As the words encroached on the images, I found a passage that described the latter: “My work is good, it has potential”. Given how badly I had doubted myself, it may be the closest that I ever came to praising what I had done. In the rest of the paragraph, I displayed my usual ambivalence:
“So why I am writing all this down is that if I should do something stupid, like turn down such a huge promotion, I can review these words and see just what the hell I was thinking. My work is good, it has potential, and I hate to sacrifice it for anything (except for Kristiine’s happiness, and I think she’ll be happier with an emotionally stable husband than with the extra $). And even if I were able to save up enough for Grad School I may be dead as an artist by the time I get there and so, would never get accepted anywhere anyway.” 10-11-95
I came across the note in the course of compiling a final collection of old figure studies (none were good enough for the website gallery — all were too good to ignore). I was twenty-five when I wrote it, a couple of years out of college and new to the printing industry. A few months into my second job, I was offered a promotion from the factory floor to customer service. I didn’t take it, nor did I go to grad school. Whether I have wasted my potential or not is another question.