World Headquarters of Me pg203
Colorful companion to my memoir The Incompetent Psychic
Spring was warming up. I was sitting all alone in Prism Gallery as usual. It was filled with paintings by the splendid maritime artist Jim DeWitt, and had been empty of visitors for some time. Out the window I was watching a dozen vultures circle my building like there was something big and dead on the roof (a Norway rat? a sea lion?) Then came a marvelous duh and ding thought… “Perhaps I’m not a failure. I already have a gallery all set up. What if I start showing my own work, then shift all those resources into making more of it?”
Finally I was ready to ditch the fictional name and put my own name on the sign out front. A year of marketing and promo effort to figure out postcard printing, press releases, web links and email promo wasn’t a waste after all. I had worked out how to sound sincere, light and low key to advertise effectively. Having this skill allowed me to keep doing it with dignity. — From Chapter 11
A benefit to having highly critical parents is to be consistently trained to strive for excellence in every endeavor — from manners to making things. A drawback is internalizing, “Nothing I do is ever good enough”. With eventual maturity comes a suspicion that some people can never be pleased, stringent perfectionism coupled with rudeness is annoying to others, and perhaps we might have something of value to offer. Maturity took a lot longer in my case. Drowning low self esteem in barrels of alcohol slowed the process some. At this point in the book I’m 45 years old, and finally got hit with a realization that I could join the world as a worthy participant. Retraining lifelong believes and habits took some doing. A conscious effort to choose optimism over cynicism with every thought wan’t easy, either.
Twenty years later and I’m way short of perfection thank goodness. For instance, cynicism can be pretty humorous if done moderately well.
A signed copy of Mernie’s memoir is available at www.etsy.com/listing/839838936
Unsigned copies can be ordered wherever books are sold.