Crossing worlds

Sketchnoting the first day of the FITC conference was a fascinating experience because the speakers were clearly passionate about design and art, and they were doing things that were way geekier than anything I’ve ever done. (For example, programmed electrical stimulation of muscles.) Crossing over into world-crossers’ worlds.

It’s fun stepping into other people’s worlds. People talked about installations, exhibitions, and residencies – these structures that just aren’t part of the programming, consulting, or sketchnoting that I do. And yet I’m part of this world too. There are overlaps through visual thinking, data visualization, Quantified Self, and interesting ideas like Stefan Sagmeister’s seven-year sabbatical cycle. (I’m doing a more extreme version of this, I guess. I’m starting off with a five-year experiment in semi-retirement.)

This crossing-over thing reminded me of Mel Chua’s reflection on reaching across worlds:

But I was made for bridging; it’s my gift. When I pull across worlds and stand between them, I feel both the pain of loneliness and exclusion and not having a home to belong to, and the joy of being fully used — because in any one world, only part of me is awake. I need to reach across worlds to be all me, be all there.

A different perspective makes it easier for me, I guess. I’m at home in many different spheres: development, consulting, sketchnoting, self-tracking, writing, cooking, gardening, reading… Home enough, at least, to often feel assured, and I know enough about the impostor syndrome to recognize it when it tries to creep in. I cross over because it’s fun to see if I can translate what I know, and what new things these new worlds will teach me. If I had to give up all those other worlds and concentrate on one, though, I would still have infinities to explore. Interests are often fractal and endlessly deep. On this adventure, I bump into other category-defiers and boundary-crossers. The lines blur, and that’s awesome.

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