Welcome to the Mind of a Dabbler

When I grow up, I want to be a…

Who among us hasn’t said those words? For some of us, the word that filled that blank remained constant throughout childhood, puberty, college, and the great beyond known as adulthood. For the rest of us, it’s constantly in flux.

Sure, for a couple years in elementary school I wanted to be a writer, but mixed in were days where the answer could just as likely have been “ballerina,” “mother of a million dogs” or “President of the United States of America.”

Nowadays, despite being an adult, I still find that last word hard to pin down. Passions come and go, return decades later, peter out after a few years. Let’s face it, I’m a dabbler.

What does it mean to dabble? Here’s the dictionary definition, courtesy of Merriam-Webster:

dab·​ble | \ ˈda-bəl  \dabbleddabbling\ ˈda-​b(ə-​)liŋ  \

intransitive verb 1: to work or involve oneself superficially or intermittently especially in a secondary activity or interest

Superficial involvement? Check. Intermittent work? Check. With the unending array of hobbies and career paths out there, I can’t limit myself to just one, so dabbling it is!

To give you an idea of the types of things I’ve tried, here’s a short list:

  • Ballet
  • French horn
  • Running (12 slooooow marathons and numerous 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, relays…)
  • Rock climbing
  • Rowing (world’s shortest rower AND world’s least-assertive coxswain)
  • Gardening
  • French language (bien sur, je voudrais un pain au chocolat!)
  • Football recruiting
  • Making jam/preserving food
  • Tour guide…

This non-exhaustive list doesn’t even include the things I’ve only thought about doing, but haven’t yet tried (racecar driving, international diplomacy, stand-up comedy, woodworking, radio DJing…).

With that in mind, I started thinking – what must it be like to actually do some of these things professionally? Is it as glamorous and exciting as it seems? What are the biggest misconceptions people have about these jobs?

So, I’m setting off on a journey to learn what it really means to be a professional ______ from the experts themselves. Join me!

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