Maybe you are cursed like me.

I’ve had an insanely strong imagination since I was very young. The younger of two overprotected children I was often left to entertain myself. As with most people who form a necessary skill in their childhood, this character trait has become part of my life purpose or unique gift. I use my over-active imagination to dream up new products, brands, businesses, spaces, stories, music, you name it… I make my living as an imagineer.

So why then call an over active imagination a curse? As with most if not all things in this world, for every up there is a down. I am grateful for my gift but I am also paralysed by it at times. Wired with an optimistic personality and the ability to visualise multiple possibilities in great detail, I often find myself falling head over heals in love with potential.

A common mistake of people with my ‘condition’ is seeing huge potential in people and falling in love with an unrealistic image of them only to be disappointed but the resulting realities, often made worse by the pressure added by unreasonable expectations. Since realising this is an unfair and futile habit of mine, I have attempted to readjust my behaviour. But however illusionary the ideal is, telling yourself not to fall in love with something is as difficult as telling yourself not to fall in love with someone.

Not restricted to people I also fall in love with the space that potential fills when a choice has not yet been made… the vast space before choice leaves all possibilities yet to be realised.

“As long as you don’t choose, everything remains possible”
A quote from the film – Mr Nobody 2009.

I find it hard to believe that I am alone in this fascination. Potential encompasses everything AND nothing. Potential is (potentially) limitless and stimulates wonder. Often my love of potential will stunt me, which paradoxically means I don’t come close to reaching my full potential.

An example of this would be the day that I sat down to write a film script. The idea that the story could be about anything stimulated my imagination until I became overwhelmed with excitement. The empty page on my laptop screen was a world… a universe of possibility. But as soon as my ideas manifested into something I could actually write down, I could feel the potential of my film script shrinking. Before I actually wrote anything, my film could have been an Academy Award winner. Before I put one word on that page, my film could have been the film to change millions of lives. Before I touched my fingers to the keys, my film was perfect.

It wasn’t a fear of failure or criticism that was stopping me, but just a yearning to hold onto the limitless potential that sat in the vast space provided by my hesitation. A fear of missing out on everything (FOMO-OE?) But that ‘everything’ was of course ‘nothing’. In any case that everything was nothing I could share with others. Perhaps that is why I fell so hard for it, because the experience was mine only… not-shareable, transcendent, unobtainable.

That vast collection of everything I could never share meant that there was no creativity, which is strange to think about as instead of defining to ‘create’ as ‘to bring something into existence from nothing’, we could rather look at it as taking ‘every-thing’ and calving away to leave ‘some-thing’.

Even when I decided to make my film a story of a girl who is in love with potential in an attempt to trick myself into getting somewhere, I still struggled to get past writing the first scene, let alone settle on an ending. Life, full of potential is not about the ending. It cannot be contained just as things in life cannot ever be obtained. Life is a process, a wave. I couldn’t possibly give an ode to potential in the form of something as constrained as a short story.

So I was left, still feeling inspired but frustrated. Hyper aroused but not able to make love with my lover. It was as though to flirt with potential was to lose it forever. To lie down with the endless wave of possibilities was to collapse them. Left feeling electric with the excitement of possibilities but stunted by the thought of losing them, I finally discovered of a form of indulgence that would not leave me in disappointment.

Writing blog posts and sharing my often random, seldom resolved thoughts is not as limited by structure, media or time, and facilitates connection with people like you. I hope I have found a way to turn my star-crossed curse into a genuine love affair.

I invite you to follow me on my journey as a writer.

Photo by Edu Grande on Unsplash