The Tap

I think most people in probably any creative field, maybe any field altogether, live in fear of the tap. The fear that someone, at some point, especially when we’re experiencing some measure of success is going to tap us on the shoulder and say, “I’m sorry, sir, there’s been some mistake. You’re not supposed to be here, this spot is actually for someone else.”

The more successful, I imagine, a person becomes, the more they must live in constant fear of the tap. And I don’t know if it’s a fear of responsibility or a fear of not being able to top one’s own success. Maybe it’s the fear of not being able to explain how you’ve attained the success at all.

In that way, perhaps it’s not fear at all but guilt. Guilt that what you do is somehow beyond the abilities of others who strive for the same thing. Guilt that by whatever natural selection these skills are yours whether you have honed them or not.

I’ve had some measure of success in some of my endeavours. Less in others. I’ve been praised, rewarded and flattered and with this I’ve long lived in fear of the tap. It’s what keeps us striving isn’t it? Hereditary talent or not, it keeps us training, trying, practicing and fighting to prove ourselves.

But prove ourselves to whom? I hadn’t considered that question much. And it’s recently become quite clear:

To the only person who cares about any of this, of course.

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