“Almost showed failed potential.
That it represented our ability to be just not good enough.
That we had come to the brink of something beautiful,
but fell short so many times we crafted a word for it”
This quote comes from the poem “Almosts” by Bianca Phipps, a woman remembering her friend Daniel who was lost to a brain tumor. Daniel was the one who spoke the quote above when discussing why almost is his least favorite word.
I’m in an abusive relationship with almost, continuously subjecting myself to the pain of its existence in hopes that it will get better and not just fill me with sadness and regret. There are times where I define myself with almost, the possibility of success that I feel like I’m so close to all the time. These are the things that mean so much to me and seem inconsequential to others. These are my grades that were almost good enough to be the best, but not quite. The SAT scores that were almost the best but not. The science fair project that was almost good enough for some sort of recognition, but ended up being the one ribbon-less board in the category, what felt like a waste of hundreds of hours. The fact that I’ve almost won stuff in my life but pretty much have never won anything at all.
Of course, I have no one to blame but myself. All I do is regret the “failed potential” and backing away from that brink of something beautiful that could’ve filled me with pride. I want to say how all of these almosts are just something to learn from and serve as a form of motivation to make me avoid them in the future, but I don’t know if I can do that. I think about how I don’t think I will ever be able to be the best at anything or even really good and about how I don’t think I will change the world in a way that matters at all and I just don’t know.