Things I miss

3 Jul

Yesterday, while on assignment, I sat across the street from a yarn shop. This reminded me: I once knit a lot. I even became pretty decent, and made a few nice scarves. I’ve dropped that. Like I’ve dropped piano since Barnard demolished McIntosh, the building that housed my practice room. Like I’ve dropped singing since I ran out of classes to sing in. Or painting, when I moved out and away from my easel. Or theater or chemistry or Spanish or Hebrew or French.

Am I that mercurial and faddy? Or non-committal? These are all things that I can do decently, but my failure to permanently give up one in favor of the other has crippled my ability to truly excel.

Ever since I’ve invested a ton of my college time in Spectator, I’ve felt pangs of regret: have I lost these parts of myself? One aspect of journalism that really drew me in was its potential to be everything. While working in news, a reporter can learn about anything and is not restricted. Journalism is an all-encompassing lens, a license to ask all questions, etc. So I thought that was my answer, because it theoretically includes all the things I love. But for that reason, I suppose, I’ve become more of a generalist than a specialist. Too scared to give up one thing, I decided to pursue something that vaguely contains everything. Which one might call nothing. Or general happiness.

A Jewish proverb from Pirkei Avot that I remember learning in grade school says something like, ‘draw a circle around yourself. The things inside will be the things you pursue and grow in.’ Lacking a compass, I suppose, I’ve not drawn mine. Not yet, at least.

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