as a process. Because of this I don’t fit the label of “specialist”. I haven’t spent ten years learning and doing a thing. I don’t have a hyper-focused area of interest and expertise. And I’m not now able to maintain a single one for an extended period of time—I’ve tried.
I better fit the label of “generalist”. But not because of some philosophical or ideological disposition. It was an accident. I was ignorant enough when I was young to avoid interest in any specific thing for a long period of time. Then, when a transformation begun to occur and I started to get interested, I realised everything was interesting if I looked in the right way.
So I missed out on specialisation twice. The first time when I didn’t knuckle down at a young age and commit to a specific domain or skillset. The second time when I realised I needed to do something with my life. At that point, I was like a kid at an all you-can-eat restaurant. I gourged on that, then that, then that, and then, after being severely bloated, I realised I still wanted to try everything.
I’m an accidental generalist, someone with a diverse set of interests, an even wider set of possible interests, and a definite inability to do only one goddamn thing.