Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Endless Potential

Photo courtesy of Sammy Liew
“Where are you headed next year?"


When you’re a senior in high school, it’s a given that everyone you come in contact with is going to ask you a variation of the Question within thirty seconds of saying “Hey.” So you’d better have a fast answer.

Jessica Darling from Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty

I can identify with this actually, considering that I’m hearing the Question almost everywhere I go. As of yet, I usually just go, ‘National Service (yes, I got selected)’. Sometimes, the questioner laughs and I change the topic. Sometimes however, that’s not enough. I’m still working out the kinks to the perfect less-than-thirty-seconds answer.

But it’s getting increasingly difficult to remain nonchalant about this.

I realised this yesterday.

Then again, I get most of my epiphanies during English 2.

This is a chronological sequence of events.

I started the paper. I stopped after half an hour and day dreamed for 15 minutes. I continued the paper for another half an hour and day dreamed another 15 minutes. I had ONE HOUR for the literature component so I sat back and day dreamed for yet another 30 minutes. All in all, I wasted one hour out of a two and a half hour paper day dreaming.

But hey, at least I didn’t sleep!

While I was day dreaming, I was doodling loop-d-loops on my spare piece of paper. In pen, mind you. As it is, this was a risky thing because I only had 2 pieces of paper. So if I don’t have enough, I either have to shrink my writing to microscopic size OR whisper conspiratorially to the person behind me for paper.

But after I handed in my exam paper, I saw the loop-d-loops and they looked like a fancy string of zero’s.


I like the number zero; it holds endless potential to be anything.

Likewise, I’m at the crossroads and there’s just so much I want to do, to achieve. And you have everyone around us saying, nobody can predict the future, nobody can determine the outcome of your potential.

I’m dreaming big – as big as I can. The number ‘Zero’ for me represents just that, dreams and potential.

But the thing about zero is, on its own, it’s pretty much useless. The number zero alone is not even a significant figure. Only when it is paired with something else other than another zero will it be significant.

Stanley watched him write it over and over again.

Zero Zero Zero Zero Zero Zero Zero …

In a way, it made him sad. He couldn’t help but think that a hundred times zero was still nothing.

Holes by Louis Sachar

As the saying goes, passion without action is merely an emotion. The same here, dreams and potential without effort will remain just that – dreams.

We all have our zero’s, some have whole string of them, some have just one. But then again, are we putting other numbers into them to make that dream a reality?

0000 or 1000?

Big difference.

What are you going to do about your dream?

Don’t let those zero’s remain just that – zero’s.

P.S At the same time, this zero reminded me of my walk with God. About how me alone is just a string of zero’s. Only when God comes into the picture as a totally different number, will my life count for something. Well, the number may not be huge or prominent, but it’ll be significant. And that’s what counts.

P.S 2 If you were wondering, I managed to fit everything into one page in the exam. =)

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