I always thought I’d be rich and famous by the time I was 30. I thought I’d be “discovered”. And here I am, entering my second half century, and still not there. Yes, I make some money out of my paintings, out of my music. But not enough to pay the mortgage. Not enough to give up my dayjob.
I no longer seek those things. I am very driven – but what drives me now is to make my mark, to leave something of real value behind. So that people after me can see that I’ve lived on this Earth, and made an impression. And that’s not the same as fame.
I have two boys. They are 20 and 15 respectively. They are growing up into confident young men. The oldest one is an extremely gifted mathematician, and he has an easy way with people which means that he will carve out a good living, and surround himself with friends. The younger of my sons is very creative. He writes endlessly – he wants to be a film director. He has a number of health issues, but I am very proud of his confidence and his ability to face the world come what may.
What I’m coming to realise is that I have left my mark. It’s there in my boys, in their belief that they can be anything, that they can achieve anything. Life may take them along strange and unexpected paths, but I’m glad they have that confidence that they will be able to navigate them in the following of their dreams.
I’ve also come to realise that in my teaching, I have inspired young people over the years to take up music as a profession. Indeed, some of them make more money out of it than I do. But that’s part of what I am able to leave.
And quite apart from that, there are homes all over the world which have a painting by a certain Adam Tucker hanging on the walls – and some homes have a number of them! Of course I could sell more. Of course I could be better at marketing. But I am already beginning to leave signs of my presence on this planet.
And my music graces people’s television screens all over the world. No, I’m not yet well known. But I have had comments from people from the other side of the world who have heard my music in something they have watched. That’s humbling.
And I realise that it’s not the size of your following, the size of your bank balance, which leaves a mark. It’s about lives which you touch on your journey through your own life. I have a lovely wife, wonderful sons, and I have the best of both worlds – I can create, and I can educate, and pass on my love of creating to the next generation.
So if I ever start to whinge about not being quite successful enough, will you poke me in the eye and remind me of what I am able to do? I am so very fortunate to be fulfilled in what i do, and I know that is a real blessing. Not everyone is as fortunate.