“I dwell in possibility…”
Oh Emily Dickinson, the required reading excitement (or demise) of every middle and high school student in the US. I’ll admit though, I absolutely loved the poetry topic. Even though it only came once a year, I found a friend in each poet that we studied.
The other day I was feeling particularly distraught about something, when suddenly this thought popped into my mind: “I dwell in possibility.” I remembered that the poem was supposedly written about the power of poetry over prose, which I can still relate to – and could still write about, but the thought spiraled into a different analysis. My first thought? “So do I, Emily Dickinson, so do I.” And so do a lot of people, probably.
Most people who know me well would probably not describe me as “optimistic.” I tend to over-analyze and dive straight into the worst emotions – because if I don’t deal with them right away, they will linger. But this quote helped me to remember that there are other forms of “optimism”: one is hope (which deserves its own post), and the other, possibility. Does anyone else feel particularly wired to dwell in possibility? Constantly envisioning “what could be.” Always dreaming up something new. Thriving off of that adrenaline rush that makes you create. Somehow finding a way to keep moving forward and to keep risking your pride for the sake of seeing “what might happen.” Not to be confused with restlessness or discontentedness. There might be a fine line between them, but I think you can be content/grateful and still be a dreamer.
I started thinking about the “letdown” that dwelling in possibility can bring. That heightened heart-rate that drives you to pursue a “new idea” or a “new possibility,” only to realize that it was a dead end. The embarrassment of being vulnerable only to be received with the remarks of an unimpressed critic.
Sometimes it seems like it would be better to just go through the motions – no dreams, no new ideas. Just wander, gracefully floating through whatever might come our way. But reality has shown me how much I don’t want to live a life like that. Learn to work hard and keep a level-head, but always “keep some room for the unimaginable.”
In fact, I don’t think that being wired for possibility is such a bad thing. We were created for a reason and, to quote C.S. Lewis:
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”