My middle name really is perseverance. I've always believed that I had talent, even when I felt like a very inferior sort of person, which I spent a lot of time living my life feeling that I wasn't worthy. But even then I knew that I had something special, and maybe that's what it takes. Maybe people need to have that kind of particular core driving them. But I felt I had talent.
I call myself the hardware shelf. There's a lot of awards and honors there. And I have earned that. I didn't ask for it, I didn't beg for it, I didn't pay for it. I earned that. People see the accomplishments - but it's good to remind people that so much strife and labor and tears and heartbreak came before that, that it really is earned.