Have you ever experienced that moment where you realise that you are not living up to your potential?
It is almost like having a tidal wave of disenchantment of self and dissatisfaction with life all rolled up into life.
How can you even attain this when the odds seem to be against you, knocking you down and kicking you about like a ninja warrior? How can you even hope to attain all the goals you would like to realise for yourself? How can you be more, than what you are now? How can you break out of the shackles of poverty and frustration unique to the Caribbean? How can you live up to your potential?
In this moment of realisation for Faith, it seems impossible. How can Faith do this? It seems she is that servant, where her master gave her more than 10 gifts and it seems unattainable to use them all and multiply, selflessly. Faith can act, she can sing, she can write, she can teach, Faith can counsel, Faith can do graphical work, Faith was great with understanding technology and software, she have a photographic memory, she can discern, Faith can do so many things! And there are things she dared not mention; else the enemy try to foil even those.
The problem is that unlike many people, Faith can’t focus on doing one thing with her life or even two. This would leave her feeling so unfulfilled and miserable; constantly thinking that she is a disappointment to herself and to the Father who gave her so much potential.
This thought plagues her perpetually. In Jamaica, the resources are not there, she thinks, to cater to someone like her. Faith had a discussion with an Entertainer the other day, who she had not seen for a while and he said, “The people in the industry try to pull you down when they see you working to go higher”. This is the ‘crab inna barrel’ syndrome. People don’t want to help you unless, they see a way in which they can rape you of the majority of the profits or benefit in a major way. Faith has come across a few people who are not like that and God bless them.
Do you remember when you were in school and the teachers would write on your report card, ‘you have potential’? Every report card Faith has ever received had that written, except maybe her grade one report card that had straight As. She can’t even remember what happened to take her from that course, to mess with that brilliance, to outshine that potential. Her teachers, Lord know that she is thankful for them; she feels like kicking them right now. One particular high school science teacher comes to mind. Every year her mother came to parent’s day, she clearly remembers him telling her, “She has great potential”.
The one teacher who lit a fire under Faith and made her feel like Einstein in English class disappeared by the time she got to tenth grade. The next teacher, she got an E in her class and nearly committed suicide. Faith was devastated. Not to mention her school had shifted them from their original class and placed all the bright pupils in one class and forgot to teach them while expecting them to know the answers automatically without being taught. The best thing that happened in those last years of high school was Faith meeting and being taught by a brilliant math whiz of a teacher and he was a gangster man, so atypical. Math, to him, was like air; because of his teachings she was able to pass the darn subject in CXC.
In treading this role, into her academic history, Faith realised she got bored and basically hid her academic brilliance; which seems has now even outshone the closet she hid it in. Now, Faith was tormented by her restless, over-analytical mind, which seems tired of being repressed and suppressed. Now, her obsession with psychology and understanding human behaviour at all times can be distracting. She watched people, their expressions and their body language, tried to figure out if they lie, what they hide and if they are genuine. If you watched the TV series, you fully understand what Faith was doing.
When Faith just started writing poetry, she was so shy and afraid; she didn’t want to show or share her work. Twelve years after, she has transitioned to not only writing poetry, but chronicles, articles, musings, and even a book. A couple months ago, a suppressed memory came to mind. When she was just a teenager Faith wrote novellas in exercise books. She has read thousands of books, so naturally her imagination led her to writing.
In all this reflection, Faith is solid in the belief that she will never live up to her full potential. Now, she has to find a way to deal with this reality, her reality, her Jamaican reality. Now, Faith thinks, she will have to do anything she wants to do and publish on the web. Even her singing, which she is so shy about; Faith used to sing Whitney Houston songs when she was a babe, very good too. Then she had an operation at six or seven and her voice was never the same. That has haunted her for over two decades because that was her dream as a child; to be a singer like Whitney Houston, her greatest love of all. Sigh.
So, though Faith is not dead yet, she guesses she shouldn’t resign herself. She still has forty of her promised years to implement and cement her dreams in history. We will see in thirty years whether she has managed to live up to her potential or not.
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Copyright © 2018, Denise N. Fyffe, The Island Journal