Zubby Newsletter – September 6, 1999

Labor Day Weekend’s wrapping up. The last few hours have been kind of traumatic for me.

I was going to go on about my week and a bunch of crap about bureaucracy at the school where I teach and the usual “I’m doing fine” report, but I’ve gotta admit. I’m not doing fine…

I finished the script and upon further inspection and investigation, it’s awful. It’s a cliché-ridden piece of tripe. I can’t even believe that I deluded myself for weeks with this thing. I never felt anything reading it. For all my film critique, I botched it.

Inadvertently, it brought up points about me that I never confront…ever. It stares me in the face and I have to address it now.

Almost everyone on this mailing list knows me well enough to have seen these aspects in me, but none of you have ever brought it up. I can totally understand that, I wouldn’t have done it either.

I have never stood tall or pushed myself to the limit on ANYTHING. Yes, I’ve worked long hours. Yes, I’ve made commitments and come out here dream searching, BUT I always corrupt my stuff with self-doubt and paralyze my work with everyone else’s opinions or my own critique of what I think is great.

The worst part of it is, it’s not just work. My personal life is the exact same thing. EVERY time something is hard, I either do a passable job and squeak by (again) or run away from the problem.

• I had trouble with my friends in downtown Toronto, so I ran away from them.
• Whenever a relationship I was in became a problem, I ditched it or let it slide until they let me go.
• I had trouble with my Life Drawing, so I stopped doing it.
• I was afraid of staying at Sheridan for 3rd year, making it all that much easier to stay in Calgary.
• When the work I did at the studio was unacceptable in March, I tried to run back to Ontario. Luckily, I stopped myself.
• I was having trouble drawing out here, so I pushed myself into a writing position here at the studio.

Now, writing’s the same. The problem’s not changing, I’m just throwing a different face on it (work, love, whatever) and calling it a new name until it comes back to haunt me again.

So…this e-mail is my promise to myself, a contract I have to keep.

My witnesses are all of you.

I will commit to my feelings, my artwork, my work and my life in every way possible. I will become the person and the artist I want to be instead of crawling under the shadows of my doubt and the work that I thought was above me.

I will tell the people I care about how I feel about them without sabotaging myself anymore.

I will speak my mind and be heard with meaning instead of just filling the air with talk.

I will prove my worth to myself and the people relying on me.

I know this transformation’s not instant and I won’t wake up tomorrow a better artist or person. But, I’ve got to try.

Some of you are going to think I’m just in a blue funk and this is temporary and that it’ll be business as usual soon. God, I hope not…I can’t let myself be the way I was. I can’t keep running away from my problems.

I want to draw and tell stories for a living. This isn’t a game or a past time or a dream or wish. It’s real and I’ve got to live up to it. I won’t let myself get old and bitter without hitting the highs that I know I have to meet.

But, it’s all words until I actually do it. I hope this is a first step instead of a futile rambling.

The old script’s in the trash and I’m going to pour out the new one. I don’t care if it’s animation, it’s going to feel and breath. I have to do this.

If you read this far, you’ve got pretty good stamina. Wish me luck with mine.

Now, a good night’s sleep and I go back in the boxing ring for ‘Life- Round 2’.

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