Ten years ago, I was sitting in the lobby of a mental health clinic working as a security guard. It wasn’t a choice; it was something I had to do in order to survive. I had been living with my mom and caring for her for the last few years, but her condition had taken a turn for the worse. My mom suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for 30 years and she had entered the advanced stage of the disease. I could no longer care for her at home; she needed to be in the hospital. My entire life changed in the blink of an eye and I had to do what I had to do in order to keep things afloat. Wearing that stupid guard uniform and sitting in that lobby were things that I loathed from day one. Things looked bleak at the time, but I had a plan. I knew from the get-go that my time there was going to be short. Truth be told, the one thing that drove me to get out of that situation and back to making art more than any other was my ego. Security work, are you fucking kidding me? I don’t think so. Everyday that I sat in that lobby I planned on how to get myself out of there. Slowly but surely I would escape. A year and a half later, I became a Spanish mental health interpreter; that was a step up, but it was just another phase in my plan – just as with the security work, I wasn’t there to stay. A little over 5 years went by before I finally achieved part one of the plan I had concocted while working as Barney Fife – I got my freedom back and I returned to making art full-time.
Lots of changes have come about since I got back to making art full-time. In essence, the day I left my interpreter job to get back to making art was the start of part two of the plan I had made in November of 2004. Now, the time has come to begin the best part of my plan: part three will be filled with lots and lots of surprises so keep an eye out and look sharp!
The drawing that accompanies this post is a drawing that I did a few years before all the aforementioned changes. It’s from the biopic Basquiat, and it remains a favorite from that period. It’s important to be able to see what you want for yourself in the future in fine detail. That’s what I did a decade ago. It’s why I’m sitting here writing this post. I knew then what I know now – success will be mine. In order to succeed you have to be your own person. If you decide to follow a path such as this, there’s going to be just a handful of people who will understand, and a boatload of people that will fail miserably to get it. Dump the latter, they’re just dead negative weight that will waste your time and suck up your energy. Am I surprised that I’m here doing this now? No, actually, I’m not. In ten years, I’ll say the same thing – well, OK, it’ll probably be less than 10 years this time…a lot less. Learn to see the future and build a bridge for yourself. Get what you want, it’s out there waiting for you.