Monday, April 18, 2011

it all makes sense now

This weekend I was reading through my blogs on Google Reader and stumbled across a post that stopped me in my tracks.  With each line I read I kept thing:  "Whoa, this is so ME!" 

The post can be found HERE.  Written by the talented Sarah Wilson, this concept and her take on it made me feel understood.  And even helped me understand myself a little better too.

It all makes sense now:  I am a scanner.

The author, Barbara Sher, who created the term describes "scanners" as "people who are genetically wired to be fanatically interested in multiple things at once."

This is soooo true for me.  I find it debilitating to just pick one thing and say that's what I am.  Right?  I work at a payday loan store, but that isn't who I am.  I love to scrapbook, but I haven't sat down with my papers and pictures in months.  That doesn't mean I am or am not a scrapbooker.   I take pictures...but I'm not just a photographer. 

The world that we live in now puts so much pressure on us to pick something and become an expert.  Its always "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  "You should be a doctor, or a lawyer, or an architect."  "What do you do?"  Being surrounded by this type of thinking makes those who don't fit into just one category feel like there is something wrong with us.  Having an internal need to diversify within our lives creates doubt, and the pressure to pick just one career path immobilizes us for fear of picking the wrong one.

Um, yeah.... this is me to a T!  When I graduated high school I knew all I wanted to do was pioneer.  I wanted to volunteer my time teaching people about the Bible.  But the key word there is volunteer.  So I had to find something to make money to support myself.  And in came the local scrapbook store.  Something I loved and something I was good at.  But when the store closed I had to find something else.  Which led to into the banking industry.  I worked as a teller and I guess now I still kind of am a teller.  I enjoy working with people and with money, but its not a passion of mine.  You want to talk about passion?  Now here is where we get into my love of photography, poetry, design, writing, learning and art and being a wife.  But, whoa!  That's too many things to love to do, right?!  How can I justify loving all those things??  How can my love of those things even begin to be enough to survive on? 

So that is where my idea to take the medical transcriptionist course came from.  I went to a seminar and was completely fired up about the idea.  But now, two years later, I still haven't finished.  The author I spoke of earlier says that “scanners learn fast and need to move their passion onwards. A bee doesn’t hover on a flower if it draws the nectar quickly. Its passion isn’t the flower, it’s gathering nectar.” 

I'm not using this new realization to justify the fact that I haven't finished.  I know I will finish.  But for right now I'm just "gathering my nectar" elsewhere.  I cycle through my interests and I will come back to it.  

For now I'm reveling in the fact that what I am and how I approach life has a name.  And also, I'm not alone.  Its a huge relief to feel ok in flitting between dreams and wanting to do it all and sometimes just doing nothing at all. 

Hi, I'm Shaina and I'm a Scanner.  ♥

Do any of you relate to this??  I'd love to hear your take on the subject! 


  1. Total genious!! I love this. I think it might explain me to and why I feel like so many different things. And why you and I get along so well. :)

  2. Oh my gosh!!! This is so me toooooo!!!!!! Hi, Shaina! I'm Jamie and I'm a scanner too!!!!

  3. I'm so glad you put that about loving scrap-booking and it being a valid passion regardless of the length of time passed. I always feel so stupid when talking about something I love/enjoy and say...but you know, I haven't actually done it for months, to be met with a quizzical stare.
    I followed your link from Sarah Wilson's post, just so you know. :)

  4. I totally relate! :)

  5. This is definitely me too! I completely relate with nearly everything that you said in this post. We're all told we need to clearly define ourselves and make choices about who we are, but often those choices are so narrow and constricting. I love to collage, read, run, cook, take photos, write, learn, and so much more. None of those things singularly defines me, nor do my status as a student, part-time dog-walker, or after-school-care-provider. Each and everyone of us is a multitude of interests, ideas, skills, talents, and passions - all of which need to be encouraged, celebrated, and embraced! Love this post! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and linking to the original! PS - Excited to be your newest follower!

  6. MY WORRRRRRRRD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THis is SOOOOOOOO me!
    I always feel like I should be doing some sort of something as far as a career goes. Financialy I don't need to work and I'm a stay at home wife and mom. But I still feel that I have to justify my loves of art, pics, etc... to everyone else and they don't understand what i really 'do'.
    So frustrating and it makes me feel like there is something wrong with me =(