When it comes to college majors, careers, and adulting, the usual advice is to “just choose one.” One career. One path. One decision.
But what if you can’t be only one? Maybe sociology excites you as much as botany. Or perhaps you want to start a business and become a firefighter in the process. Or you might have this burning passion to expand your English degree beyond education.
The good news: following your heart’s (many) desires is possible!
Growing up, I struggled to figure out what I wanted to do. I wanted to go into writing, dancing, and education. (Bonus: At certain times of my life, I also wanted to be a nurse or a psychologist. Go figure.)
Since I couldn’t be one without the rest, I forged my own path. But as expected, few people identified themselves the same way I did — as a multipassionate. The available research was minimal, the term almost unknown.
So let’s start by talking about what it means to be multipassionate.
A multipassionate is a person who invests time, resources, and energy into two or more passions whose disciplines intersect in ways unique to that person.
So you can think of multipassionates as cookies. One person can be a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie with walnuts, while another might be a sugar cookie decorated with icing and sprinkles. All multipassionates, a variety of ingredients. 🍪🍪🍪
Most times, people tend to entertain interests outside of their job(s) or main business plans as hobbies. However, a multipassionate uses these skills and passions to embolden the flavor of their work.
Just like there are different cookies, there are different multipassionate types. Based on observation, the following are the most common.
- Full Integration. A person who uses more than one discipline for their everyday work, creative and otherwise
- Mixed Integration. A person who uses each of their interests at varying degrees to inform the others
- Set Integration. A person who designates particular passions to certain times
But these aren’t the only forms of multipassionate living. We’re a mixed bag of goods who refuse to be forced into a cookie cutter. So, of course, we’d have range in variety. The bottom line is we feel most alive when we let ourselves be.
How Do You Identify?
The best indicator of a multipassionate: It’s hard for you to choose because you can’t. When people tell you to “pick one,” you can’t because one passion doesn’t stand alone from the others. You are born with this mishmash of amazingness.
I knew I was a multipassionate when I couldn’t decide on a “niche” to suit my vision for Hint of Jam, which ultimately was a testament of who I am — a creator of stories through words and movement. I can’t be summed up as simply a writer, a reader, or a creative. Instead, I produce stories informed by the ones I participate in and admire from page and stage.
Multihyphenate vs. Multipassionate
Is there a difference? Yes, but a fine line divides the two.
Multihyphenates play multiple roles in one industry. For example, singer-songwriters like Kina Grannis and Ed Sheeran. Similarly, there are writer-editors such as Megan Nicole and literary agent-bloggers like Maria Ribas.
Multipassionates, on the other hand, embody and mix roles from differing industries to make them their own. Some key multipassionates are Colin Wright (author-speaker-traveler), Emma Watson (actress-activist), Maggie Stiefvater (author-visual artist-awesome human), and Rashad Jennings (football player-poet-dancer).
The Point Is . . .
The finer details are not what matter. Whether you have two major interests or eleven, all in the same industry or from various ones, being a multipassionate matters because we add color and brilliance to the world. By knowing who we are, we can encourage each other to find ways our passions intersect and to keep making the work work.
I believe this is the best time and place to start a discussion. Thus . . .
A New HoJ Project
Since late 2016, I’ve secretly started working on “The Multipassionate Project,” which is a collection of interviews where we talk about the individual’s creative processes, their journey, and ways they find balance. The multipassionates we’ll be spotlighting include Mike Mavilia, Haley M. Pettit, and Maria Dunn. With each feature, I hope to further understanding so we can continue to grow.
Bookmark this page for updates and keep an eye out for new releases at the top of the month starting December 2017.
Are you ready for the exciting things to come?
- Mike Mavilia in December 2017
- Haley Pettit (January 2018)
- Maria Dunn (February 2018)
- Rose Ketring (March 2018)
Is there a multipassionate you’d like me to interview? Or are you interested in being featured on HoJ? Let me know in the comments or send me an email at Jamae@HintofJam.com so I can start making connections and bringing more creatives to the spotlight.
Dec 9, 2017
On Tuesday, December 12, 2017, at 5 p.m. PT (click here to convert to your local time), our Twitter chat “Starting with Yourself: A Multipassionate Talk” will focus on how self management can help us fulfill our calling. Follow along through the hashtag #OurMakeSpace. Hope to see you there, friends! 🌱✨