Doing the impossible can mean all kinds of things to all kinds of people.
For some, doing the impossible means climbing the highest mountain. Or competing in the Olympics/Ironman Triathlon/any other high-stakes sporting event demanding that its participants display their physical fitness. Or directing a $200 million romantic drama about the sinking of the Titanic.
For others, doing the impossible means getting out of bed and getting from the beginning of the day to the end of the day while living with mental illness. Or sitting in front of the blank page and convincing yourself that you’re willing and able to write a story that only you can write. It means becoming comfortable with your sexuality and hoping that the people in your life who you call family and friends will feel the same way and knowing that you can still keep going if they don’t.
For me, doing the impossible involved moving out of an extremely dysfunctional and emotionally abusive household, where I lived with someone who made me wonder constantly whether I could and would send him to either the hospital or the morgue, and leaving that house once and for all to find a place I can call home, where I was finally able to achieve something resembling peace of mind.
what's something that once felt completely impossible that you've now accomplished?— wikipedia brown (@eveewing) October 16, 2017
Sometimes when I face something that seems like a challenge I remind myself of all the "impossible" things I've pulled off.— wikipedia brown (@eveewing) October 16, 2017
And these were just some of the answers…
Thanks, sweet you. Especially grateful b/c of this: https://t.co/mpt26IhVEH— Shelley Krause (@butwait) October 16, 2017
So many things, but for years I struggled with infertility after a stillbirth of twin boys, I now have two beautiful kids. pic.twitter.com/OIq8Cjv9ed— StacieM (@_drstacie_) October 16, 2017
Being alive to finish my undergrad. I truly thought I would die after my first hypomanic episode led to my worst depressive episode— queen ruthless (@makomoris) October 16, 2017
Getting through PhD coursework while continuing to work elsewhere full-time & maintain a marriage/raise a child. Almost to the finish line.— C.E. Little (@ItsMrLittle) October 16, 2017
I published a novel, and people are buying it. https://t.co/lQIcyRzPdG— ScrowlingSpaceAce (@mcgarrygirl78) October 16, 2017
Having a "normal" life after going through the car accident that did this. I also ran the Chicago half 2 years later. pic.twitter.com/jLGY7UD5Sw— Live for Black Lives (@VerbalKinte) October 16, 2017
With God's blessings Going from re-learning to walk to running a half marathon is pretty impossible. Up there with understanding my wife lol— Live for Black Lives (@VerbalKinte) October 16, 2017
It was 10 years since the accident on August 15th; it'll be 10 years since we said I do on March 15th. pic.twitter.com/SoOtAlicSR— Live for Black Lives (@VerbalKinte) October 16, 2017
After almost being killed by dogs 4 years ago, and after years of PTSD therapy, constant prodding by my kids, I have a dog. pic.twitter.com/xMfCA64fdL— David Elder (@davideelder) October 16, 2017
I came out. And I am proud of how happy I am to be myself. https://t.co/ebNAjKfSGA— K. Taylor R. (@TodaysMadness) October 16, 2017
driving a car. learned when I was 27 - I grew up in cities and was terrified. it seems like nbd but reminds me that fear doesn't always win. https://t.co/QKwB1yhlX7— Pressed Flowers (@rosamund) October 16, 2017
Jumping through all the hoops to get US citizenship, so that nobody can ever make me leave. https://t.co/2ZOc0nJUnB— Scary Immigrant (@eparillon) October 16, 2017
I was suspended from Columbia, ended up homeless, two untreated illnesses, suicidally depressed. I returned last semester & made a B average— never mind the jazz. (@_CiaraJade) October 16, 2017
Living my life as a gay man, I thought I planned to my sexuality to the grave. Also having the freedom to choose my career path: https://t.co/PdAgFK3w54— 👻🌈Boo, I'm Gay👻🌈 (@b_light26) October 16, 2017
getting a book deal https://t.co/m1l3j4ngMN— Morgan Jerkins (@MorganJerkins) October 16, 2017
I learned to dance en pointe at 30 years old and did it on stage in front of a theatre full of people https://t.co/NkGqF0mnaL— Alexandra 📚 (@nonmodernist) October 16, 2017
Paying off my student loans but ya girl finally sent in her final payment 👌🏾👌🏾👌🏾 https://t.co/qS2F21Cvdw— Drew Jones (@okdrewj) October 16, 2017
After seven years of telling myself it was impossible with my resume, I applied NYU for an MFA as a composer. And got in.— A. (@whatsforlynch) October 16, 2017
Going from a miserable, self-loathing, socially anxious "guy" who was afraid to come out as trans, and transitioning into this happy girl 💜 pic.twitter.com/j1rVwdkMAT— Mia Violet (@OhMiaGod) October 16, 2017
Finished my PhD, raised nearly $25k for cancer support services, and moved part summer, while receiving chemo for metastatic breast cancer— Caroline M-K (@caromk) October 16, 2017
My son died by Suicide on Christmas 2015. I felt like I might die from the grief. 21 months and 22 days later I choose to live. I miss him.— MargeSexton (@MargeSexton) October 16, 2017
Surviving depression https://t.co/i5ArQROlS9— BrandyInResistance (@BrandyinFL) October 16, 2017
I'm fat & I can say so. Out loud. To thin people. Without hating myself. Because being fat doesn't make me less of a woman. I know that now. https://t.co/R6O3lUC2nG— Abbie Karlish (@KabbieArlish) October 16, 2017
Parenting a child with significant disabilities and medical needs while trying to get tenure.— Rebecca Burdine (@rburdine1) October 16, 2017
honestly- getting out of bed.— Maria Belford (@maria_belford) October 16, 2017
Reading these and feeling inspired. Impossible things happen every day. https://t.co/XC1viJtjEM— wikipedia brown (@eveewing) October 16, 2017
These past few
days weeks months have been painful, horrifying, traumatizing, and infuriating for so many people and it’s never easy to be reminded yet again that Ernest Hemingway was lying when he wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for (enough that you’ll nod your head in agreement with William Somerset when he says that he agrees with only the second part of that statement).
And yet, despite all of that, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded that even though this world is populated with far too many people who are willing and able to make the lives of those around feel like all nine circles of Hell and make them wonder when it’s going to end and whether or not they can keep going…
…There are also people who are willing and able to do what they can to make their own lives better and happier to live with, and also do what they can to have that same effect on others. To remind other people that this world is a better place with them still in it, and that they have so much to offer and contribute, even when everyone and everything is telling them the complete opposite. To remind them to keep going so they can one day complete a task that was once considered impossible, and then they can tell others that they actually did it, that it actually was possible, and that they are capable of doing the same too, even if it won’t always be easy.
To those of you in the Comments section: what have you accomplished that was once considered impossible?