Eclectics Unite – We're Allowed More than One Favourite!
I was recently honoured to be interviewed about myself and my chosen profession. The interview consisted of about twenty questions, some of which were easier to answer than others. In order to be as authentic as possible, the idea is not to overthink these things. Just to share the first thing that comes to mind. As a writer, this is not an easy task, because your answer embodies a calling card. It is hard not to be self-conscious. However, putting the writing aside, my real challenge was that I found myself stumped when it came to a particular type of question. I am confounded by questions that begin with – "what is your favourite..."/"what is your least favourite..." . Even when I am asked to answer quickly, I am unable to name a favorite book, food, song, poem, author. Colour yes, my favorite colour is green. Always has been.
Perhaps it is considered good form, or proper to answer a question as it is asked. Surely there are people who do have one particular favorite something. I really don't. It's not a matter of indecision, or pickiness. It's not about taking a stand, or expressing an opinion that could be held against me at another time. Heaven knows that I am not shy to 'say what I mean and mean what I say...' to paraphrase the late, great Dr Seuss. I think it has more to do with being eclectic.
When I read, I will read anything from fiction to non-fiction – from poetry to fantasy. When I listen to music, I will listen to anything from classical to country – from rock to rap. (I draw the line at trance or electronic music. My ears can't handle that.) Eating is more complicated. I have a lot of foods that I like, and quite a few foods that I would like to like, but cannot. There are very few foods that you can wake me up in the middle of the night and present me with a veritable feast and that I won't say to you... "going back to sleep, eat you in the morning." There is no single food that I crave or must have. There is no one hero that I have to meet. There is no actor whose poster have I ever pinned up on my walls, either now or back in the teenage days. There is no single fictional character that I would do anything for them to come to life.
I am an eclectic. I like a collage, a smorgasbord and a diverse basket of everything. I like a range, a selection, a group of items that provoke different reactions in me and trigger different sensors. I am eclectic in the things that I do professionally, in my writing style, as well as in my personal choices. I think that eclecticism affords me with a range of perspective and allows me to see the world in different shades. It keeps me fresh and open to new experiences and opportunities. It keeps me curious about the world, and the people within it. It's not that I like everything. It's not that I can't choose. It's not that I can't commit. It's just that to me favourites don't exist in singular, but in plural form. They are amalgams, collaborations, an ensemble experience.
Getting back to the interview, I just couldn't choose. I couldn't tie myself down. I had to be true to myself. The way I see it, maybe for anyone reading the interview, my responses, although they may not have been quite what the interviewer had intended, will give a bit more authentic insight into who I am and what I stand for.