We are told that being interested in many things means we are flighty or irresponsible — so we beat down our â€ślikesâ€ť until they all but disappear and we wouldnâ€™t recognize one if it tapped us on the shoulder.
Andrea Olson is a cultivator of dreams and passions.Â And she has the courage and conviction to allow her passion to lead her where it will, in and out of careers and along the contours of her life.
What I love about Andrea is that she doesn’t believe she’s here to do one specific thing.Â She doesn’t buy into the notion that there’s one calling available to her, one that comes with it a well-defined path for her to follow.Â Instead, she is here to explore a multitude of things, as in exploring what it is to be a lawyer, a realtor, a consultant and an administrator.Â Oh, and an adventurer, a parent, and an entrepreneur.Â For starters.Â As in writing and connecting and encouraging us to find inspiration in our everyday worlds.Â As in exploring what resonates, and using it to craft a life of meaning and beauty.Â
Andrea knows that her “true path” has many branches, trails, lanes, and corridors.Â Â
The key to life-long fulfillment and success for her was not to choose one thing and stick with it; for to do so, meant ignoring her essential self â€“ the self that loved exploring the possibilities, acting on new ideas, learning what she came to learn, doing what she came to do, and moving on to the next thing. The self that knew a well-lived life was more than a job or an important title.
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What is unfurling in you right now?
Unfurling is such a lovely word. It speaks to the slow, tender emergence of something fresh, wonderful, and new. It is an apt word for the space I am in right now. But, if you ask me specifically what is unfurling, I canâ€™t give you an answer.
When I think about where I am in the process, an origami figure springs to mind. Intricate folds have created a beautiful shape but it is a shape that no longer suits me. I am now â€śfolding outâ€ť to see what my sheet of paper looks like – to discover the possibilities and potential new shapes it holds. As I flatten the paper, the lines clearly show me the places and paths I have followed. Each crease is dear to me because those creases have made me who I am. At the same time, I know that it is time to refold the paper and create a stunning new shape. What that shape is, I donâ€™t know yet but that is the beauty of the journey. Perhaps the best I can say is that I myself am unfurling.
Who or what are your allies on this journey?
In any space of re-making, I think it is so important to have support. I get my support from the most amazing friends who encourage me, listen to me think (even if Iâ€™m saying the same thing a thousand times), and remind me of my strengths. I also believe in having access to a fabulous coach. Friends are great but having someone in my corner who sits outside my normal round adds tremendous depth and insight to the journey.
How do you stay out of our own way during this unfurling?
Getting out of my own way is one of my biggest obstacles! I tend to be fairly impatient. I always want to push things and to know the right answer, right now. That approach, as you might guess, is fairly unproductive. When I find myself getting to that place, I have to take a mental time out â€“ either by walking along the beach, talking with a friend, writing in my journal, or even re-arranging the furniture! The older Iâ€™ve gotten the more I realize that what I need to know or do will show up in its own good time as long as I keep doing what I need to do to prepare for the possibilities.
If there were a soundtrack accompanying your unfurling, what would be on it?
The first thing that pops into my mind is ACDCâ€™s Itâ€™s a Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock and Roll). The particular refrain that stands out for me is, â€śI tell you folks, itâ€™s harder than it looks.â€ť Transformation or unfurling, although tender and beautiful, is not accomplished without a lot of focused energy. Sometimes we see people who have reinvented themselves or opened the door to a new chapter in their lives and we automatically think, â€śwow, how lucky are they?â€ť when the reality is that getting there probably wasnâ€™t easy or without effort. They made wrong turns. Had to start again. Discovered that where they ended up wasnâ€™t where they wanted to go. It takes effort and courage to persevere. To unfurl.
Who are you becoming?
I am becoming more of myself. For many years, I tended to compartmentalize or disown the interesting parts of myself. I thought I was a bit wackadoo because I couldnâ€™t decide on a particular career and was interested in a multitude of things (and wanted to try them all!). Owning that I am an interesting, complex person who will likely be on a journey of exploration â€“ or becoming â€“ for the rest of my life gives me permission to enjoy the ride. And, I really, really like that.
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More about Andrea
Andrea Olson is the creator of amutltitudeofthings.com, a community of individuals dedicated to embracing their possibilities and crafting lives they love. Andrea recently launched Possible to Probable where she works with individuals and groups as a personal dream manager, drawing on her background in law and a multitude of things in between.
Others in the Unfurling Series
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