Renaissance Woman

I was reminded of the movie, Renaissance Man, and that led me to ponder (which I’m randomly inclined to do anyway) the origination of the phrase.  This from smattering of explanations from

Renaissance man

n. A cultured man of the Renaissance who was knowledgeable, educated, or proficent in a wide range of fields, or a present day man who has aquired profound knowledge or proficency in more than one field. 
n.   A man who has broad intellectual interests and is accomplished in areas of both the arts and the sciences.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

n. a modern scholar who is in a position to acquire more than superficial knowledge about many different interests; a scholar during the Renaissance who (because knowledge was limited) could know almost everything about many topics
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.

n. An outstandingly versatile, well-rounded person. The expression alludes to such Renaissance figures as Leonardo da Vinci, who performed brilliantly in many different fields. 

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third EditionCopyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.


This loosely defines how I feel about myself as a person, which in turn shapes the way I perceive my shortcomings and failures. Let me explain.

As a student, I had so many interests, that I couldn’t even begin to pare things down into an actual career field. I wasn’t one of those children who said “I’m going to be a Doctor when I grow up” and actually stuck to it.

I love the arts (both the doing and the studying of), I love science and took many classes that could have easily led to a degree in Biology or medicine. I spent years as an Animal ER nurse, and people still call me to ask advice on a sick or injured pet. I am interested in aspects of design. I am hopelessly addicted to CSI and anything that combines using science and logic to figure things out. I cycle through stints of writing, and the longer ones have led to enough success that a sane person would have kept at it– and had the book advance to celebrate with.

All of my career choices weren’t actual choices. They have been things that I fell into, at points in my life when I was cosmically open to change. I feel like a dabbler of sorts, and on bad days, this seems the root of my unrest. I haven’t dedicated myself to any one thing. I sometimes feel as though I have no purpose.

On good days, however, I see that I am not a dabbler, rather, I am a modern day Renaissance Woman, eager to soak up the wide open world around me. Why settle for a narrow view of the word, when you can have kalideoscopic vision chock-full of interesting people, places and things?

There seems to be a balance between the Renaissance woman or man, and just being a jack-of-all-trades (…and a master of none). I don’t want to be Jack, that fun as he may be, most often doesn’t know jack-shit. I want to be well rounded, well versed and general, well, just well. And I hope that my kids will follow suit.


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