“Occasionally I’ll have a beer after work and break out the…

“Occasionally I’ll have a beer after work and break out the sketchbook. But I had wanted to be this great painter. I wanted to do these grand things: big, huge oil paintings. But those days of painting all the time were such a roller coaster. There were these periods of extreme depression, followed by manic states of trying to put myself out there. I couldn’t do it anymore. I mainly felt sorry for my dad. I know it was rough for him. My mom hadn’t wanted me to go to art school. She wanted me to do something more practical, but my dad said: ‘No. This is what he wants to do, and I want to support his dream.’ And then I abandoned it. That was the first time I had to deal with real failure. A lot of times when you’re an artist, it’s your job, it’s your lifestyle, it’s your entire fucking identity. It wasn’t like I failed to do a thing. It was like: I failed to be something, you know? It was a failure to live up to what I thought was my destiny. But then on the other side of that, there was this figuring out that there was nothing wrong with me the entire time. I didn’t need to be something else to have meaningful friendships, or a good relationship. I didn’t need to be something else to be loved and cared about. After work tonight I’m going to meet up with a person who’s in love with me, and I can’t wait. And that person met me long after I gave up on being a full-time artist. They met me when I wasn’t even a chef yet. I was a piss-poor, part-time line cook. But even then, they decided I was worth it. So you know, there’s something there. There’s something there that’s enough.”

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