The Fear of Lost Potential

Today, I woke up late today. Mind asunder, divided between the world of the living and the dreamless subconsciousness of sleep. 11 hours of slumber, 9 of them uninterrupted, to ponder what my life is and may become. I had plans, neither grand nor peculiar, for the day: start my career search once more.  This task ebbs and flows like the waves of the Atlantic, determining my self-esteem as the winds of self-doubt and pressure of availability meet in once certain storm.

Getting out from the storm is difficult. There are days when I can manage it. I force my intelligence, humor, and general good nature to the surface, convince myself that I will be employed someday. “Someday soon, I will be gainfully employed in a job I enjoy,” I repeat.

Other days, the fear of failure prevents me from doing anything other than adding one more job to a list of hundreds, reviewing one more list of skills that I don’t possess. “But if you could look beyond my profile and resume and picture and see what I have to offer in person…”It’s futile.

The weight of personal expectations weighs heavily on me. A vision of my 17-year-old self comes to me— ashamed, yelling, questioning. “Where is your ambition? What the hell happened to you?” But in reality, a 17-year-old me, would stay silent, shake her head, the disappointment etched onto her face, a portrait to remind me of what I once possessed and lost, unknowingly.

The fear of lost potential, or perhaps more accurately the confirmation of lost potential, is incapacitating. I find myself easily discouraged, easily distracted, easily isolated. But it is only Monday, the beginning of the week, the day most working people dread to see. A reminder of the weekend and the remaining days until the weekend returns. Mondays don’t last forever and neither does this feeling. This cloud is temporary—one that prevents me from seeing all that I have to offer, all that I can learn, all that I can achieve—and will disappear at some point. The sooner the better, so I can regain that strength, that mental fortitude I gained over the past 6 months, that burns a fire in my spirit bright enough to show all the potential I have and all I can offer.



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