I’ve always liked the Renaissance period. Studying 3 Art A-Levels gave me the opportunity to delve into the work of Botticelli, Caravaggio, Tintoretto, Donatello and others who were masters of their field. But my favourites from this period are the polymaths, the people who pushed themselves to master more than one area of knowledge or skill. Leonardo Da Vinci left a lasting impression and his work has been a continual encouragement to me as I have sought to better myself.
One of the great ironies in my life is that I have studied a bunch of different subjects both formally and informally and worked back and forth between design, theatre, education and faith based settings. I have a BA(hons) and PGCert in Interior Architecture, an MA in Community and Youth Work, I’ve just completed a second MA in Ministry, Mission and Theology, I have professional training in a range of theatre craft, I’ve got certificates relating to working in formal education and useful things like health and safety, first aid, food hygiene and using an epi-pen to save a child’s life. I love to learn – new knowledge, new skills, new ideas… but it’s difficult to fulfil societal norms like working ones way up a career ladder.
I’m looking forward (albeit in a really daunted kind of way) to engaging with what I’m beginning to see as the higher calling of Husband and Dad. Obviously I’ve been in these roles for some time but I’m not honestly sure how present I’ve been in them and I think, once I’ve worked out a new rhythm, that I’ll be happier as a stay at home dad than in any of the jobs I’ve had in the last 20 years.
I like the term Renaissance Man better than polymath, but I guess both are terms which should be bestowed on you rather than self selected. Renaissance Dad then, is a choice of title which I think summarises my past but brings it into the future. The ideal of the Renaissance Man originated in Italy, and is based on the belief that a man’s capacity for personal development is without limits.
So here’s to the unlimited personal development that is to come, a continuation of where I’ve been but a future that looks different to how society might say it should look. This blog will share that journey of personal development in the hope that it might bring encouragement, hope or even just a little entertainment to other people.