Full Potential by Amber Borden

Barb Easter

To me, people’s approval is essential,

So when they say “I’m not reaching my full potential”,

Though they may think it inconsequential,

That statement can be detrimental,

And their opinions are influential,

But now I’m getting existential.

That sentence is tattooed inside my brain,

The message those words portray,

Is constantly on replay.

And at the end of the day,

The one thing that remains,

Is that constant feeling of shame,

And no, I don’t mean to complain,

But the thought still haunts me all the same.

You see, my “best” is hypothetical,

A concept that’s theoretical,

It's purely parenthetical.

It's honestly kind of pathetic, I’ll dream of this ideal person who I aspire to be,

But it’s not based in reality, it’s just the perfect version of me.

Now you think to yourself this is an unrealistic expectation,

And I agree which is why it can only lead to frustration,

I’m only complicating the situation by not giving up this infatuation

Of a preconceived notion that leaves me with reservations.

I start to doubt myself and all of my abilities,

Becoming blatantly aware of life’s perceived futility,

And so I end up greeting people with way too much hostility,

Causing them to question my mental stability,

Ultimately resulting in a mistrust of my facilities.

Then one day down the road I’m left believing I’m just the worst,

In fact, it’s even crossed my mind that I might just be cursed.

But by now it’s been so long that this thought process can’t be reversed,

And I’ve racked up so much self-loathing that I could surely burst.

“I don’t reach my potential”, yeah I’ve got that rehearsed,

And I’m constantly waiting for someone to tell me, lips pursed.

All because a trusted adult didn’t believe in me first.

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