[This post originally appeared as a LinkedIn article on 15 April 2023.]
A few months ago I shared reflections on my life of "serial careers", having covered 7 areas of interest since my undergraduate college days. Well, now it's time to add career No. 8 into the mix!
In the coming weeks, I will be launching my latest venture, which is focused on one of my lifelong personal passions: music.
I know what you must be thinking ... "Wait. What?! Why music? What does that have to do with anything?" Great questions!
WHY ANOTHER CAREER CHANGE?
You may recall that a couple of years ago I went through a shift of strategic focus within my "space" career to dedicate myself to establishing a permanent human presence in the Venusian atmosphere.
This offered me a way of leveraging all of my various career interests toward a singular long-term vision. However, it was truly an aspirational goal that I may never see achieved by humanity in my lifetime. For me, this decision was literally and figuratively much more about the journey than about the actual destination.
While this certainly provided me with plenty of inspiration on a daily basis, it left a gap for near-term tactical accomplishment. This presented a problem for my Taurus personality whose sense of self-worth was so tightly intertwined with setting and achieving milestones and objectives.
I needed to find something much more tactical to survive psychologically and emotionally during the multi-decade slog toward a Venusian offworld community. I knew that I needed to find another "parallel career" that I could enjoy while I pursued my dreams of helping to make humanity a multi-planet species.
CREATIVE ARTS IN SPACE
One of my "space friends" is Raphael Roettgen. Like many of us in the space industry, he is personally driven by a long-term vision of humanity expanding to various parts of the solar system. The way he chose to support that cause is by providing capital to innovative entrepreneurs building the technologies and businesses that create the stepping stones to push humanity forward.
Raphael is a frequent speaker at conferences around the world, and he has stated multiple times that he believes strongly that the creative arts must be included in any plans to make humanity a multi-planet species. I'm paraphrasing, but essentially his argument is, "if we are going to expand the homo sapiens species into the solar system, then we might as well take the best of humanity with us, and the one thing that makes us unique is our incredible capacity for creativity."
This really struck a chord with me. I completely agree!
Future offworld communities should not be just scientists and engineers (all of whom are also quite creative in their own right), but they should also include writers, poets, musicians, painters, videographers, photographers, sculptors, and all sorts of other creative minds. In fact, the dearMoon Project is a lunar flyby mission specifically designed with this premise in mind, taking a crew of 8 artists on an upcoming week-long trip around the Moon.
Following Raphael's suggestion, I decided that my next parallel career should focus on the creative arts. However, I am not an artist myself, so it took me almost five years to discover my path forward.
When I was 8 years old, my parents signed me up for classical piano lessons, which I continued until I was 14. When I was 11, I saw a high school rock band play a four-song set during lunch at my middle school, and I was hooked on the electric guitar. I took jazz and rock lessons for a few years, played in a few bands, and essentially continued my musical journey into today, where I keep an acoustic guitar near my computer to play in between calls and projects.
As a "guitar dabbler" (not "guitar player"), I have always been fascinated by actual musicians, who can do things with their instruments that I can barely fathom. I have enjoyed learning about their personal journeys. I have studied music and musicians, but I have been especially drawn to songwriters and their creative process.
Given my lifelong connection with music, it was a no-brainer that my next "career" would be in the world of music. However, it took me years to discover what--exactly--that career might look like.
THAT is what I will unveil in the coming weeks, so ... stay tuned!
Until then, please know that my upcoming focus on music is very tightly connected to my ongoing focus on Venus and making humanity a multi-planet species. In my mind at least, all of this makes perfect sense and ties together quite nicely.
I'm curious to see how this all unfolds!