I never set out to be a maverick. In truth, I would have avoided it like crazy if anyone had told me I was approaching maverick status. But in those days I thought conformity was the key element of survival. I’m awfully glad I grew out of that mindset. To think I used to idolize Alex P. Keaton! 1
As one often does with an introduction like this, I checked my definition with Merriam-Webster. The second meaning is spot on:
An independent individual who does not go along with a group or party 2
That description is a fantastically perfect portrayal of my life right up until you believe the subtext that it was all somehow planned or intentional.
I did not set out to blaze my own path.
I’m not sure anyone does. Don’t get me wrong, some of the more celebrated rebels sure act like it’s all gone according to plan. Good for them if that’s true, but I cannot take credit for that kind of foresight. Virtually all of my maverick identity can be categorized one of two ways:
- An exploration of the world
- A steadfast refusal to enter into proscribed behavior simply because I “should”
I’m not a fan of any “should” that is not supported by some level of scientific proof… or at the very least proof of experimentation. I cannot just blindly lemming along, tottering toward the cliff with the masses. In fact, much of my life’s friction has come about because most of my ardent refusal of the “shoulds” qualifies as maverick only through the Magic Lens of Hindsight. Looking back, these stories are also seriously entertaining.
But it’s been during my exploration of the world that I’ve been inspired to try reaching farther and motivated to climb ever higher.
So… welcome to the Accidental Maverick. I do hope you find something here that has a lot of meaning for you. Though in the spirit of owning up to the title of Maverick I’m going to keep going no matter what.
1 – Michael J. Fox’s young Republican character on Family Ties (NBC, 1982-1989)
2 – The first meaning refers to the word’s origin, and I’d just like to clear the air by saying I’m not an unbranded, motherless range animal. I’ve been branded twice and my parents are amazing people!