Aching Potential

I was looking through some writing exercises and stumbled on this one: Write a short paragraph about the phrase “aching potential”. Use vivid emotional descriptions.

Grabbed me immediately, so here is what I wrote:

There is a hole, a lacking, a missing piece. And it aches with an insatiable phantom pain. Something should be there and she is constantly trying to fill the hole. In fact, it seems to fester and grow with time. She knows what the hole is; that is not the problem. It is the place where her potential waits to be fulfilled, the place inside her that longs to be great, to be amazing. Her aching potential. But how? That is the problem. Every day she feels it. She can close her eyes and see the hole tucked lovingly next to her heart, a too familiar companion. A dark, raw wanting that yearns to be soothed. That has been left wanting so many times it is almost comical. How do I fill it? How do I make myself complete?

Side note: This was easy to write because I remember feeling this way in the past. I think every woman, as she tries to be the best mom, wife, woman, etc, feels this way from time to time. I think we all want to fill the void of our potential. Sometimes we try to do this by living up to others’ standards. But it is important to be a complete person, to be who we want to be. For me when I decided to pursue my passion of writing and reading my hole was filled. That was what was missing for me. I was doing everything else right, but not following my passion. Each day as I love my family and write the words down that swim in my head and get lost in the words of good books, that hole is filled with the potential of my passions. My mom always says, “Find what you love and do it.”. Just because we are wives and mothers does not mean we can’t be ourselves.


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