Living up to my potential

I’m now part time at my job, which has given me a lot more free time, but I don’t feel ‘free’ yet. I imagined my free hours and minutes achieving so much, applying for amazing jobs, exercising, making DIY projects, writing this blog, but it just easily escalates into hours not leaving my bed watching YouTube videos. I am being slightly melodramatic, as today is only my second day of ‘no work.’ So really, I have plenty of time. But there is a sense of doom over me, saying that I’ve had years and years to ‘achieve’ things. I was always dubbed a clever child, one of the ‘smart’ group at school. My whole life was good grades and praise. 7 year old me, 13 year old me, even 16 year old me, were just brimming with potential. I was an athlete, gearing up at the start line – doing all those fancy stretches and kneeling down to start the race, and then completely face planting, or tripping over my feet instead of the graceful speed I was expecting. To be honest, I haven’t come anywhere near my potential.


Screenshot of a tweet


Does anyone else feel this way?

I was good at so many things when I was younger, I could read a book in a day, play Grade 8 standard piano pieces, write an A* standard essay, make friends in the blink of an eye. I could have, maybe, got into Oxford or Cambridge if I’d really pushed myself. But I never did. I decided to slink into the background of other people, hiding behind my smarter friends and deciding I just wasn’t as good as them. If I didn’t understand something, I started to abandon it. Now if I can’t do something instantly, I can’t bear to try again, or let someone help me, I feel so embarrassed. Because I used to be so good at things. I feel like people know. I’m not allowed to be bad at things.

I read Lord of the Rings when I was 9 years old. Any book my dad said I wouldn’t be able to understand, that it was too old for me, I would read out of spite, to prove him and everyone wrong. I raced through a million books. I used to read under the table in school. Now I watch Made in Chelsea and read about what Kendall and Kylie Jenner are wearing this week. I used to be able to play 3 instruments and speak another language, and now I waste hours scrolling through fake Instagram pictures of models. I am so annoyed at my younger self for deciding she wasn’t good enough, because now I’m not. I’m so annoyed at my current self for letting this happen, because it’s going to be such an uphill struggle to get anywhere. I see that in every rejection email I get every day, my feet slip again and I trip over myself. I just want to yell “I’m good at things!” but that isn’t how the world works. There are a thousand other girls who are my age, who are better at things now, and better at expressing themselves, what do I have to impress anyone? Oh yeah, I can name all the Kardashian siblings, and I could tell you the name of each of Taylor Swift’s boyfriends. What knowledge.

Where does potential go, if you don’t fulfil it?


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