“One of the centerpieces of my anxiety is my potential. How I’m living up to it, how I can recognize the scope of it, and how I am using it to benefit my current situation. Recently the idea crept into my head that maybe potential isn’t even a real thing. It surely isn’t quantifiable. So what does that mean?” A personal story by Mr.Winters. Click ‘read more’ to check out the full article.
I am an artist, but having these skills always somehow seemed like a burden to me. I work on it constantly, but to this day, I have yet to figure out exactly what I am working towards. I often redirect my general goals within art into various avenues. There was a moment in my life where I was going to be a cartoonist. There time where I wanted to
be a rapper. There was a long stretch where I pursued graphic design. I even attended a prestigious University on scholarship only to drop out a year later. I was hell bent on becoming a tattooist for a while. After that, I was able to come up with an excuse to drop it for fine art aspirations. And now I am left in the place where I am, for all intents and purposes, objective-less. All those years of jumping around and quitting things that didn’t feel right, not wanting to feel like I was wasting my potential on something that either wasn’t working out or didn’t live up to my expectations. My inner voice would gnaw at me. All I could see was a scattered array of meaningless steppingstones. A set of places I have been, or things I have done, but none led me to where I really wanted to be.
For years I longed for the mythical “ re-do” so I could undo all my perceived waste of potential. I was convinced that my time had been wasted and that my potential -this ethereal space I thought I was supposed to fill- felt squandered. But maybe potential isn’t the worry…maybe it doesn’t matter how much potential we have subjectively. What if potential is not something we have to feel obligated to live up to? Our unique skills, our personalities, our upbringings, our histories, our relationships, our net worth, none of that really means we have to attain anything out of it. It is best that we center ourselves on what we are, what we have, and what is real around us. Worries of our potential suggest that what we have is not enough, that what we have must be developed into something greater, otherwise it was all a waste all along. I don’t know if I believe that anymore. But I think if we can see that what we have is already perfect – that it is enough for me to simply create art, and you to do whatever it is you enjoy, regardless the outcome. This way we can do what we want and be as productive as we can. All guilt free. We do not have to live up to anything greater, we just have to be happy first.
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