You are exploring cultural frontiers. You have left the safe harbor of familiarity to seek new ideas about living. Like Lewis and Clark, you find fear and uncertainty. I admire your courage.
What is courage, Son? When people act on their convictions, even knowing that there will be pain associated with their behavior, we call that courage. Knowing this does not ease the pain. You earlier mentioned the concept of modern Renaissance Men. There are such folks. They all suffer the indignity of living in a closed culture – a judgmental culture. You have demonstrated a healthy response – acknowledge the pain, accept the consequences of your convictions, and forge ahead. NEVER ignore the pain – or blame others. We make our life choices – sometimes with regrets – but never regret your courage to make your choices. Never regret being an independent thinker.
Being different is not the same as being unique. Being different recognizes and accepts the difference of others. Being unique is exclusive – the idea separates us from society. Acknowledge and celebrate the gifts and talents of others – whether they chose to celebrate you or not.
I think it was Joseph Campbell who wrote, “Follow your passion.” He is worth paying attention to.