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The Closet Renaissance Man Calls Out that Old Nasty

Earlier this month I mentioned the Benjamin Franklin biography I read a few years ago. Since reading this book, Franklin has seemed to me the perfect example of someone who permitted himself to follow any and every interest without self-censoring, over-thinking, or stopping himself. He pursued every passion with complete commitment and abandon befitting the ultimate Renaissance man. No wonder he is still remembered and celebrated.

I have deeply admired that, and I aspire to that freedom. Yet I admit I have often been too judgmental, to contained, to circumspect, wondering at the “appropriateness” of this or that, too much in my head!

You see, I too am a man of many hats.

I have put out solo piano albums and an album of love songs, both sung and rapped. I have also planned full-scale rap albums which largely haven’t seen the light of day.

I have also aspired to write musicals, and of course, write for movies (I mean, who wouldn’t?).

I have also always had aspirations of turning the kind of writing I do on this blog into larger writing projects, ie books.

Then of course there’s the fact that I’m a piano teacher and music educator.

Yet my brain has for years hounded me with objections to these things:

<You idiot! You can’t be a rapper and a music teacher! That doesn’t work!>

<You idiot! You can’t want to write books and also be a music artist. That makes no sense! Pick a side!>

<What’s wrong with you? You can’t be both an intellectual and try to create popular music! You idiot!>

<You idiot!>

The Trashman inside my head 🙁

Again, judgment, hard closed-mindedness, and a narrow view of who I am “supposed” to be. I’m sorry to admit that it’s been there, but like a bad piece of programming, it has held on.

I have felt conflicted and uneasy about my own Renaissance-man type nature 🙁

Until now… now I am calling out the problem!

I ache for freedom. I’m talking about the internal sense of freedom that only I can give myself. I’m talking about freedom to be… myself. Without restriction. Without second-guessing or making myself wrong about it.

I used to think I needed all these website for all my “identities”: My composer self: that needed its own website. My rapper self: that needed its own website. And of course, my teacher self: that needed its own website (actually, this one has worked out quite well).

Overall, the requirement that everything had to be separated got unwieldy, confusing, and overwhelming, ultimately stopping me in my tracks.

Then I turned around and made the opposite mistake: I tried to combine all sides of me (at least the creative sides) onto one artist website. But actually, I was quite uncomfortable with this, as I still thought they should be separate. Again, I got confused and bewildered. Foiled again!

Overthinking and narrow-minded rules made it harder to be myself, harder to enjoy my creativity, harder to share it with the world.

Yes, it royally sucked.

Then along comes this blog. Here I just say, “Fuck it! I yam what I yam!” and I mean it. This has worked a lot better, all in all, than other artistic efforts.

So now I just want to be free. And I’m calling out that old nasty. You don’t belong!

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