Why I Need to Be Diverse

Available on Amazon.

I just published my second book. I’m currently working on my third, fourth, and fifth books (the second ‘Fate’ book, a non-fiction, and a magic-induced romp through hilarity and incredulity novel). There might be a sixth in there because, hey, things change and tomorrow’s a new day.

I was asked recently how being ‘rainforest-minded‘ or neurodivergent has influenced my writing process. Ummm, dunno. I’ll get back to you on that. However, as you can see, I need to work on multiple things to be happy. This applies not just to projects (as in writing projects), but also the nature of the things I do. If I’m sitting and doing something, then I’ll next need to get up and do something completely different, like socializing or going for a run or cleaning my home. I need the diversity.

Is my neurodivergence ADD or ADHD? I suspect not (although I haven’t been tested) because I am extremely organized, manage my time very well, and have cultivated a disciplined ability to focus (likely due to an insane will of iron and multiple decades of yoga practice). So, how am I neurodivergent? I’m highly sensitive. I recently discovered that high sensitivity is a hallmark of all those on the neurodivergence spectrum. (I recommend reading Jenara Nerenberg’s book, “Divergent Mind”.) Interestingly, being rainforest-minded is also characterised by high sensitivity.

But back to the diversity stuffies…

I discovered my ‘desire’ for diversity was a ‘need’ back in high school.

I was studying my ass off to bring up my marks to get into university. This was high stakes to me because it was my greatest wish to escape my small town. I had an important exam coming up and was likely, in hindsight, on the road to over-studying. But the night before the exam, I had an invitation to do something completely different. I relaxed, socialized, and got my mind and body away from the thoughts of that exam. The next day, I aced the exam.

Available on Amazon and maybe at your local public library.

This diversity ‘need’ didn’t really click for me, however, until grad school. If high school was a sprint, grad school was a marathon. This wasn’t explained to me; I was left to my own devices to figure out how to manage my time and workload. Turns out, if left to my own devices, I am amazingly productive.

During grad school, I took classes, taught a lab of 60 students, wrote a novel, wrote an MA thesis with original field research, had a temporary full-time job working on the Pickton investigation, regularly exercised with a yoga practice, and took violin lessons and writing classes. I also had time (and energy) for socializing. “WTF?” you ask? It was the diversity. Diversity is my sweet spot. And this, apparently, is a hallmark of the rainforest-minded. I couldn’t have achieved anything I’d done in grad school if I hadn’t done it ALL. I wouldn’t have written my MA if I hadn’t also been working on a novel, teaching, exercising, and working in Vancouver full-time.

To the person who isn’t diversity-inclined, this sounds insane, likely even overwhelming. This is my natural state. If you want me to die a slow painful death, force me to sit in a room day after long day doing one thing only. Fuuuuuuuuuck.

Surfing the ‘net saves my ass at my day job. Just sayin’.

If, however, I want to get one or several things done (ie, a podcast, a novel, a blog, a day job, yoga practice, and other things), then I will NEED to have several plates spinning all at once. I may not get things done quickly, but I will be productive. And, best of all, I’ll feel satisfied!

So, for anyone who looks at my website and thinks, “Who is this person, really? She’s doing too many things. I don’t know know who she IS.” ‘Too many things’ is who I am. I am a researcher, an author, a painter, a scientist, a yogini, a research administrator, a coach, a consultant, and whatever else springs forth from my soul that day. This sucks for branding, but maybe that just means I can appeal to multiple audiences, ha!

If you are resonating with this: FANTASTIC! Welcome to Club Diversity! I hope to dig into this some more and blog along the way. If you have a question, reach out. I don’t know too many people like me, so it would be lovely to meet you and hear your story.

If you aren’t resonating with this and it sounds like I’m insane, well, let’s just say that the world is full of unique and interesting people. That’s what makes the world a wonderful place to live. If we can live in a time when we can celebrate Pride Week, why not just celebrate each other’s uniqueness, whether they’re expressed through sexual and gender diversity or neurodiversity.

This is why I am a strong advocate for figuring out who you are in all your glorious uniqueness. Who you are can get in the way of the things you want to do. This is usually because society is telling you how you should be. And society is definitely a fan of ‘pick one thing and do it well’.

Who you are can also set you free. When you figure out who you are and what works for you, you can suddenly thrive. You have the tools to function in the world in a way that works for you, and you also have the justification for why it works for you.

There are many books, videos, podcasts about what works for others, about who others are. There are no books out there for you because there is only ONE of you. You are unique, whether or rainforest-minded or not. Use the resources available with this caveat in mind. The lovely creators are producing these resources based on what worked for them or the people they consulted. They likely didn’t consult you; they likely didn’t create their product with you in mind.

Grain of salt, folks.

But, please, do research. Read the books, the blogs, the articles. Watch a ton of videos. Listen to the podcasts. The grains of salt you collect along the way will help inform the wholeness that is you.

Further Reading / Watching

Barbara Sher – Refuse to Choose! How to use all of your interests, passions, and hobbies to create the life and career of your dreams.

Barabar Sher – Why You Must Do What You Love (video)

Becca Syme – Be Better, Faster Academy

Paula Prober – Blog and Book: Your Rainforest Mind

Emilie Wapnick – Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling (video)

Cal Newport – Blog and books: Deep Work and So Good They Can’t Ignore You

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: