What is impossible?
When I was a kid, gay couples could not get married in any state in the U.S.. Not in California, not in Massachusetts, not anywhere. I got in a fight with my parents about being gay, it ended with me saying that I wasn’t sure if they’d come to my wedding one day and that that feeling sucked. My mom’s reply was,
“I don’t know why gay people want to get married, no one expects them to.”
Fifty years ago—heck, twenty years ago—nationwide gay marriage in the United States was an impossible dream. It was so impossible, not many people dared to dream it. When I traveled through upstate New York in 2007—2007!—to campaign for marriage equality, more than a few folks thought I was nuts. Overly political. Wasting my time.
And then two weeks ago the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled that gay couples had a constitutional right to marriage and, in that instant, gay marriage became legal across the country. The impossible became possible.
In my work over at Queer Theology, we talk a lot about how God is in the habit of making the impossible possible: leading the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt, working with Deborah to rule and lead an army to victory, the messiah being born to an immigrant single-month living under occupation.
Is there something you want that you’ve told yourself is impossible? A career? A fitness goal? Financial freedom? Happiness?
No seriously, what is it? What are some things you’d want if they weren’t impossible?
Here’s the thing, “it always seems impossible until it’s done” (that’s what Nelson Mandela said)
Here are some things in my own life that seemed impossible at the time:
- Getting into film school
- Making it on to IMDb
- Producing a pilot for a broadcast television network
- Running a half-marathon
- Racing a triathlon
- Launching a t-shirt company
- Getting featured in Vice
- Taking acting classes at Stella Adler Studio of Acting
- Learning to sing
- Designing websites that people would want to use
- Designing websites that people would pay for
- Working for myself full-time
- Raising my rates
With shockingly few exceptions, things are only impossible until we accomplish them. And then they’re rather ordinary. Two decades ago, gay marriage was an impossible dream. Today, most people can’t imagine not having it. The impossible quickly becomes the status quo (until you find your next impossible dream).
So whatever your impossible dreams are, take action on them today. Find small, simple steps you can make toward them. Because you can make the impossible possible.
I write articles on creativity & entrepreneurship. If you’d like to get them delivered directly to your inbox, you are personally invited to join my mailing list. I’d love to stay in touch with you.
P.S. My mom is wonderfully supportive these days :)