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Unfulfilled Potential

Life

Unfulfilled Potential

Lana Hawk

Adam and I watched The Circle last night. It is based off a dystopian novel by Dave Eggers exploring the line of privacy in the digital age. We love movies, especially one starring Emma Watson AND Tom Hanks, so naturally we chose to go see it. It is an interesting and thought-provoking story, but makes for a bit of a slow movie. Despite the lack of action, a few things stuck with me from the movie with the biggest being a line from Emma Watson's interview at The Circle. In a "fire round" of questions, she is asked what her biggest fear is. Her response? Unfulfilled potential. That struck me as a powerful realization of a fear I constantly deal with in my own life. Unfulfilled potential. I know I am afraid of tangible things like tornadoes, but unfulfilled potential is a big one. A deep one. One that carries through into multiple layers of my life and maybe yours too. As I continue to navigate this year of space to learn, explore, and pursue I feel like I am also living in the tension of worrying about NOT getting it. Not fulfilling my potential. At the end of it all, I want to know that my dreams, art, passions, talents, and purpose were fulfilled, created, utilized. I can't imagine turning around in 20 years and feeling like I missed it. That I had something inside of me waiting and pushing to get out, yet it never did. Unfulfilled potential deprives me of the joy of following my passions and sharing them with the world. We all are unique, so to live a life of unfulfilled potential is depriving the world of something great and needed and necessary. Sure, someone else may be able to do something similar, but I am the only me, just as you are the only you. 

Recently, Adam and I bought a house. After our 6 months as nomads, it is so nice being able to come home to our own space and enjoy life at our pace. With the house, came a beautiful garden and backyard. I'm talking landscaping to the max complete with a pear tree, honeysuckle, tulips, roses, a lilac bush, and Irises. Recently, the tulips faded away and the irises began to make an appearance. Two Irises in particular sprouted a bit and the cutest buds showed up. Now, I've never had my own garden so the idea of having beautiful flowers to look at it and admire is pretty exciting. So I anxiously awaited the first Iris blooms. Unfortunately, in true Colorado fashion, April 29 brought a late spring snowstorm dumping 10 inches of heavy, wet snow on our spring garden. 10 inches! In April! Lucky for me and our garden, 24 hours later the snow was gone leaving the green of spring and all of our lovely plants intact. Well all except those Irises. The two Irises, ready to bloom, were destroyed. Buried under the weight of the snow, the stems of the buds snapped leaving the buds left with no chance of blooming. Unfulfilled potential. What could have been. Without the weight of the snow, the weight of the world, those little buds would have sprouted the first Iris blooms of the year. That was the first thing I thought of when I heard "unfulfilled potential". A flower, ready to bloom, never having a chance. As I come up on a year of leaving teaching, I want to continue to lean into the tension and reach my potential, whatever that may be!