As someone who gets lost inside her own head, I am too often convinced of what can or cannot be.
I then succumb to the thought that straying from the well-trodden path will lead to hardship and failure. This infuriates me.
It’s really when I’m deep into conversations with others about life and possibility that the outrage sparks. Isn’t that how it always works? I am perhaps my own biggest critic but it’s also all too easy to be critical of those closest to us as well.
A friend hates her job: “So, quit.” I tell her. I am met with her reply, “You just don’t understand. It’s impossible.”
Another friend is in a crappy relationship: “Break up with him.” I say. “You don’t get it. We’re in too deep, I can’t.”
Someone else is frustrated with where they live: “Move!” I can’t help but persuade. “I’m too old, there’s no way I could ever move now.”
The acknowledgment of the finite becomes stronger as we move through our years.
We start small with big dreams; we’re told of possibility and options, and we embark on the pursuit of eternal happiness. As we approach big decisions, we get faced with the hard stuff: the bills, the career track, making others happy and our comfort levels start to dictate our paths.
Is it really impossible to get a new job or is just hard? Could you really never move to a new city, or perhaps is it that you do not want to put in the effort? Is breaking up with your significant other really the end of the world, or are you just scared to be alone?
I think recognizing these fears in ourselves is important. I can’t help but be sad when I hear that a friend or family member is frustrated with something in their life, and they truly believe that it’s impossible to make a change. I can sympathize with the thoughts that hover when making big decisions, but unfortunately I don’t believe in the impossible when it comes to being where you want to be in life.
I think life is about choices. I think that tough decisions, hard work, and sometimes a little bit of luck are what gets us to where we need to be. If nothing else, I truly wish for people to omit negative, final words from their vocabulary when they think about their future.
Think about possibility and never admit to yourself or others that it’s impossible. Tell yourself that it’s not easy, it’s not traditional and it might be stressful, tough or even painful, but never impossible. Accept the sometimes hokey, positive viewpoint that perhaps it wouldn’t be worth it if it wasn’t so damn hard.
Be open, be optimistic, find the loophole and attack it. Don’t ever admit defeat before you try. There’s no greater self-fulfilling prophecy than deciding an idea is unattainable and simply remain stagnant.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Assistant Editor: Cami Krueger / Editor: Renée Picard