When Possibility and Prose Becomes a Choice

Everything seems to trade off with something else these days. Compromise feels impossible. Everything is made up of choices that I simply do not wish to make. My favorite quote is “I dwell in possibility, a fairer house than prose.” (Emily Dickinson). I like to live by those words—always keeping as many possibilities open as possible, whether that is trying out way too many extracurricular activities at once or just leaving as many threads open in a story as I can possibly hold in my head.


The trouble is that possibility is not always an option, and it seems like that is truer and truer for every new possibility that opens up. I can work hard on a story that has the potential to evolve into a novel… but in doing so I sacrifice the time and words to write in the poetry journal I have kept consistently for almost five years—Sacrificing possibility FOR prose. I can apply for a summer art history internship OR I can do the creative writing program I’ve wanted to try for a very long time.


The choices all seem to be between things I have wanted since childhood and new eye-opening things that have just been laid in front of me. I can choose to stick with the conceptualization of the world that I put together for the first time when I was nine years old, or I can stray from the path I laid out for myself, and I can experiment. In purposely staying off of the path that is not necessarily the beaten path, but at least is the unmarked trail, will I come across a beautiful sight that leads me to new discoveries?


The only way to know is to try, but the only way to try is to forsake half of what I know. It is a conundrum that I don’t know how to deal with, and I have no way of seeing the future to crack the paradox. It takes so much introspection to understand what I want to do, and I have so much to do, so far to go, before I’m ready to make that leap.


So why does it feel like it is one that I have to make right now?


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