Sometime in my teen years, I found an apt way to describe the emotional tailspins in which I would often find myself—”feeling impossible.” And my parents agreed. In fact, they embraced the term wholeheartedly, and to this day, they will suggest that perhaps I’m simply feeling impossible. Not sure whether you’ve ever experienced what I’m talking about?
To me, feeling impossible is a few parts indecision (nothing could make me happy right now), a few parts physical malaise (maybe an ache, a pain, or a huge zit), a few parts agitation (you people are bugging the shit out of me, and I have no idea why), and a good deal of sheer pathetic-ness (not a real word). Oh, and throw in a dash of surliness to round things out.
Well, I always wondered if this was a normal thing—it’s not like most people walk around showing everyone their crazy factor. No, must of us save this sort of delightful behavior for our nearest and dearest—the people who we know can take it. The people who won’t run away screaming.
So, I must admit, I was a bit relieved to learn recently that most likely, I come by this quite naturally. You see, my dear daughter, at just twenty months, is already a master, and I don’t believe anyone has taught her. Hell, I don’t have time to feel impossible anymore. If I feel a bout coming on, I try to rechannel my bad energy into my writing or talk Josh into going to bed early with me. Ahem.
How do I know that Linnea shows such promise for feeling impossible? Oh, it’s pretty clear. For example, last night, when we got in the car to go home, she started shouting, “Bananaphone!” She was referring to a favorite Putumayo CD full of fun kids’ songs, including a Rhonda Vincent cover of Raffi’s catchy tune. I regularly walk around with “Operator, get me Bei-jing, -jing, -jing” in my head. But I digress.
So as soon as I put on Track 2 for Linnea—after maybe three bars of the song—she started howling, “Nooooooo! No Bananaphone!” So I turned off the music altogether, and she screeched even louder. She desperately started throwing out other song titles—almost like a question. “Sunshine? Sunshine?” Like maybe, just maybe, “You Are My Sunshine” would actually make her happy. So I found Track 11. More of the same. Next, we moved on to “Love Train.”
It cracks me up, by the way, to hear a toddler shouting, “Love Train!” Cracks me up and makes me fear for her college years.
In the end, we turned off the CD and just sang some “How I” (her name for “Twinkle, Twinkle”), and she settled down enough to make the drive bearable. As soon as we got close to home, we started talking about seeing Daddy, Jack, Juna, and “Turtle Man” (we have one of those child safety signs in the yard), and her little brain started to come back to a happy place. But the worst thing about dealing with someone with a penchant for feeling impossible—oneself included—is that you never can tell when a bout might strike.
So, dear readers, I wish you a day of feeling quite possible and sane, but should you encounter someone exhibiting said ridiculous behavior, it’s best to let them work it out. Or maybe offer them a hot fudge sundae or a back rub. It’s the Golden Rule of Feeling Impossible—nobody wants to be lectured or told to snap out of it (toddlers included). So, when you’re on the receiving end of the impossibility, think about what might help you under similar circumstances. An impromptu dance party? A walk in the fresh air? Maybe a movie and some popcorn?
I’m not offering this advice as a parenting expert, as I am relatively inexperienced. However, I do consider myself quite the master of feeling impossible, and I’m pleased to report that I feel that way less and less as my life comes more into line with what I really want. This is not to say, however, that I’m entirely above wanting to lie down on the living room floor and just moan for a good half hour. But like I said—I don’t have time for that.
I Want to Know:
Do you ever feel impossible?
What helps you turn things around?