“What is it?” asked the little girl visiting the zoo.
Her dad replied, “Well, sweetheart, it’s a few things at once, found nowhere else in nature. It’s special but hard to define.”
I live the Platypus Conundrum. You too, perhaps?
When you’re clearly strong in more than one area, but don’t like inhabiting any of them for long, what are you?
- Multipotentialite is the closest I’ve found to explaining my personality. Thank you, Emily Wapnick and Puttylike!
- Scanner works too. “Refuse to Choose” by Barbara Sher explains in great depth what that term means.
- Fucking frustrated covers it nicely. Heard that said in my own head…daily.
The platypus experience is frenemies with my quest for fulfillment.
I love, and couldn’t change if I tried, the fact that my abilities, needs and desires are so unique that they’re a problem.
And I hate, but know I should never try to change–even for a second–the fact that my abilities, needs and desires are so unique that they’re a problem.
Looks cool but what does it do?
Like the platypus, I don’t seem to fit any preconceived notion of what’s considered normal.
Although limited by my oddball circumstances, I have found a way to be as I am and remain healthy. I’m making it through my day, competently meeting all the lower level demands on Maslow’s pyramid.
But unlike the platypus, I yearn to live in other environments, beyond the one in which I am so comfortably ensconced. I want more.
I’m shooting for Maslow’s upper levels
And I must BE more to MORE people to get there.
It’s a sometimes clumsy process, what with my all-but-useless-in-most-scenarios duck bill, webbed feet, poison dart, beaver tail, egg laying, pouch providing combo platter of offerings.
The value of my mixed bag of strengths is often hard to articulate. Yet I remain solid in my feelings of self worth.
Because unlike the rest of the Regular Joe mammals, I function well in very odd settings and have ways of looking after my kids that are inconceivable to the rest.
And unlike the platypus, I can function well in worlds I wasn’t designed for, or find a way to make foreign environments meet my needs.
My growth can’t continue unless I help you do the same
So I have no choice but to leave my platypus pond, where I’m nice and safe, to go find (let’s call them perfectly suited situations) that need the support only possible from my oddball arrangement of strengths.
Or figure out who these other platypi are and build them a pond in which they’d like to join me.
One’s me reaching down to assist. The other’s me giving a hug to celebrate as equals or me reaching up to receive assistance. And I want to experience all three.
It’s the conundrum all of us Davinci types must solve.
- Who or what are we?
- Who finds us appealing?
- What do we do, once we know both?
- Where do we do it?
The answer to all these questions starts by better understanding our current pond and our place in it.
The next step is to become pond engineers. And more. The steps for how I’ve done so, in certain areas, are all inside.
But there are more pyramids to climb and I want company for the trip. You in?