I’ve written before about my “Marcel Proust madeleine moments,” and I had another one yesterday…coming back from getting new air filters and I’m bored with all my usual Sirius/XM channels. So I wander over to the Opera/Classical station, and they’re playing Maurice Durufle’s “Requiem.” I sang it in University Chorale for Laven Sowell, and it all came flooding back. Had to sit in the car until the end of the movement.
Which leads me to think about all the non-linear paths we take in life.
In school, I was originally a Journalism major, and when that degree got pushed out of existence, I switched over to the Business school and eventually got out with a B. Sci. in Business Administration. I was divided in my love of organizational behavior and marketing (use them to this day), but even while I committed to this I kept my liberal arts side: dabbling in music, theatre, philosophy, etc. All the stuff that makes University life exhilarating and so different from high school. Sorry, Mom and Dad: I graduated after 5 years with a Business major and a Technical Theatre minor — and a TON more credits than one needed to graduate if I’d stayed in a straight line.
But I regret little of that — the opportunities to explore diverse concepts in depth has hopefully made me a better person. A better leader at work. And definitely a better Dad. I regularly draw linkages between disparate historical events when my daughter asks questions. I think she’s learned that by posing these questions near 9 pm, she can prolong her bedtime while she watches Dad spin out a tale. Pretty sneaky.
The fact that my Gallup StrengthsFinder #1 is Learner is no surprise.
As the parent of an almost-13-year-old, I’m forever awed by the differences between my child and myself. For starters, she’s a competitive gymnast and that drives her in ways that I never was. Her focus, her ability to do homework before and after long practices makes me both envious and amazed at what possibilities she has in her future.
I try to leaven that focus by providing opportunities to see the world as more than just a straight line to accomplishment. Every now and again, when I have a moment of recollection of something from my youth and childhood, I’m reminded all over again that it’s the meandering paths that make life interesting. At least it is for a Learner.