Jack of all trades, master of none

Subtitle: A real update, because they’ve been quite foofy as of late 😉

That phrase has been rattling around in my mind for quite some time now – in fact, dating back to my college graduation. It’s been torturing me with its taunting words, implying that while I’m quite good at a number of things, nothing that I do is stellar.

This week, I’ve overcome that demon.

As it happens, I do have a varied set of interests. I love football, but I’m not so knowledgable to be a commentator (much less a player!) Those of you who read this site regularly have noticed my passion for music – but those of you who spend time with me “in real life” know that I can’t sing, play, or write. I briefly toyed with the idea of a career in interior design. I love the stuff. I’ve even suffered mocking for my “idea notebook.” 🙂 But again – I’m not that good. I’m an excellent cook, but not a gourmet chef. You get the picture.

This is a story about my triumph, not my shortcomings, so I’ll get on with the story.

The conclusion that I’ve come to is that this is why I’m a journalist. Because of my love for all of these things, I’m capable of writing an article about them. I’m an excellent researcher and a darn good interviewer (if I do say so myself!), and these skills allow me to get to the heart of the subject matter. I’ve been told that I have a grace to my writing; at least several of y’all list that as the reason why you repeatedly visit this site. 😉 Besides all that, I’ve realized over the past year or so that I love to learn.

Stop laughing, Heather. Seriously – grad school has done wonders for me. I’m just as picky as I ever was, but after almost 18 years of education, I now know that I enjoy learning if the topic’s right.

So there you have it – I’m a journalist, and I love it. Deadlines stress me out, but they’re moments that I thrive on. I love seeing my name in print, and I take pride in my work. I’ve seen marked improvements in my writing this semester. My interviews have gone from very matter-of-fact to drawing out the meat of my articles. In short, I’m growing.

Somewhere along the way, I also decided to grow up. 🙂 Moving to Alabama did a lot of that for me. When it’s time, you know it – perhaps in a way similar to how people claim you “just know” when someone is “the one.”

Really, what defines a “grown up” anyway? Relevant Magazine once pointed me to a study that reported that most Americans consider the age 26 to be a signifier of this milestone. “Good,” I thought to myself. “I have four years before I have to stop saying ‘when I grow up.'”

My friend Scott, on the other hand, argued that both he and I are already “grown ups.” Neither of us have reached the ripe old age of 26 (though he’s only months away). But in his opinion, we’re there – or at the very least, he is. We’ve both graduated from college, and he has (what I like to call) a “real” job. I’m working towards a master’s degree – that’s also a rather “adult” thing to do.

Of course, Scott also explained to me, “I’m grown up, but I think when I’m married, I’ll really be grown up.” I laughed. What if I never get married – will I never be a grown up? What if I get married when I’m forty – does it take that long to become an adult?

For me, the marking point in becoming a “grown up” has been moving over five hundred miles away from my parents. Though I’ve been living apart from them for four years, I still had a solid support system at Florida State. It was almost as though I never ventured out on my own. Though I developed many new friendships, I entered with the safety net of people that I knew from high school. I made a move toward independence, but it was in baby steps. That was what I needed then. Not so now.

I’m twenty-two, mature (most of the time 😉 ), single, and on my own. This is the time to explore life and chase dreams – and I’m doing just that. I love it.

In that, I’ve begun to find my niche. I’m preparing to apply for summer internships and I’ve been beefing up my portfolio (which now looks quite professional, thanks to a sassy number from Office Depot.) I’ve been refining my writing skills. In fact, I’ve even begun to enjoy my research. I’ve become quite the little adult.

Still, I retain a few child-like qualities. I’m young, and I relish that. I feel like an adult as I write this. My hair and make up have been styled, I’ve been up since 6:30 A.M., and I’m writing in what I hope is a coherent fashion. But I look down and I’m reminded of my youth. My feet are propped on a camping chair, and googly eyed pig socks are smiling back at me. My cup of coffee and I are quite content in my front porch rocking chair on this Thursday afternoon. My weekend has begun.

Even that weekend retains traces of my newfound adulthood, though. After I finish sharing my thoughts with you, a lengthy to-do list will become my master. I’ll be forced back into the process of maturation – but I intend to enjoy each minute of it.

Today, this is what my life is about. I’ve been brought to this front porch in small-town Alabama with great purpose in mind. While I work, I’ll dream a little, realizing that I’m becoming the woman that God intends me to be.

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