When it counted, I took the paths of least resistance for the first twenty-odd years of my life. In reward for my general cowardice, conformity and lack of self-trust I found myself at a safe, comfortable, but ultimately unfulfilling and unhappy place in life. I had an engineering job (and career) that paid well, but offered no sense of passion or creativity. I found myself living in Chicago, enjoying the nightlife, but lacking the confidence to truly take advantage of the social and artistic opportunities it offered. Some would say I had it all, but I felt like half a man, a fool who chose the safe path at every turn instead of pushing himself and trusting his own vision. I realized there was a hydra-headed monster of unrealized – mostly unattempted – creative endeavors ceaselessly howling deep within me.
So I decided to save up some money and take a “Sabbatical”. I would rent a house in Rhode Island for nine months and get down creatively during that time. Ideally I would get good at something remotely artful, make some contacts within that world and effect an escape plan from the desaturated, often artless world of professional engineering.
FormerConformer is a record of that leap, along with my ramblings about music, sports, politics, race and whatever else is on my mind. Through this blog I hope to entertain and intrigue, as well as become a better writer. In the end I hope FormerConformer is a chronicle of one man’s successful turn away from cushy conformity toward the difficult, but rewarding path of self-actualization.