At what point does one become too capable? Too capable to specialize, to narrow one’s field of study, to pick a profession, or to simply settle into a realm of employment. Must a line be drawn before all hues of human capability become mixed together leaving an unbecoming tint of ubiquity and blandness, an existential grayness that neither detracts nor propels?
These questions come aimed from a firmament of insecurity with calculations of trajectory scribbled on papers that are too worn to be made sense of. They come from me, a person who still hasn’t honed his genius (a word interchangeable with capability, that you and the next person have) into any sort of sustainable form of worthwhile output.
A quick preamble on the cuts of this diamond, and why this facet still evades to capture light:
I graduated college with a degree in menswear design which thrusted me into the world of commercial fashion. It was an illuminating experience that kept my attention for all but a year. Things at that point became cyclical, learning became stunted, novel stimulation became daily drudgery and I felt my mental faculties were being far under-utilized. Possibilities for movement remained lateral and only to other companies or at a slight diagonal to starting one’s own fashion brand. My heart wasn’t in it, so logically, I said, "Fuck this". I shifted towards acting which placed me in a pool of people also at a complete loss of what to do, because if you haven’t actually worked in the industry, you don’t know what you're after. There was a solidarity that I enjoyed and performing was a creative therapy that filled me with a melancholic joy…It was in the least an affirmation of an attempt to find oneself. My voice still had no foundation, but I sure as hell wasn’t confined to an office. It was a start. I pursued those goals for a couple of years with retrospective, albeit minor, success. I still do to this day, and adamantly await my audition emails from my agent. But recently I, if you’ve followed this short blog, have taken a short reprieve from my previous goals and have found a happiness that exists outside of the confines of my preexisting world. This opened up the naive wonder of a child that looks at comics and thinks that even becoming a superhero is possible. Everything is now on the table again and acting is just a door of many, as opposed to the one escape route into the heaven of happiness it once was. I look down at my hands, as you can at this moment, and notice that they can do anything they desire. But where does that leave me? Must I choose? Or should I do everything ad-hoc, at once, ad-infinitum, all until I am spread so thin that I am but a bland, gray, man without qualities?
Robert A. Heinlein posited, "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
I can do a few of the aforementioned and hope that someday I will die gallantly, yet none of those options leave room for a prosperous life if done conjunct with the others. We simply do not have enough of ourselves to spread. The paradox lies in a valley of lofted standards which one cannot lower if he knows his self-worth. Why do this when I am not compensated enough and am quarantined from doing that? Why specialize and satisfy my brain’s left hemisphere while preventing gratification of the right? Why climb one mountain range after another without ever seeing a goal? Admittedly, specialization creates a luge track for consistency to fly down, and consistency is the one true course of success. But how does one juggle all the possibilities?
If I was gifted a million dollars, I wouldn’t be writing this right now. Instead, I was given a million opportunities and I don’t want to choose any because all equally entice. Can one be too capable? I don’t know. Surely one day I will settle into something and be happy. But right now I kinda want to write and record a rap mix-tape. Yeah. I think I’ll do that.