I am interested in a lot of things. Clearly, there are also a lot of things I couldn’t give a toss about. But as things go, between history, music, art, travel, literature, film, crafts, cooking, writing, journalism, media and popular psychology, I seem to have far more in the way of interests than I do in time, and in trying to pursue them all, I teeter dangerously on the edge of that well-known backhanded compliment, ‘Jack-of-all-trades, master of none’.
And that’s putting it politely – in my desperation to try and learn more about everything I find interesting, I barely feel I’m managing the ‘jack’ part, never mind ‘master’.
My longings may require funds that I don’t have but this is only incidental; I hardly ever lust after possessions – I lust after experiences and feelings – such as wonder, intrigue, satisfaction, and, ultimately, though often elusively, contentment.
For example, while a trip round Italy – hey, why not an entire year in Italy? Or two? Or maybe, why not, a trip round Europe; teaching in Europe, writing in Europe, why not, I ask you, why not!? ‒ may require money and planning and time, I wouldn’t go just so that I could ‘say I had’, or visit the best hotels or eat the best food simply because I could. I’d want to go so that I could experience that art, culture, landscape, weather; taste the food, learn the beautiful language, feel the freedom of travelling around, being alive.
It sounds cheesy as hell, but I’m like this about everything I find interesting – like a hounddog, I get a whiff of something, and I’m off, dreaming about what that could be like, without any real idea of how to achieve that dream, and more often than not feeling disappointed at my lack of wherewithal to just pick ONE THING and make any of it actually happen.
Apparently, you have to make money in this world, and can’t follow every whim you may have. Sigh, and double sigh. As the famous song goes, ‘they may say I’m a dreamer’, and while I may not be the only one, I often feel like the only one unable to actually make a go of anything.