If I had to categorize my strengths and skills into one all-encompassing file, I supposed it would simply be "Creativity"
Although, if you pull it all apart, it's really not that simple.
You know those amazing folks who are truly great at one amazing thing? Maybe it's a skill, or a talent or an expertise in one field. Someone who, when asked in grade school, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" immediately had an answer?
I've never been one of those people.
I used to look at it as a negative. Now, even as a grown adult I still couldn't tell you exactly what I want to be when I grow up...more.
What I can tell you is this: I've always known that the conglomerate of talents and skills, this hodge-podge of seemingly random abilities, is supposed to be used for something greater...even if much of the time I can't figure out their relation to each other.
By greater I mean: for the good of mankind. To try, in my own small way, to contribute to healing the world. One stitch in the torn fabric to help pull it back together and create the world we all hope to see someday.
That is the only thing I know, in regard to what I want to be.
So what is this conglomerate? What skills and talents and random know-how has been combining over the course of my life to this point? Okay, here goes:
Writing: I've always been passionate about writing. To the point that I actually think in metaphor...about nearly everything. My writer's mind seeks to find meaning and opportunity for growth in everything I see in the world, from sitting in traffic to exploring issues and problems that face the world today. It also helps me to craft interesting short fiction and poetry, along with blog posts and insightful or just plain goofy Facebook statuses. At one point, I was employed as a writer/director for a company called Jellyvision, where I used this skill to turn confusing and sometimes complicated information on topics like health plans into interesting, entertaining and usable information the consumer could use to make sound decisions on their health plan choices. (I was also sometimes used as voice talent in episodes of Jellyvision's other project, "You Don't Know Jack" the online version.) My skills and talents as a writer allow me to explore the world in remarkable ways, and express that exploration via the written word.
Improv: I'm an improviser in Chicago. It's a labor of love. I don't get paid to perform. I do it because I love the art and all that it stands for. I currently perform on two teams, one at iO and one at The Playground Theater. But it's been the journey of exploring the improv world and community that has given me skills beyond getting on a stage and making an audience laugh. (Side note: I truly believe that laughter can heal. Which is why I'm so passionate about improv. I want to infuse the world with joy on a daily basis, because in these times, joy is necessary more than ever.) But improv has also taught me the importance of team work, brainstorming, thinking quickly, staying in the moment, building off of the ideas of others, knowing that what I contribute is just as valid and important as what another contributes, and how to create amazing things by putting all of that together. In a 25 minute show, we turn a single word into a unique, funny and thought-provoking piece of art. In life, I use these tools to turn every moment and opportunity into something greater and see its importance. I'd happily tell you more about it, should you decide you'd like to talk with me.
Audio/Visual skills: I'm a self-taught video editor. In this day and age it's fairly easy to learn new programs with the abundance of online tutorials. Bottom line, this idea pretty much extends to anything new I want to learn. If I decide I want to learn a new program or new techniques, I teach myself. I may not be the very best, but I know that anytime I want to hone my skills when it comes to producing and editing video, etc. I can take the challenge to go out and find a way. Additionally, I have a pretty good eye for what works visually, digitally or in print.
Multitasking: At 24, I found myself divorced with a young child and no direction. So I decided to enroll in college and pursued my English degree. I completed the program in 3 years, while working up to 3 jobs at a time, taking 7-8 classes a semester, summer courses and a Maymester schedule. I knew the importance of having my son experience his mom walking across the stage to get her degree, so I worked incredibly hard and multitasked in order to make it happen. That's just one example. Juggling things in my life has become an important skill. Juggling actual balls or scarves, however? Hmmm...maybe I should learn that soon!
I can draw, I can paint, I can sing (karaoke is a favorite hobby), I can hoop dance, I can make rudimentary balloon animals, the list goes on.
Like I said, I'm a conglomerate of skills and talents, but what it all boils down to is creativity. I'm brimming with it.
And I'm also brimming with the need to do good in this world.