There is always a degree of impossibility that comes with life, it’s a package deal. Let’s be real, I can’t grow a pair of wings. If I could I’d be doing more interesting things than breaking my head over essays and readings. If I grew a pair of wings I’d drop everything and just fly away. Alas, that will not happen today or tomorrow for that matter.
I stare my future in the eye right now, a world beautifully split into two arenas of possibility and impossibility and I must with my mind turn some impossibilities into possibilities and must accept that some possibilities are impossibilities. This precise navigation comes naturally to us. I often forget that twenty-two years is a long time. I am still considered to be in my prime.
Our spotlights shine only on those who’ve preceded their age. I find myself comparing my existence to prodigies. As a child we were told to look outwards, we were brainwashed into believing that we could do infinitely better than we were in that moment, there was always room for improvement. And maybe there was. But just imagine if someone patted the back of a teenager and told them, “You’ve done enough.” I know if someone told me that, I’d have cried.
It’s not that we shouldn’t strive for more, of course we should. We’re conditioned into looking at people and automatically believe they are doing better than us or worse than us. We think it’s instinct but it’s a habit. A habit we hate but still give into. Maybe one should tell kids that nothing is impossible, that everything is within their reach if they want it to be. We should all quote Paulo Coelho to kids and leave it at that.
But then you could also tell them they can’t right all the wrongs, that they needn’t fight every battle, that the sky can be reached but if they reach it on a plane and not on their own that’s ok. As I sit here contemplating numerous philosophies that aren’t all practical and I read aspiration in most writing, I think about possibilities and find that we are all resisting impossibility.
Impossibility is sort of phantasmagoria and we go after it not knowing what it is. Problem-solving is a drug you solve one and you want to solve another. That’s how most games make their money, why else would you fight fictional battles and solve mysteries, or race someone?
I do the same thing, wanting to surpass myself. Again I’ll reiterate, goals are good, challenges are great. Always aim to do better. But why should nothing be impossible? That’s why we have to choose, focus our energies in one direction. I sometimes look at all-round development and think, what does it mean? These people who we like to believe are good at everything, aren’t we placing ourselves in a precarious position?
I’m fine not being good at something, but this word ‘all-rounder’ has been thrown at me more times than I can count. Now it doesn’t get under my skin. I am here thinking why do people promote this idea of having everything? Is one talent not enough? You’re essentially telling someone they don’t count because they can’t do everything. It’s just a thought, not an accusation. Those who employ people and educate people I am just a random human being who is not in any of these sectors simply rambling on.
It’s this word ‘impossible’ which must always be placed opposite to ‘possible’. A word that no one wants to hear. I suppose some people like the thrill. Nothing really is impossible, it’s the choice you make that makes it so. What you choose to call it decides the nature of the task. Knowing something is impossible and assuming it is are two completely different acts.
Perhaps we must not assume something is impossible and vice versa. Imagine if everybody on this planet chose one impossible thing for themselves to do, we’d be solving over seven billion problems. Instead, we go to school to solve problems that have already been solved, to learn about those who solved a few problems and our choices intersect. Working with each other is good, but we like to work against each other.
So impossibility continues to torment us, and we stand on the precipice of possibility all waiting to take the plunge and being unable to because reaching the bottom of the canyon seems impossible. If we do reach it what might we find there? We can’t come back here, but where would we go from there and where would that lead us? Is it worth it, is this what it all comes down to?
Impossibility and possibility, my friend, are one and the same thing. If they mean different things to you then you’ve made a choice. More power to you. I am not brave enough to make that choice yet.