Skill is often spoken about as a static thing, an entity which, once possessed, is yours forever. This is a comforting notion, but unfortunately false. Skill is not a finish line, and becoming good at a thing is not the same as being good at it.
People tend not to care how well you could throw a football in high school. But if you're really that good now, well, you're Peyton Manning. And people certainly do care.
My latte art, then. Even at my best, I wasn't terribly good. Still, I could usually get something approximating a decent rosetta on an average latte, inspiring compliments and smiles from people who, thankfully, have never seen this site. Every once in a while, the planets aligned, and my rosetta turned out remarkably good. As in, legitimately, I'd post this on the internet and not feel ashamed good.
It's been about a week since I've managed one of those, however, and it must be said that my general aesthetic quality has dropped. Now, are my standards higher? Sure. Once upon a time, I'd have been thrilled to have a deformed onion topping a drink. Now I expect better; and I'm not getting it.
Why? Good question. I don't have a good answer though, other than to restate my original point: Skills aren't static. I was better last week than this week, and hopefully better next week than ever before.