By Tiffany A. Potter
Update: Ah ha! Holy hell I found it!
Last month, I wrote about the word and the concept of effortless. I then fell down the rabbit hole in thinking about what, if anything, was effortless to me. No kidding, I’ve spent the last month on a quest. I’ve thought about it in the car (especially on my road trips, which is my favorite time to think), playing with the dogs in the backyard and when I was watching some dumb reality show and my mind wandered. I’ve thought about it on my stationary bike as I exercised (because I’ll do anything to not have to think about the fact that I’m exercising) and when I’m hunting for used books at a used book sale. It has been quite consuming, this word that has seemingly taken on a life of its own.
What comes effortlessly to me? What comes effortlessly to me? What comes…
And then, as if it was a bolt of lightning (in the shower, no less), I got it! My superpower is, and has always been (drum roll please), THINKING BIG! Thinking big has always come so naturally for me for as long as I can remember! I don’t know where this came from. Maybe it’s because I had to think big to do and accomplish the smallest of things throughout my entire life. Learning to tie my shoes with hands that didn’t work like everyone else’s meant that I had to first believe that I could wear shoes just like my classmates, and not have to wear the lame (read: ugly) Velcro ones that were easier for me to put on because of my disability.
This superpower has served me well. I have only accomplished all that I have because I never saw, or believed in, concrete road blocks—only hurdles. Those hurdles (which are, truthfully, usually the product of fear, or of people saying, “no”) meant that I was going to have to find a way over them, under them or around them, but they were never going to stop me from living an incredibly full and rich life. And setbacks are just that, a temporary hurdle needing you to recommit to your dream, and not to be perceived as the very reason to give up. Years ago a girlfriend said to me, “I have never met anyone who thinks as big as you, and I love that about you.” It was then that I realized that thinking big wasn’t in everyone’s wheel house. And my friend was right.
I don’t think that becoming one of Oprah’s best friends is impossible by any means (don’t know how it will happen, just know that it’s possible…and, by the way, that she’d be lucky to know me, because, well, I’m kinda awesome).
I don’t think that it’s impossible that I create a global company that will change the world for a large sub-sect of our collective community (those with disabilities—seen and unseen).
I don’t think it’s impossible to one day sell said company and become a citizen of the world, spending my days traveling and learning all that I can from different cultures.
I don’t think it’s impossible that I one day write for the Huffington Post, or that I have the opportunity to help refugees on the other side of the world (I’ve already begun the inquiry process). I just don’t, and have never, believed that anything I want and am willing to work for, is out of reach.
Limiting beliefs have just never been my style. If you need a friend who can imagine crazy, exciting, wildly fulfilling dreams for you because they are hard for you to envision for yourself; and then need a big and best fan while in the pursuit of those dreams, I’m your girl. Because at the end of the day, I think anything that you’re willing to work your ass off for is possible. It might not come easily to you, but no one ever said that fulfilling dreams was ever going to be.
Now, does this mean that everything I have ever dreamed has come true? Nope. The fact that I’m not on Broadway right now is proof of that. But I can say that (a) I believe it’s Mother Universe who reigns me in when I tend to want to do everything but I’m not in my soul’s assigned lane, and I ain’t mad at her for that. And (b) I would learn nothing if a little blood, sweat, tears, disappointments and anxiety weren’t a part of the journey. But what I am sure of is this, if it has shown up in one’s life, then it’s calling you for a reason. And at the very least you’ll learn something about yourself that you would not have learned otherwise.
Yes, kids, I’m that big, fearless, overly excited, wildly hopeful, tenacious, head-in-the-clouds, dreamer that your mother warned you about. And I loathe anyone telling me, “Now, be realistic…” because I’ve heard it time and time again (and tend to just roll my eyes as I turn and walk away). But what your mom could never understand in using the likes of me as a cautionary tale is that one day everyone eventually realizes that I just may be that person who not only dreams her big, wild, over-the-top, crazy, pie-in-the-sky dreams but is also willing to do the work that comes with making them come true.
Yes, balance has to be a part of any equation, and yes, it’s best if the risks are calculated and pragmatic. But getting your ducks in a row to go after your dreams is far different than giving up on those dreams altogether simply because they don’t seem “realistic” to some. And no one said there wasn’t a dark side to having superpowers; it’s simply all in how you manage them for optimum performance.
So, my loves, go forth and love your effortlessness, whatever it may be. And if you’re stuck in realizing what that is for you, maybe go take a shower. It worked for this girl; maybe it’ll work for you too.
P.S. I’m happy to report that I have mastered the crocheting chain stitch. Took me a month, but I did it. One stitch down, a million more to learn.
Tiffany is a disability consultant, entrepreneur, inspirational speaker and change agent. Find her at www.TiffanysTake.com, on Instagram: Tiffanys_Take.columnist or Twitter: T_Tcolumnist.