I am not Dr. Seuss

G is for "Gift"

in The Alphabet of Bad Ideas

You have a talent. A hidden talent, one you take intense pride in but self-consciously lock away where nobody else can ever see it. It's yours, and yours alone.

You're a photographer, wandering out into the wilderness of your backyard to capture perfect instants of nature's beauty. You're a writer, crafting elaborate worlds in your mind and setting them into form one letter at a time. You're a singer, pouring your soul into deeply personal harmonies that nobody will ever hear.

And nobody will ever hear them. Because if they did..., you worry.

Your ego, ballooning with the pride that has slowly inflated it for two decades now, might simply burst at the sharp prick of criticism. Criticism, which you've avoided because you're too weak to give up the one thing that defines you. Criticism, which might have honed your "gift" into something worth sharing if you weren't so fucking afraid to put yourself out there. Criticism, which you shield yourself from in a desperate attempt to pretend you're something you will never be, to pretend that you have a talent when all you really have is a hobby.

Your real talent is cowardice. Your real gift is self-delusion. There's no pride in acknowledging these facts, however, so you don't. You snap another picture, write another short story, sing another song. After all, that's your gift. It's yours, and yours alone.