Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rocking the Renaissance

I would have totally rocked the Renaissance. OK, you’re right, I like the nice clean hygiene standards of today, the birth control and medical care, and stuff like my right to vote and have an opinion and whatnot. And while I do look pretty kick-ass in the boob-pushing-up, waist-cinching-in outfits, even excellent corsetry can’t quite balance the high risk of dying in childbirth. My point is that I think I am fundamentally a Renaissance woman, and there’s not a lot of space for those in the world right now.

I want to talk about religion, and philosophy, and consciousness. I love music and art and dance and math and science and language and the human mind and and and… and I am kind of good at all of those things. I am good enough at some of those things to be considered an expert (or I was, anyway, before the children melted large portions of my brain using mind control and repeated applications of incredibly annoying sounds). But in today’s world, I feel unfocused. I feel like a dilettante. I feel like there is no place for the kind of person I am. The kind of person who is reasonably good at many things, and quite good at a few things, but who has never found a focus on any one of those things that is enough to sustain my interest on its own.

There are a lot of us. I’ve met many. We are a tribe, recognizable to each other by our handmade necklaces, witty dialogue, and raw enthusiasm. We meet each other at workshops and classes. We make beautiful objects, and toy with ideas like having a jewelry business, becoming a professional photographer, or going back to school for interior design. We consider careers as therapists or life coaches. (Because who better to help you with your life than someone who isn’t sure what to do with theirs?) We start novels. We take African Dance classes. There are drums or guitars in the corners of our living rooms. We completely rock our “day jobs” with our smarts, while feeling stifled and trapped. We fantasize about making a career out of one of our hobbies, but we kind of know that if that ever happened, we would feel just as trapped.

We want to paint, and dance, and debate politics, and research the effects of music on the human brain. We craft pithy status updates and tweets, and we delight in the creating the perfectly worded letter of righteous indignation when we are wronged. Our dream job doesn’t exist, and when trying to describe it, we require lots of /’s.

We’re smart and creative and have loads and loads of interesting and varied skills. If someone could figure out how to harness the unfocused energy of the Renaissance people in today’s society, we could accomplish almost anything. Harness us! And point us at something! Because the part about focusing? It’s really… Oooh, shiny! Wow, that would make an amazing ring. I have my soldering iron right here. Yeah, I of course I know how to solder. I took a class. Yeah, and I took a class on glass bead making too. You would love it. You should totally try it. Wanna come with me to belly dance class later? What was I saying? Oh, whatever. Something about harnessing. You’re right, we SHOULD take a leather-working class together! How about next Friday? Oh wait, I have my spirituality group. No, Saturday is that barefoot dance thingie. What was I saying? Um, yeah.


  1. Do you find that gets worse as you get older? In your case, I think not. But for me, I TOTALLY didn't allow myself the license to explore when I was younger, and now I'm into more (and more varied) interests than I could ever have time for. I was just joking with my husband the other day that I'm less mature NOW than when we married 18 years ago, but I like your explanation better. :)

  2. Oh yeah, definitely getting worse and worse, because I get new interests without letting go of the old ones!