In my defense

Does admiring the silhouette of an aerofoil’s camber negate feeling the words of a poet? does marveling at mycological ecosystems invalidate one’s wonder at humans’ capacity for adaptation? does watching with rapt attention Empire of the Tsars with Lucy Worsley void genuinely enjoying COSMOS with Neil deGrasse Tyson?

The answer to these ridiculous questions is: No, one does not cancel the other.

Why am I bringing this up?

Because, people have been vocal in their disapproval of my decision to retire as an ‘art historian’. These folks believe that I am (and I quote) “throwing all my efforts away”, “making a strange decision”, “need a sabbatical, not retirement”, etc. This may be naïve of me, but having a degree in a particular field needs actual practice in order to acquire the title professionally. I considered myself an art historian because I researched, wrote, lectured, and presented myself as one (ask the IRS) — that’s no longer the case. The gist of the conversations is that I am being irresponsible and should continue building up my career not abandoning it. However, as I have explained, my decision does not cancel my degree or 13 years of experience in the arts.

Importantly, the conversations bring about a point I alluded to with the questions above: I have too many disparate interests, there is no “theme” (I am borrowing that word from the person who used it). It is amusing to me to hear from people who think that involving myself more seriously in aviation means, rather suddenly, that I do not like art (in all its expressions) anymore. That motorsports and art are too disparate as interests — as if. This is not coming from folks in STEM, but the humanities, by the by. It seems unnerving to them that I’m taking my hobbies ‘more seriously’ than the field I have been formally trained for.

Yes, I am a very curious individual and have a broad range of interests and skills. Some of them have been part of me all my life and coexisted just fine. In fact, there are millions of people like me, there are some who take all of their interests very seriously (polymaths [Leonardo Da Vinci was not only a visual artist, he was an engineer, an aerodynamicist, a student of human anatomy, etc.] ), and they are OK, you are OK and I am OK, too — thank you for your concern.

To quote Daniela Ospina: “Sorry if I do not meet your expectations. My priority is to meet mine.”

#PassiveAggressivePost #BecauseDiplomacy ¯\_(ツ)_/¯