I think I’m a fixer. Let me explain.
I recently learnt/discovered that my Dad is an entrepreneur of sorts. He always wants to start new things and do projects and write new material for people (like books – thanks Lion Publishing!), and generally start something, see it up and going, even when there’s high risk…and then jump out of it when it’s up and running, and leave it up to the people who are now working on it. I always thought this was quitting. Because growing up they never really said to my face ‘this is what he does’, I saw it as giving up on something. It was like ‘okay, I’m done with this, let’s move on’. Throughout my childhood it happened a lot. Not huge things (although there were a couple) but little things. He started it, got it going, and moved on. I’m not being negative, let my clarify, just making the observations I did as a younger person. I never understood it.
Until recently. Seriously, only super recently did this all hit me. The reason I hated when they created something new, and then left, or they ‘got bored’ and went and did something else, is because I’m the opposite. I’m a fixer. I always have been, and it’s taken me 23 years to realise that. Sure, I love creating things out of other things and beginning new things (writing projects, art work, DIY bits and bobs, design etc), but I think what’s different is that I keep doing it, if it’s a people-based situation. Once it’s set up and going well, then I wanna be there! I want to keep doing it until either it’s finished or it.has.been.fixed. Let me give you a few examples.
Ever since I started getting a decent amount of pocket money, I was down at the opshop grabbing up incredibly weird things, taking them home, chopping them up and changing them into something that would work. I saw it’s potential, and I fixed it until it was better.
At the opshop or at junk sales, I often see things that are broken and look at it see what it could be, not what is it. I take it home and paint it, or glue it, change it, fix it, so it can be used again, even if that is something different than what it was designed for.
Our church in my home town was having a few issues and going through a bit of a hard time, and while we had been there for over a decade, my family sort of up and left. Which was fine for them – they had been thinking, I believe, of moving churches anyway. But I stayed. I couldn’t leave. It was my home and I wanted to see it grow into something more. I wanted to stay and help fix it. I doubt I helped very much, but for a whole year my friend was the only person playing the worship set in our evening service, and I told him that I would play keys while he played guitar every week…not only because I loved playing, but because I couldn’t let him do it all by himself. I like to think that helped our evening service in that year. It might not have at all, but I wanted to stay and try.
I guess what I’m getting at is while my Dad is a starter, a set-up-er, a beginner of great things – and there’s nothing wrong with that! It’s fantastic – I’m a fixer, a mender, a put-back-together-again-er, a stick-with-it-till-it’s-whole kinda person. It may sound silly that I only just realised this, but I guess that’s life. You’re always growing and changing and discovering who you are. I think, now that I’ve realised that Dad is the entrepreneur-type, I can understand that the ‘quitting’ I always thought was going on, is simply letting go, moving on. And now that I know that I am the type of person who sticks with things, who fixes them, I understand both why I got angry at Dad and my parents for ‘giving up’, and also why I end up doing the things that I do.
I realise this has been a long, and probably somewhat boring post, and if you have actually read it all, then props to you, dear friends. I think I wanted to write this for two reasons: firstly, to actually write it helps me remember and understand the differences, and secondly, to encourage you guys to think about what kind of person you are in relation to those close to you, or what kind of person they are and how you differ. It’s so much easier when you know or have some sort of idea of the areas where you are different. Sure it took me 23 years, but because no one ever really asked me, or told me, or even mentioned it in passing, then it wasn’t really something I thought about.
What about you? Are you a starter of great things?
A mender of broken things? Perhaps both? Neither? Something completely different again?