(I hail from North Carolina, so Blackbeard is "our pirate." No, really. One trip to The Outer Banks and you will realize that we OWN him.)
Anyway, this guy is an expert in all things Blackbeard, and does many school and town appearances and lectures each year, and is obviously great at what he does because, hello, The History Channel.
And I'm like . . . Wow. Now there's a guy who's found his niche.
That's when I turn to my husband and say: "I'm not an expert in anything."
I have two degrees. I feel like I've been writing and teaching forever, yet I'm an expert in nothing.
This might be why I've never been able to get this blog focused and moving in a specific direction. I have no "platform" because I'm just not a platform kind of person. If there's something I'm interested in, I just sort of put it out there.
(More often than not, I hold back because . . . relevance.)
So no, there's not much cohesion going on in these parts. Then I think about all of the people who do have a platform and are doing it well, and all the marketing experts screaming "find your platform!" and I'm just like . . . okay. I suck.
But then I heard something in a lecture from Elizabeth Gilbert, and it might just be what sets me free. Because I realized:
I am a hummingbird.
You have your jackhammers, who know what they want and how to get it and never stray off course. And then there are the hummingbirds. We flutter from flower to flower picking up things here and dropping them off there, pollinating everything in our paths. We feed and fly all day long. We can fly up, down, forward, and backward--any direction we want. And we can hover.
As a writer, I know I'm a jackhammer. I have to write--that's my ultimate purpose.
But, as a human being, I'm a metaphorical hummingbird.
Last year my reading took me from Alaska to China, from the Revolutionary War to rural farms to the desert. It took me from mindfulness to art to goals to education to giftedness to a man named Dabrowski who believed that the trials we face are essential in helping us become our authentic selves. I read about shame and writing and creativity and storytelling and cleaning and the importance of myth.
Up. Down. Forward. Backward.
I find a topic that interests me, I read up on it (sometimes obsessively) until I've sated that need.
Then I'm on to something else.
And really, I should've come to this conclusion much, much sooner. I have two liberal arts degrees, including a master's in liberal studies. This means I spent my academic years focusing on a "breadth" of knowledge over depth.
Because this is the person I am--and have always been.
And since "fix the blog" appears on almost every goal list I've ever made, I'm doing something different this year.
I'm not going to fix anything.
I'm just going to post, and not apologize for the lack of focus--complete randomness, at times. I'm embracing my inner hummingbird. When I find something worth sharing, I'll talk about it.
This will be a curiosity-driven blog. Like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get.
Could be a crazy ride.
But I hope you continue to join me. :D
P.S. If you want to view the Liz Gilbert lecture I referenced, you can find it here. It was a Super Soul Session, and well worth the watch. After watching, I'd love to know if you're a hummingbird or a jackhammer. Because, quite frankly, the world needs all of us.