Who am I?
That is a great question. I have often thought that a person can be defined as the sum of everything they have ever thought, felt, or experienced. In my own life, that is so many things! How can one actually distill down the essence of who they are apart from all their life experiences? I think simply, we are who we choose to be. In thinking about who I am and who I choose to be, I have narrowed in on many of the most important aspects of my life by highlighting words whose meaning has great importance to me. I think these words will help anyone who does not know me or even someone who does know me understand me a little bit better.
I was born in November of 1994 in Marianna, FL and grew up in the quaint one-stoplight town of Graceville. From an early age, I spent a lot of my time outside playing and exploring the endless farmland and forests that surrounded me. As a self-professed explorer, I take delight in venturing out and trying new things. I thoroughly enjoy traveling, getting to know others by their culture, and carving out new paths on which I have never known.
I was a nerdy kid growing up in middle and high school and I found myself reading a lot science fiction, fantasy, and adventure stories which fueled my active imagination. I have always felt that reading is a key to growth, and have at least one book that I am actively reading. Nowadays, I enjoy less of the Sci-fi and more real world biography stories of people I admire. The art of reading has played a huge part in my life and is one of my favorite past times.
At one point in my life, I considered Appreciation to be my greatest skill. To be able appreciate things that not many other saw value in. An example of this for me is my infatuation with reading those little information plaques that people seldom read that sit in front of a historic statue or exhibit at a museum describing what you are seeing. I find that kind of thing fascinating and enjoy knowing that care has been taken to produce a work or some object. Appreciation goes hand in hand with gratitude.
Upon reaching the 6th grade, my mother allowed me to participate in organized sports; my sport of choice was Track & Field. Once I started running, I never stopped and have been running ever since. It is a blessing that I chose running as “my sport” as it is something that I can do without needing others which has allowed me to keep it up throughout the years. I often find that some of my best thoughts come to me while running. Running gives me an outlet for letting off steam, provides great exercise, and for me is like a form of meditation. The skill of endurance is something that apply to nearly every scenario in my life.
The other great endurance passion for me is long distance road cycling. I started cycling in my late teens and I give it credit for helping keep me out of trouble as a teenager. Instead of going to parties with friends on the weekends or staying out late. I would get up early and meet a bunch of 40 something year old guys that had jobs, families, and kids and go riding for hours upon hours. I was able to learn from them how to make time for things that are important to you in your life and that just because you get older it doesn’t mean you have to give up things that you enjoy.
Ever since my youth, I have had a great love for music. It all started with my mom who listened to a lot country music on the radio in the car. Then, when I was old enough to pick my own music in the 7th grade, my tunes of choice were film scores of my favorite movies like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones, etc… Later, when my dad introduced me to rock and roll in high school all bets were off and I have had a love for late 70s guitar rock ever since. (Some top bands for me: Rush, Dave Mason, Wishbone Ash, James Gang, Beatles, and Pink Floyd) For my 21st birthday, I was gifted a guitar to try and recreate some of my favorite songs and have been playing non-stop for the past few years. I’m no savant but enjoy being able to play a musical instrument.
My wife and I met as lifeguards working at a nature park, and instantly connected over our shared passions surrounding the outdoors, music, travel, work-ethic, and desire to have a positive effect on the world around us. As a kid growing up, I dreamed of being able to share my life intimately with another person to be totally comfortable with them in trust, faith, and love. My wife and I married on July 9th, 2017 and since that time have experienced some incredible adventures together which help to fuel my passion for documenting the things of this life.
I’m not sure of my earliest memory of wanting to be “a writer”, but ever since I began keeping a journal in the fall of 2014 I have been steadily documenting all of the major milestones that have occurred to me in my life. The process of putting my thoughts onto a page or screen and organizing them in a succinct way is endlessly fascinating to me. Writing has helped me out of some dark times in my life and I am grateful to have this blog where I can continue to chronicle my experiences.
My wife and I have twin boys and are expecting another child due in June 2021. It is definitely cliché to say that becoming a parent is one of the greatest things that will ever happen to you, but I do believe it true. My kids keep me busy and they can sometimes be overwhelming but it is amazing to watch them grow and learn. Being a father is a great privilege and blessing. It is also a huge responsibility that I do not take lightly.
I grew up as someone who claimed neither faith nor disbelief in God. Yet, as I got older into my early 20s, specifically in my sophomore year of college, I went through an intense series of existential crises where I was trying to figure out just who I was in the world. There were many sleepless nights during this period of my life. At that time, I was voraciously reading the works of what is considered by many to be the greatest thinkers of our time such as the likes of; Plato, Aristotle, Rene Descartes, Marcus Aurelius, and Thomas Hobbes. I was seeking the answers to what I consider to be life’s biggest questions such as “How does one live a good life?”, “What happens after death?”, or “Who or what created the universe?” Or more simply stated in a book that I read later by Herbert Armstrong; “Where did we come from?”, “Where are we going?”, and “How do we get there?” In my reading, I could not find concrete, definitive answers to these questions and became disillusioned with the runaround that philosophy eventually presented. The goal of philosophy is to ask the right questions, not necessarily knowing all the answers, as they are always up for interpretation and discussion. I needed answers that were unquestionably real. That is when I turned to the bible. I had learned about the creation stories as a kid and watched the Exodus films growing up but when reading it, they took on a whole new life. I read the first five books of the bible in about a week and slowly began unearthing biblical concepts that presented truths beyond truths that I could not deny with regards to morality, health, prophecy, and living life with purpose.
For me, all the things I was reading I had never heard about before. The Sabbath, Holy Days, biblical food laws, the 10 commandments, sin, repentance, baptism, Christ as my Savior. As an analytical and practical person, every question that I could come up with had a clear answer in the bible. The bible provided objective truth, a foundation, and acted as guide for how to live one’s life properly. All things that I craved. I was baptized in 2015 and I strive to live my life as best I can according to God’s word.
God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well. – Voltaire
Hunter W. Potts