You Fucking Suck and Other Uplifting Anecdotes

Are you feeling uplifted yet?

When I was a kid I had a lot of issues listening to people in authoritative positions. Some folks that know me well may even chuckle and cite that this is something I still struggle with. It’s a deficiency in my personality, but I own it like a badge of honor. Ok, well maybe not a badge of honor, but more of an attitude that I could really give a shit about how people perceive me. I know what kind of person I am and that’s all that matters.

However, when I was a kid it was tough to find people that I could learn from that could help build up my self-esteem. I did have some incredible people in my life as a young person and it helped to shape who I am and my incredible internal need to be helpful to others. But I think these early interactions have a lot to do with how we grow our relationships as adults. We can choose two paths when we grow into adults. We can either assimilate into the environment we grew up with, or we can be different. Whatever that means in your own life, you always have a choice.

When I was in middle school growing up in Livermore, California I had an Art Teacher named Mr. Dyer. Wait, I won’t use his real name. Let’s call him “Mr. Dickhead.”

Mr. Dickhead liked to play favorites in his class. He thought that he would give all the popular kids the cool projects and shit all over the work the unpopular kids did. Like me.

I remember one semester he gave me an “F.” Now, if you know me well you know that I wanted to draw cartoons as an adult. In fact, I did some dabbling in cartoons, but ultimately planted my flag in tech. Now, Mr. Dickhead didn’t know it at the time, but that F had a profound impact on my self-esteem as an Artist. When I saw that F I second guessed myself. I went home and I put away all of my sketchbooks and stopped drawing altogether. I wanted nothing to do with art at all.

My Mom, who had always been my biggest fan, was so angry. She could not believe that some bloated underpaid jackass would dare grade the art of a master like her Son so low.

After a while I got over it and eventually got back to drawing, but that interaction had a huge impact on my drawing. I always sought perfection whether or not someone praised me for my drawing. It was never good enough and I would never end up fully committing to drawing as a career.

The story is not all bad, but I wanted to write this blog to tell you that there will always be people who don’t believe in you. And while I never got into cartooning as a career, I did have some fun and met some great people along the way. But I always keep Mr. Dickhead’s voice in the back of my head continually telling me I’m not good enough. Because at the end of the day it’s the thing that drives me to be better. It’s the motivation to tell that little voice that he has no idea what he’s talking about.

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