Dear J-

I think I can now safely say that if I’m developing adult-onset attention deficit disorder, it’s because of work — maybe not the work I do, but the way in which I approach it:  scatterbrained and scattershot.  My manager once billed the job as a workaholic’s dream, adding that you never know quite what to expect when you walk in the door.  Today I worked on grease, pumps, valves, and radiography services.  Ask me which of those I actually finished, though, and I might snarl at you out of guilt; no one likes to be reminded how little they actually accomplished.

I used to read a lot of biographies in elementary school; in fact, third grade I had a phase where I’d check out, in succession, the composers I was familiar with:  Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendel (the last one I sadly mistook for Mendelssohn) — and I still remember the common thread that linked them besides their fame and everlasting music:  they were never afraid of hard work, of pouring their very soul into a piece, and it shows in the music they made.  It wasn’t that they were writing for fame, adulation, and forever; they wrote because it was their passion, it was what they generally loved doing, and in some cases, it was like the music was bursting out of them.

I contrast it with work in the sense that it’s not clear in my mind what I’m full of (unless you mean … it ) and what could be so overflowing in my work besides being a handy widget to plug into multiple locks.  Having done as many different things as I’ve experienced in my life has been valuable; it lends me a sense of confidence that I can adapt to what’s next.  But while it’s no small feat to be a generalist, I’m still envious of those specialists chasing their dreams, knowing that what they do, they do better than anyone.



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