Am I Spreading Myself Too Thin?
to spread yourself too thin
to try to do too many things at the same time, so that you cannot give enough time or attention to any of them.
– Cambridge Online Dictionary
Well. Am I?
This question is one I’ve been asking myself repeatedly, as of late. In fact, I’m having a rather difficult time with it. After all… At the moment I am working on quite a few separate projects; four, to be precise. The Lace & Lilacs Podcast, An E-Magazine, Lace & Lilacs Design, &, of course, this ‘lil blog. On top of that, I am honing my photography skills and preparing for a life-altering move. I’ll soon be attending college full time, too.
I suppose my excuse for these various undertakings has always been this: I am young, I don’t entirely know what career I’d like to pursue, and I’m dabbling in a bit of this and that. Trying to find my way.
But am I right to do this? Should I instead be investing all my time in a specific niche; in just one venture? I know if forced to select a single topic, it would certainly be photography. I’ve chosen it as my major for this reason, of course. But I love writing so very much, too, and experimenting with basic design is another little hobby of mine.
I guess I’d just like to hear your thoughts on all this. Am I being absolutely ridiculous, attempting everything at once?
How will you find out, what really resonates with you, if you do not try different avenues? How will you find how to “Follow your bliss” as Joseph Campbell said, if you don’t seek?
One possible question….. Being only 17, do you really need to find your life’s work, right now? Do you have to be almost-super-involved, with the search? I don’t know. I am only asking. Perhaps someone else will have the answer.
One thing is for sure! You are already, an amazing young woman. Seems you will continue on this track. And I wish you a lifetime of Joy, in whatever you find, to be “your Bliss.”
Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Tessa! Hopefully everything in my life will come together at the appropriate time, whenever that may be. 🙂 xo
I don’t know if it’s a matter of right and wrong, or a matter of staying realistic. I’m a passionate person and I’ve invested time and resources in different passions throughout my life (for example: tennis, studying Italian, writing, baking, photography, running). I don’t regret pursuing any of those passions, but I could never do them all well if I tried to do them all at once. I’ve concluded that, for me (and my sanity!), it’s best to hone in on one or two things and do them really well instead of juggling five or six. But I think each person is different, and temperament and personality both play a role.
So to answer your question, I think you have to know yourself well and what is realistic in light of your upcoming move and transition to school. Whatever you decide, I know you will be successful :).
Thank you so much for this comment, Laura! I agree with you 100%… it’s best to focus on a few things at a time so that they can be done well.
I suppose my only worry with that, though, is that I’ll loose sight of the passions I’m not pursuing and end up stuck in a rut, if that makes sense?
I’m sure everything will fall into place. 🙂
I guess if you can commit to everything and put in a good amount of effort and you enjoy yourself, then you’re not!! 😀 It’s good to get started young, but not to young that you’ll end up hating it for the rest of your life. It seems as if you have a lot of stuff, but the stuff is all done wonderfully :DDD Oh and I think it’s better to be discovering interests and stuff earlier but that’s probably just my opinion.
Thanks so much for your comment, Anne! I think you’re totally right!
I agree, it’s good to discover your interests early on. You can always change them as you grow older, of course, but it’s nice to be passionate about something and have career goals during such an uncertain time in life.
By the way, I’ve been LOVING your blog lately! Those croissants! *insert heart-eyes emoji here*
Of course, there is no right answer. For one person it is one thing and for another it is entirely different. You, as we all do, need to find your right balance.
However, I do know from my own experience that postponing what I love doesn’t work. If I love something I never want to put it on the back burner. And I love A LOT of things and people! For me, the challenge has been staying true to what I really love at that particular time. I found that I could get bogged down doing a whole bunch of things that I used to love doing, but didn’t really want to be doing anymore. Once I slowed down and asked myself if I really wanted to still be doing those things, I was able to see that I was going through the motions, but I was not really in love with that particular thing anymore.
I find it useful to live by the idea – never put off what you love. Really look at all of those things you mentioned, and the ones you didn’t mention, and see if you really love all of those things. Or are you doing some of them because you used to love them? I find the following to be true, “the only time wasted is time spent not loving and the only time worth regretting is time spent not learning.” If you love what you are doing, you will never be spread too thin…or at least thats what I believe.
Hope some of my experience is helpful to you.
Oh my goodness, Kathryn, this comment is amazing. An actual lifesaver! Thank you so, so much.
It’s easy to go through the motions, especially when they’re comfortable or familiar, but you’re right, if you don’t love them, it isn’t worth it.
I suppose if you really love something you’ll do it well, regardless of how many other tasks you’re juggling.
Abby, first of all this is such a true and honest post – i love it!
the wonderful thing is you’re such a go getter and that is such a great way to be!!
as long as you’ve got some down time to chill and recoop i think you’re doing an amazing job 🙂
keep up the amazing work and good luck for the move! woo!!!
Thanks so much, girl! It was a difficult post to write, but I’m so glad I did. 🙂
Yep, relaxation time is key! I think you’re right, as long as I have time to do absolutely nothing sometimes, I’m good. Lately I’ve been running on hardly any sleep, though, hahah.
And thanks for wishing me luck!! It’s getting REAL….. *gulp*
I’m in a stage similar to yours-unsure as to when I should be pruning off “unnecessary” things in my life that I like to do, and turning them into pastimes rather than my regular habitual activities. Personally, I think this is the time when you should be trying everything, mainly because this is such a vibrant, lively time of life. When we’re young, we feel as if the whole world is at our fingertips (and for you, it actually is!) Don’t be afraid to do all of the things you love, unless doing those things becomes a chore. If that happens, take a break and try to find a new perspective as to why you loved it in the first place. I recently just turned 18, and I seem to be toeing the fine line between legal adulthood and being the eccentric free spirited girl I always was. It’s a crazy time, but these years are when we truly find out who we are and what we want to become. Good luck in Paris, Abby!
Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Melanie! I agree, this is such a crazy time in our lives… but it’s fun and exciting, too!
You’re totally right – I think it’s okay to have a lot on your plate as long as you can a) handle the responsibilities and b) ENJOY them.
Again, thank you for wishing me luck! I hope this year is a great one for you.
I wouldn’t say you’re spreading yourself too thin! There are no rules saying what you can and cannot be interested in. It’s great that you’ve already done so much at a young age!
What I’ve learned is that I function better when I’m working on something I’m passionate about. The moment that passion is gone, whatever I’m doing turns into a chore. I’m going into my junior year of college, and I’ve cut out all of the activities/projects I’m no longer passionate about. It’s so relieving!
As long as you’re happy and you love what you’re doing, there’s no problem! What’s great is that if you decide you want to stop a project, that’s totally fine. In the grand scheme of things, there are no consequences at this point in time if you’d like to focus on other projects. Do what you want to do – nothing’s stopping you!
And again, good luck with your move. Going to college in Paris is such an incredible experience!
Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Emily! I completely agree with everything you’ve said, and can relate to your experiences with working on projects… if the passion is gone, it’s a chore. But we can always cut out the things we’re no longer interested in!
Thanks again for wishing me luck! You’re too sweet. I hope your junior year is a fabulous one!
Most people who take on this many projects are doing it as their full-time job, so I’m really impressed that you’re able to take this on while being a student. I think now is as good a time as ever to experiment with different things, find out what works for you, and eventually narrow it down. Or maybe you’ll find that you won’t have to narrow it down! But for now, I think you’re in a good place, so just keep on keepin’ on! <3 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s
Thanks so much, Audrey! I really appreciate this kind comment. You’re the best-est! <3