I can go on with the 'I nearly made it' examples ad infinitum but it's time to put this aspect of my life into context - I was raised to be successful, famous even. I had very little say in the matter as a child. This set up two opposing paths: Do my best to fulfill those great expectations . . . and resent every minute, or don't fulfill them . . . and feel guilty for letting them down. Neither option is very satisfactory.
As far as I can unravel, I chose both. First I engineer the possibility of big success and fame, then I quickly deconstruct it. I've been doing this, without concious awareness, all my life. Sort of 'having my cake and eating it' but in a negative way. As with most things in life, it's not that simple . . . but it's pretty accurate. So what now?