Possibility is Closer Than We Think

Around and around our cul de sac neighborhood I pedaled. Had I been allowed to leave our street I probably would have, but the borders of my little bubble ended at the entrance of Wilson Circle; outside of my haven I knew that down the street was my elementary school, and Cold Spring Park was where my brother played soccer on weekends. My world was the safest place next to Candy Land. I knew every dip and crack in the cement around our neighborhood, I knew exactly when I would have to accelerate to propel up the slope of our driveway, and just how much to turn the handles of my tricycle to avoid the gigantic forsythia bush on the corner. That untamed mass of wild yellow twigs was the sly sea creature, or the amorphous blob, or the creepy alien that I would defeat every time I made my rounds about the neighborhood. Even the scariest thing on my street existed only in my imagination.

One afternoon it was just another day surveying the kingdom from my pink throne that sat atop three wheels. This time I was being chased by the exotic monsters from Where the Wild Things Are. Over and over, every second, I would just miss their claws from clutching at my shirt or from popping my wheels. I sped past my friend B's house who went to school with me, rounded the corner, but the monsters were clever this time around: a fearsome yellow ogre sat blocking my way up ahead. I swerved just as one of its arms flung out, but this time I lost control - this time my throne toppled over and I was knocked to the ground. Instantly my arm broke as I went to brace my fall onto the cement.

I screamed that scream and suddenly my jungle, the other monsters behind me, and my throne dissipated into reality. I was on the ground, my legs stuck beneath my tricycle, and my entire weight on my arm. It wasn't long after that my mother came bursting onto the scene, scooped me up in one arm, righted my tricycle in the other and carried me into the house.
To say that I was rattled would be an understatement. But I was just playing pretend! It was just like any other day in my imagination! Even though I wanted it to be a foaming-at-the-mouth ogre I knew it was really just a harmless bush. How did everything go from such idyllic child's play to a real life nightmare? I thought my world was safe. That was the day I learned that even imagination could be terrifying. I learned  not even my ultra-fast-light-speed-galaxy-trumping rocket ship could be pedaled fast enough to escape reality.

Months later though I was back on my tricycle. Back outside zooming about again, chasing other figments of my imagination and slipping out just in the nick of time from harrowing plots. But I was careful this time around, terrified of falling and hurting myself again, and had become paranoid about tipping over in anything (wheelchair, hi-chair, stroller, booster seats..). During those few months when my arm was healing I wasn't able to ride around, despite this I never let myself forget how great it felt each time I defeated the monsters in my mind. Allowing bones to heal seemed a much easier task than fleeing from a stampede of enormous beasts! The moment I was able to I returned to my daredevil stunts.
The thing was, in my imagination I could experience fleeting moments of power and freedom. In my imagination I didn't have to fear anything, or be afraid of what I couldn't do or find solutions to. Possibility was always in my grasp and reach. I became addicted to the expanse of that thrill. These days I no longer pedal about on my tricycle, and I have long since moved from that neighborhood - but it's nice to remind myself that when we allow ourselves to discover freedom and power, possibility is always closer than we think.

Finding Possibility:
  • Don't be afraid to be afraid. Often times realizing what is possible first means recognizing what is blocking the view. 
  • Believe you can. This seems so simple and yet in my experience it's the hardest part about anything. Telling yourself you can escape from monsters makes dealing with monsters in real-life a lot easier.
  • Get back up on that horse... or tricycle. After I recovered from my injury my parents didn't prevent me from returning to my old habits. Returning to what was once a thrilling activity taught me how to face my mistakes and hurt without giving-up. 
  • Within possibility, anything (good/bad) can happen. I clearly didn't realize that I could get hurt doing what I otherwise thought was totally safe. When we take that first step towards possibility it's important to keep in mind that literally, everything and anything can happen. Just because we weren't aware of an option doesn't mean we won't have to face it. Be open to learning. 
  • If you think it, pursue it. How many times do we say "Oh I think it could work...but" only to leave it at that and never execute our thoughts? Sure, possibility is there but it won't be handed to you on a plate. If we're afraid to try out or own thoughts, then really, how can we expect to find any possibility? It all starts inside. 

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