Potential

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I am flawed.

And so are you.

It’s part of what makes us human, and also a huge part of what makes us beautiful.

I could happily and easily sit here and type out a very long, very detailed list of every flaw I have, plus all the flaws I’ve had for the history of my existence. I’m fairly certain that anyone I know could do the same.

We are always our own worst critics.

Someone I know is a very talented artist, but she doesn’t seem to think so. She draws things in about five minutes that could easily pass as someone else’s life work. She blows them off, deletes them, erases them, and is only willing to show a fraction of her creations to strangers, never to those in her life. Every now and then, I’ve been gifted to witness random doodles left on pieces of work notes and given tiny glimpses of an amazing imagination and works of sheer art.

Someone else I know is the most amazing inventor I’ve seen. He pulls the strangest parts out of junkyard vehicles and builds lamps and other things that I can just stare at in awe out of the parts thrown away by others. Parts that, at one point, served a very specific purpose. He doesn’t use those parts for their intended purposes, and instead builds something stunning.

Several people I know are quilters. I’ve seen so many wonderful quilts and hand-created designs that I couldn’t possibly qualify any of them. They are created with love, time, and care and usually gifted to people. I’ve not seen any of them who devotes so much of their time to building and making a quilt and then charging the person they created it for. So while each of them is willing to build a quilt on commission, it is an act of love for them. I have not yet met a quilter who was heartless and not filled with love.

I am an artist on a variety of levels. I draw and color some very intricate patterns and I give them to those close to me. Each pattern is how I see each person in my head, so each pattern is different. Not only are the patterns different, but so are the color schemes. I am also a writer. I tend to dabble in all genres, though I’ve only completed drafts for a couple of horror novels that still need to be revised. I’ve also done a bit of poetry and motivational stuff. Every now and then, I’m a builder. I use Legos to build random scenes and stories I watch play in my head like movies on constant repeat.

I don’t feel as though I’m living up to my full artistic potential and I recently learned that the patterns I draw and color could be easily replicated by a computer in a matter of minutes. I feel as though my designs are simple and that anyone could do them. I feel as though there are a lot of people out there who are more talented writers with better stories to tell. I absolutely feel as though there are many people out in the world who are better builders and designers than I am.

That’s not my point, though.

Like I said at the beginning, I could sit here and tell you a long list of all of my flaws, but that’s not my purpose with this post.

It’s only been fairly recently where I have started to really realize and accept that I am a beautiful person and that my art work, whatever venue it might be in, is special and fantastic. Nothing that I do is perfect. And I think I actually like that better. I am flawed, sometimes severely so. If each of my flaws was a different colored drop of water and they were each dripped into a clear container, they would create a beautifully painted design. Individually, they’re all not that spectacular, but all combined, it’s a completely different story.

It’s my flaws that make me unique. I used to tell people that I think I would go crazy and die of boredom if I ever wound up in heaven because there wouldn’t be anything to challenge me. Sure, I’d be at peace and surrounded by love and happiness, but I used to ask the people around me if they would truly appreciate their happiness if they’d never experienced despair. As you can imagine, that prompted a lot of deer-in-the-headlights looks. My flaws provide me challenges. Things that I can work to improve, but also things that make me and my perspective unique. Every now and again, one of my flaws turns into something unbelievable, much akin to a caterpillar that turns into a butterfly.

I am reminded of the Dashboard Prophets – Vindicated. The lyrics go something like this: “And I am flawed, but I am cleaning up so well. I am seeing in me now the things you swore you saw yourself.” There is also a song that I can not remember or find right now that has lyrics that goes something like this: “Because there’s beauty in the breakdown.”

We are all flawed. And we are all beautiful because of it.

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About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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