keep trying


i get jealous easily.  my mom used to too.  i get jealous of other people's accomplishments.  maybe it's human nature, but it's kind of embarrassing.  my mom, well, she was an overachiever, and so am i.  she was extremely competitive, and not just at yahtzee or scrabble, but at life.  she wanted everything to be perfect, exactly, and didn't stop at sub-par.  she wanted perfection so badly that it could be intense at times.  she would get real catty if someone achieved something that she wanted, or if somebody was a better artist than her.  it wasn't easy for her to admit failure.  nor is it for me.  it's not one of those qualities that i love about myself, but i do think i inherited it from her, and so i embrace it as something preciously human.  mom was a tough cookie, and that disguised her vulnerability well.  so i guess it's her that's still keeping me on my toes.  having a mother that's crossed over into spirit-hood is way more powerful than a nagging phone call or a guilty conscience.

I know i can't stop in the tireless pursuit of greatness, constantly working to better my skills.  because those skills don't work themselves.  and, honestly, it's not easy to get noticed out there.  mom tried for years to get her illustrations published in children's books, sending out packets upon beautiful packets, beating her head against one brick wall after another only to get no response.  i watched from the sidelines, cheering her on.  and so i guess maybe that runs in the family too.  just last month i got another politically polite refusal letter from another artist's grant award that i didn't win.  the first couple of times i cried.  but now, i'm used to it.  i've toughened up a little.  and i guess i realized, you can't win the big prize if you don't enter the race in the first place.  and so it goes:  try, try, and try again.

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