Jane and Luke are all cozy, while Rosie scoffs, "You guys make me sick. I'm having a hard time enjoying my sandwich." Photo: Jenny Bristol

Jane and Luke are all cozy, while Rosie scoffs, “You guys make me sick. I’m having a hard time enjoying my sandwich.” Photo: Jenny Bristol

Except not really, because neither one of them is married. So it isn’t really an affair. I just caught them making trouble in my office window. Holding hands, Luke with a blaster and Jane with a quill. “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away,” well, England isn’t quite another galaxy, but Jane Austen did live kind of a long time ago. Rosie the Riveter is a bit jealous, but she’s too concerned with feeding her family to fret. And she’s too busy worrying about the apparent anachronisms.

What does this have to do with anything? It’s just symbolic of my varied interests. I grew up on Star Wars and Star Trek. My mom was a computer scientist and my dad was a doctor (both are still alive, just not practicing those professions any longer). Science and science fiction were ubiquitous. My life was headed toward technology from before I was born.

Somewhere along the line, though (i.e., the middle of college), I discovered that I actually enjoy the humanities, especially history. I was disillusioned with programming (read: I got to the parts that I didn’t understand, like, at ALL (writing operating systems and compilers, etc.), and realized it was a poor career path for me), and started really getting into my history class.

I soon transitioned over from computer science to a liberal arts degree (I got my B.A. in American Studies – pardon the Web 1.0 website – looks like they haven’t updated it since 1998?), and never looked back. I still adore technology, science, math, and all of that (I am a lifelong geek and write about that kind of thing every day), but one of my pure interests is history.

Various other interests tag on for the ride. I think that one reason why I love Jane Austen so much (in addition to the really gripping love stories inside) is because it paints such a clear picture of life during a specific time in a specific place. Regency era history is brought alive through the lives of the (mostly) upper class. I discovered her in my early adulthood, and consumed everything I could get my hands on.

But I’m no more or less passionate about one thing than another. I have tried to specialize in one area or another for a long time. It was a losing battle. I realized that I am a generalist, a Renaissance Soul, a Jane of all trades, mistress of none. I’ve made my peace with this. It means I know about a great.. many.. things… (bonus point if you got the reference). I can hold a conversation with a wide variety of people. I can find a common interest with just about anyone.

And as Jane and Luke hold their secret tryst on my window sill, I can bask in the glow of my many interests, and be thankful that writing for a living allows me to visit all of my interests in turn.