I Would Rather Be a Simple Cobbler than the World’s Greatest General

Relinquishing the fear of failing to live up to my potential

Kitty Williams
Know Thyself, Heal Thyself

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Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels

Mark Twain once told a story of a man who spent his entire life searching for the greatest general in the world, but to no avail. When he died and went to heaven, he asked St. Peter to show him the greatest general. But the man was confused upon seeing him, for he was not a general at all but a simple cobbler. Peter then explained that had the cobbler decided to become a general, he would have been the greatest the world had ever seen.

I was a senior in high school when I first read this story in one of the many books I was reading in a desperate attempt to discover what my purpose in life was. I was under immense pressure from my father and seemingly everyone else around me to pick a college major and a career path and decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

I was only 17 but I was forced into making decisions that would affect my entire future. I felt crushed and suffocated under an avalanche of expectation. I couldn’t handle the pressure. It felt as if my entire life was resting on this one decision, and I was quickly running out of time to make it. Not only that, but it had to be the correct decision. If I chose wrong, the consequences would affect me for the…

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Kitty Williams
Know Thyself, Heal Thyself

writer of sad poetry & essays on feminism, politics, LGBTQ, religion & whatever else I feel like. bookworm, stargazer, daydreamer & devoted mom to fur babies