Freedom vs Gym Class

Remember that infamous book from years back All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten? Yeah well the truth is if we could all write a book together, Wikipedia style it’d be All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Gym Class. It’s Gym Class where you get saddled with inferior paradigms like Shirts vs Skins (really us vs them…I coulda gone for this had it been no pants vs pants, though), winners and losers etc. That’s great for sports because there are clearly defined rules and somebody’s keeping score…in the real world, it’s far to messy for such naive simplicity.

The worst part of Gym Class wasn’t the NBA 70s style short shorts, the ridiculous rope climbing or doing laps, granted none of those elements made Gym Class endearing. The worst part was the team picking.

It didn’t matter if the game was football, dodge ball or basketball, I was gonna get picked last. Sometimes I didn’t even get picked…in a wave of false generosity the other captain offered “you can have those guys,” in other words the leftovers (had we been a punk band we’d have been called The Mehs). Perhaps if us losers could have Voltroned into one giant player it would have eased our low standing in the sports community. No Such Luck.

Sadly being picked last in all those Gym Classes didn’t prepare me for a career in the Arts. You’d think I’d be well immune from rejections from editors and publishers. Able to withstand the sharpest barbs of critics. Rather it repeats the whole ugly insecure developing cycle of Gym Class. It’s the waiting to be picked. I see, often the least talented selected, the legacy of mistakes and errors either forgotten or overlooked (granted that could have also been grace) and still I wait and wait and wait…to be picked. What a dumb system.

Well I’m glad Gym Class is over. And I’m totally ecstatic that I also don’t have to sit around and wait to be picked in Arts. Not anymore.

Today I can pick myself…I’m free to execute whatever movie, whatever book or whatever comic book I want. Whatever medium I want. I don’t need permission (from who?!) and I don’t need to wait.

Amazingly I’m only bound by my imagination, talent and courage. If any of those 3 are lacking then then the Art suffers. Even better, kinda like Gym Class I can pick collaborators, other Artists to assemble my team or even found a fresh movement. I’m not alone nor do I have to work alone. This is a startlingly and profound freedom…the kind I’ve only experience whenever I got to skip Gym Class.

Getting picked last in Gym Class didn’t prepare me for a life in the Arts. Instead it developed a taste for a life contrary to that, to instead of sitting around waiting to be picked…I could pick myself. You can pick yourself. You’re talented and bright enough to pick yourself. The one persistent and legitimate question that requires an answer each and every single day is: With all this Artistic freedom what we are we gonna build?


Also published on Medium.

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