Potential

By Olivia Gray 

            What is your potential?  Do you know it?  … What’s my potential.  Potential, Success, Goals, Progress - all of these things have this objectified meaning that overlaps everything and encompasses everyone’s ideal life.  People’s idea of what success should be and what potential is screeches into the crevices of your mind, consuming you and BOOM - your in college trying to be the next President of the United States of America.  I don’t want to be the next President, I didn’t want to go to a traditional college that would make my parents glee with pride, I don’t even like wearing appropriate clothing.  If you’re reading this chances are you don’t like submitting to some of those objectified definitions of success either.  From the time I could walk I fought all angles of society that tried to primp and polish me to be something other then who I truly was.  But, ok, here’s the thing…. who the hell am I??? I’ve constantly fought being pushed and forced into all of these different avenues of “appropriate behavior” - and yes this still exists i.e the censored nipple - and after 22 years what do I have to show for it other than anxiety, timidness, and a lack of control over my instrument (acting code word for mind - body connection).  There’s all this talk about being yourself and finding who you truly are but it’s really surprising to me how it seems like everyone knows who they are, and apart of me think’s there just putting on a nice show.  I don’t think that I’ll find out exactly who I am until I’ve had all my experiences and lived through all of the things that could change me.  Cogito ergo Sum, right? (I think therefore I am; that latin phrase that has shaped the modern philosophical social thought and behavior of the dominant western world and whatever)  How about instead of thinking therefore being, be to think, be to create.

            I’m in New York, I’m trying to live my dream, but I’m so caught up in the success story that I’m carving out of everyone else’s life to piece make my own when I’m forgetting to be, I’m forgetting to do, I’m forgetting - most importantly - that my success story isn’t going to go and isn’t going to be like everyone else's.  I don’t want, to just be an actor, I don’t want to be just an academic, and I don’t want to just be a public figure.  I want to change the world, I want to live up to my own personal and full potential.  I want to be truly me even if I don’t know what that means and live up to my life and my experiences to a point where I know I have succeeded.  My potential, my future isn’t written anywhere in the history books, and I want to be the first. 

            So potential… yea I still don’t exactly know what that is but, isn’t that the point?  That your potential is something that’s reached when you can’t reach any higher, when you can’t move any further.  As of right now, we have come to the conclusion our universe has no boundaries.  Maybe the definition of potential is so similar to the definition of perfection in that it has no real stagnant position or meaning.  It grows and expands just as the universe step by step, galaxy by galaxy.  What if that’s the lesson the universe is trying to teach us?  Maybe the point isn’t to reach your potential or your perfection, maybe the point is to keep those boundaries expanding.  Maybe the point is to just get out there and search in that big beautiful dark expanse.  A little birdie keeps telling me that’s where all the magic happens.