When I was 17 years old I was offered a job at Hanna Barbara. I could have had a job out of high school as a working artist but I didn't jump on the opportunity. I told myself I shouldn't take it because I hated Hanna Barbara cartoons. I was a Warner Brothers fan, a Bugs Bunny background art fan. A couple of years later I was offered a job working with a children's book artist. I didn't take it. I told myself I was a serious artist and too good for children's book illustration. I've indignatiously [sic]snubbed my nose at several golden opportunities till golden opportunities stopped coming my way.
Looking back, and having the time to figure a few things out about myself, I realize I had no confidence and didn't take the jobs because I was terrified to find out I really wasn't talented. As a child I was told I was smart, talented child, as a teenager, things were so temultous at home, I was told I was stupid, fat and useless. I wasn't given any tools to help me become an independant, succesful adult so I didn't have the ability to understand how extrordinary those opportunities were and how to take advantage of them. I had no absoluetly no way of understanding how to enjoy the golden opportunities I had coming my way - I was being offered experiences other, smarter, more capable artists would kill for but I had no way to understand what it all meant or how to just go for it.
I can't imagine how different my life could have been if I'd gone to California and worked at Hanna Barbara - I can't imagine what other opprotunities could have opened to me.
So, instead of being able to run with life, I spent the next 30 years fighting it - pushing back thru drugs and alcohol in what felt like an "I'll show you"willy nilly fashion. I fought off opportunity after opportunity in a desperate attempt to forge something for myself. It's only in the last few years that I've been able to catch my breath and understand how hard I was fighting against monsters from my childhood instead of fighting to get out of my childhood. Now that I have a clearer understanding of who I am and where I want to be and a marginal amount more confidence I pray that my karma has cleared and I am allowed to get there.