All of It

It wasn’t a matter of whether she would be a princess, an astronaut, a president, a boy in the country; it was simply a matter of when.

As a child this poet believed she could experience it all. It wasn’t a matter of whether she would be a princess, an astronaut, a president, a boy in the country; it was simply a matter of when. I wonder how many of us still hold this belief deep down, even subconsciously. Throughout my life I took this for granted. My parents and teachers would say, “You can be anything you want to be.”

For a long time, I shied away from committing to anything because I wanted this statement to hold true. As a young girl I was filled with idealism for the future, basking in countless manifestations of my “potential.” I imagined what it would be like to marry long lists of different boys. I imagined all the ways I would change the world and all the shiny awards I might get to put on my mantel. I also imagined having a mantel.

Despite these grand daydreams, I think ultimately what was underneath it all was fear. Fear of actually going after that specific thing I wanted whether it was to share a story in class or talk to the guy I had a crush on in 4th period or simply to say out loud, “Here’s the thing I want to do.” Those things might be small like “I actually want to go see that movie instead” or bigger things like “Actually, I want to write poems for a living.”

At a certain point, all those things I wasn’t saying or doing piled up and I realized maybe, theoretically, I can be anything I want to be, but if I don’t start now then I’ll be left with this, and one thing I know for sure is this is not what I wanted.

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2 comments

  1. I can relate so much to what you wrote here. I would very much like my life to be different. But deep down I’m afraid that once I pursue that road, I will one day reach a point where I will realise that it is not in my potential to become the person I want to be. That I’m limited and not good enough. But I’ve been struggling with this for four years now and what do I have looking back at it all? Regrets and nothing to be proud of.

    I guess that whatever we want, we’ll never be able to have it just by dreaming about it.

    1. Yes, I completely understand. I was held back by fear for so many years and I think it’s natural to feel that way. Maybe it’s kind of a like a test. If those feelings persist over time then you know it’s something that really matters to you, and it’s worth taking a big leap out into the unknown for.

      One thing that was helpful for me was looking back at “my story.” The things I was told growing up. I realized it was extremely difficult for me to leave my job because financial security was ingrained in me from an early age. It was deeply rooted and that is why I felt so conflicted. Once I pinpointed the source it was easier to say, “Okay, I see where this is coming from, but you know what? I’m going to do it anyway.”

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