What do you wanna be when you grow up?
Everybody was asked this question when they were young. What came across your mind at that time?
I, for one, believe that I could be anything - my mind is my only limit. So I decided to be, everything, much to my parents chagrin. I'm a generalist, I later found out. My jack-of-all-trades life - and I love it that way - allows me to have a taste in everything without getting really too much into the depths of things (although sometimes I do much more tinkering in what I'm really interested in). My specialist friends - always a diverse range of people from top notch lawyers, business people to street sweeper - can do that. I'm bridging them and I'm happy to do it.
Until my teenage years, and resurrected due to the recent team restructuring in my office - finding an identity became an issue. There is something missing in being merely the bridge. You don't technically belong anywhere. You're just, well, in-betweens of everything. Never anywhere specific. Not a specialist, which our society deems will be the ones always being sought after - lawyers, doctors, teachers - people that my generation's parents would like us to be. I can't support any of my claims, I need my friends/colleagues to do that, because I don't specialize in anything. If I ever do, it doesn't feel right and sometimes 'specializing' went so far as to making me feel like a complete fraud.
Marianne, the author of Free Range Humans, did a research on this and presented her findings in the TED Talk in April 2017, https://youtu.be/cnooCepNZv4. Marianne's research, which has been an international bestseller, validates that even when we're a bridge, we could be somebody.
I'm not convinced, however.
Many a times nobody remembers a bridge because everybody always lives on the other side - generally forgotten and only a shadow, sometimes it's more than sad to be a bridge.
But accepting that I'm good at it and actually comfortable with it, gives a slightly good closure on my identity search. At least somehow I belong somewhere.
What other surprises lurking on the other side?