After my first two classes today, I decided to go to the library to kill time before I went to my seminar at 12:15. Intent upon finding a quiet corner to read, reflect, and recover from the morning, I walked down the stairs and towards a section of couches by the window. As I was passing the stacks, the very first section I noticed was Poetry, specifically American and even more specifically the Ds. First I saw Paul Lawrence Dunbar, a high school I was familiar with, but unaware that this institution was named after a person of some reputation. The second author I saw was Emily Dickinson.
I do believe in signs. And this was a sign. Emily Dickinson is the first poet I ever claimed to be my favorite. I now have other favorites, but she still has a special place in my soul. I grabbed a book of meditations on her poetry, hoping it would put me in a calm place. As I read, I was struck, as usual, by her compelling words, and one quotation in particular. This quotation hangs in my room, and I love to include it in letters and gifts. You may have already guessed it, but here it is again.
“I dwell in possibility.”
Now if that isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is. My first day of classes, so many possibilities, so many new things to learn, so many faces, so many ideas, so many feelings. Everything that happens could turn out to be something. Or not. The thing is, I prefer to think positively. Something good will come out of everything, good or bad that happens today. It may take some time, but ultimately there will be a silver, or even golden lining. Getting my hopes up may hurt, but as long as I don’t project too much, I won’t have to worry about it. I’ll just take everything as it comes, and just go with the flow. I won’t force anything, but I also won’t allow myself to automatically assume. Because when you assume…
So I’m just going to embrace the good things, and deal with the bad things later. Because the good things feel good right now, and they may keep on being good. It’s like my favorite part of “Finding Nemo”. Marlin and Dory are inside the whale, and hanging onto the whale’s tongue. Marlin is having a freak-out moment because the events of the present are beyond his control. He thinks he’s being eaten by a whale, while his son is who knows where and a crazy blue fish is trying to convince him that she is the one that knows what’s going on because she thinks she can communicate with said whale. Dory yells at Marlin “He says it’s time to let go!” to which Marlin responds “Why? How do you know something bad isn’t going to happen?” Dory thinks for a second and then responds “I don’t!”
Sometimes things are beyond our control. We don’t know how other people are going to react. We don’t know how we are going to react. We don’t know how the fates and stars are going to align or how the weather is going to be or if there is going to be grilled cheese for lunch. We just have to trust that eventually, everything will be okay. IT WILL. Everything that happens is supposed to happen, if only to teach us how to be stronger. There are so many possibilities, worrying about the outcomes of all of them make us even less likely to trust in the possibilities themselves.
It’s possible that the classes I’ve taken already today will be hard. It’s also possible that they will be easy. It’s possible that I’m feeling less freaked out than this morning, but it’s also possible that it’s only temporary euphoria because my last class was history and we talked about Mesopotamia. “It’s possible that impossible things are happening every day.” Why? Because ANYTHING is possible. And that is the true beauty of life.
Dwelling in the possibilities,
“Life, like poker, has an element of risk. It shouldn’t be avoided. It should be faced.” -Edward Norton