Before late last week, I hadn't done any serious painting in probably 4 years. I went to a community college in my hometown, and by chance a new drawing and painting teacher had been hired since the old teacher retired. I spent roughly two years learning from him to draw in charcoal, graphite, soft pastels, and to paint in oil, acrylic, and watercolor.
At the same time, I had picked up a job working in a bar. I was making more money than I ever had in my life without having any kind of formal education, and it was mostly in cash (and most of it reported). Plus, being in my early twenties, I found plenty of people to party and, most importantly, drink with.
When it was time to decide whether to continue my education at one of the universities nearby or step up in the bar and go full time so I could support myself I went with the bar. The choice seemed pretty easy at the time: make lots of easy cash every weekend or spend money on an education in what is traditionally a really, really shaky career field.
I didn't realize how unfulfilled I would feel by the end of my four years in the bar. Now that I've looked up one of my old classmates I'm a little ashamed I've let all this time pass. If I had kept it up years ago, I might actually know what I'm doing by now.
I've also noticed things around here are a little quieter. A little different. There's been some bad blood and some fall out, I've read. I remember looking at the old challenges and especially the crusades and being jealous of people that were participating (because I was too scared to apply myself).
I'd like to participate now. I've made a new account on cghub.com so I can get a higher volume of critiques and access to more weekly/biweekly/monthly challenge prompts. If this site is going to recover, I'd like to a part of it!