I Am a Rough Draft

Adrian S. Potter
4 min readSep 6, 2021

And I’m in constant need of revision.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.

“Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.” ― Daniel Gilbert

Recently, I had a conversation with a close friend in which she made a saddening revelation.

“I am at the point of my life where I have come to terms that I will never be successful,” she confessed.

Her words struck me in the gut like an emotional sucker punch.

She continued her concession statement. “I have a family that I love. I have a secure job. I have a decent home and some money in the bank. But I will never be wildly successful like I envisioned when I graduated from college. And I guess I am okay with that.”

I did not have the right words to be her cheerleader at that moment. But hearing this from somebody that I care about and respect was jarring and heartbreaking.

Now in context, her current mental state was skewed by current events and COVID-related wonkiness. Also, she had experienced several hard-luck happenings in her personal life. I understood her melancholia and much of what fueled it.

Still, the sheer finality of her statement astonished me. It represented the verbal act of throwing in the towel.

I am at the point of my life where I have come to terms that I will never be successful. That sentence seems so conclusive. So definite. So unbending.

God hardwired me a little differently. Maybe it is the perfectionist writer within me or the fact that I have read so many self-help books that I spout off mentions of a growth mindset in casual conversations with strangers. But I cannot view life through the same lens that my friend is currently using.

I think of myself as a rough draft, one that is always in dire need of revision.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

My identity is more valuable than any poem, short fiction piece, or article that I have ever penned or was blessed to get published. So…

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Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity · www.adrianspotter.com