A World of Limitless Possibilities
Over the last few weeks, I have been dealing with a challenge that nearly ended my work, my passions, and perhaps even my life. It was multifaceted, and I will not go into too much detail about it, but one of the most heartbreaking portions of it is the realization that the world I live in is very different than the world that others live in in terms of possibilities.
As a Peer Support Specialist (PSS) I hold hope that everyone will get to where they need to go, that I do not know all or even any possibilities available to an individual but that there’s an unlimited amount of possibilities for every individual out there. As a PSS it’s always a magical experience when individuals remember their true authentic selves and create their own possibilities, becoming everything they are meant to be. I don’t just believe this for others, but live it in my own life every day. So much of what I do every single day in my life seems impossible.
The number of times I’ve heard “Someone like you…” followed by a should, shouldn’t, can, can’t, and dozens of other power robbing words due to the fact that I am not a US citizen, I am an individual displaced by war, I live with 6 or 7 Mental Health challenges (depending on which doctor you ask). I am 25, I am not rich. I am homeless. I am a Muslim. I have a cognitive disability. The list goes on and on. According to society, someone like me should not be living the life I’m living.
But I am… I am a novelist. I am a Mechanical Engineer. I am a world-renowned Mental Health and Social Justice Speaker. I am a world traveler. I founded a non-profit that reaches over a hundred thousand in over 100 countries. I have shared stages with people three times my age and supported communities in starting the most difficult of conversations. I have watched as hundreds of individuals I have worked with over the years found themselves and literally changed the world. And most importantly, I love me, and own the things I have accomplished. While at the same time, I recognize the privilege that helps carry me forward and the work of so many Femmes who have influenced my work and allow me to navigate the world the way I do today. The reality is that ALL Social Justice work today is built off the backs of the labor of Femmes over hundreds of years, and without it I wouldn’t be able to do any of the work I do.
But there’s another part to it, my privilege is very real, but so is the fact that I live in a world filled with limitless possibilities rather than allowing the world to limit my possibilities. The reality is that you will have White, Straight, Cis, Male, Catholic, Rich, and Able-Bodied individuals who aren’t living an ounce of the life that I am. The reality is that we have been taught to live in a world without possibilities.
And this isn’t a denial of systemic oppression and the barriers it creates to so many, to different extremes. Systemic oppression creates barriers to every facet of our lives, but despite the barrier, there’s always a gap that we can break through with hope and our strengths. Sure, that gap could be a nanometer, or even smaller. It could be so small it’s not seen at all, but it’s there, always, and only your light can break through it. One of the greatest tragedies of systemic oppression is that it has taught us that WE are not enough; that we are not powerful enough to break through.
The world will do everything in its power to create barriers for us - let’s not be one of those barriers.
Here are a few things to remember as you’re making your way to living in a world of limitless possibilities:
Without Hope, there are no possibilities, and there’s no finding your way through the gap.
Our strengths allow us to believe that we are Enough and that we deserve to be on the other side.
Many times your truest self is not complete until you’re on the other side.
Sometimes, living on the other side means that you are alone on the other side unless you find others living their most authentic lives with limitless possibilities.
You may receive negative reactions due to your new lifestyle, and instead of people seeing your strengths in finding the other side they might begin to believe that your possibilities are just different.
You Belong on the other side, shattering the glass in between the two worlds and making them your own.
You deserve to live wholeheartedly, despite what systemic oppression has taught you.
You are Enough, despite what you believe about possibilities and their endlessness.
Ultimately, only you can live your life wholeheartedly, no one else can take you there, or create a path for you. The power is within you already, it’s just a matter of wielding it and directing it to prioritize you.