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Jack of All Trades…

…but sadly, master of none. Believe it or not, that’s exactly the phrase a college career counselor used to describe my aspirations (or lack thereof) when I refused to turn in a paper laying out, in detail, my career goals for the future.

Although he meant it as a deterrent in a last-ditch effort to convince me to make a life plan, he inadvertently inspired in me the drive to resist focusing my goals, values and career in only one direction and instead, continuously acquire radial knowledge in any area that piqued my interest. What’s so wrong with that? I thought, the excitement of a dawning realization simmering to a boil. I will be a jack of all trades – but why can’t I master them all?

Seven years later, I may not be living the wildly adventurous life I’d imagined, but I am trying – really trying – to become a jack of, well… whatever I can get my hands on. Of course you couldn’t pay me to tell him, but my counselor may have been just a tid-bit right. It’s extremely difficult to try to master anything while focusing on nothing.

Wizened by years of aimless flounder (inspired by my acute fear of stagnancy and what I like to call “Life ADD”), I’ve managed to acquire a piecemeal spattering of tidbittal factoids, skills, and learned behavior. Some of this has been quite useful, but I’ve admittedly become notorious for never finishing a lesson – never completing a project. And what’s worse, I’ve been dragging my husband along for the ride since 2006!

Because my husband is in the Air Force, I’ve been allotted a certain amount of… leniency when it comes to learning how to take care of a home. After all, what’s there to learn when you move every couple of years from one impersonal apartment to the next living on take-out Chinese and bar food?

And unfortunately I can’t blame my mom on my lack of domestic skills. The poor woman tried to teach me how to make a roast and iron my laundry, but I was much more content to be outside chasing the neighbor boys and playing with garden snakes. Let’s just say I had my priorities.

But now that I’m all “grown up” and we have a home of our very own, I’ve decided it’s time to learn how to follow through with the things we start. From attempting to learn a foreign language, to concocting edible food, and even to renovating and decorating our home, nothing ever gets finished. Throughout this blog I will be documenting our self and home improvement attempts, including:

tiling our kitchen backsplash…

learning how to focus an expensive camera…

wheeling and dealing with contracted professionals…

…and understanding how cook something that doesn’t come from a box.

Often I will use other blogs and online resources as our inspiration for projects and ideas, and I will show how attempts pan out compared to theirs. When you look at a project someone does online and ask yourself, “How hard can it be?” I will tell you – I will tell you from the unnaturally-talented, un-crafty, discomfort of our unfinished home. You will be privy to it all, my friends – successes and failures alike.

But like I told that college counselor so many years ago, I will always retain my sense of stubborn independence. There will always be things I just won’t do – like killing a spider or pulling hair out of a clogged drain. And ironing? I will iron Justin’s uniform when he starts buying my tampons.

So that’s why I’ve created this space. It’s my – nay our – commitment and record of all that we start. And with any luck and a new-found sense of commitment, hopefully everything we finish.


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