What does that word mean to you?
To me, it means promise, positive prospects, opportunities.
But not too many years ago it had more of a negative connotation for me – having to make decisions, stick my head over the parapet, take a risk.
It has taken significant life events including Hugo’s death to help me realise I can do whatever I put my mind to. I do not need to worry about what other people think, worry that I am likely to fail (so I might as well not bother). Not to be frightened of what is in the world.
My fear was extinguished the day Hugo died. I cannot imagine a more terrifying situation. I cannot imagine a situation where I would need more courage than I had to summon that day, or indeed the day of my precious boy’s funeral.
Nothing else really compares.
(I wish my anxiety and panic could also be extinguished, but I understand it’s different and not that simple).
Since Hugo died I have done things I never would have imagined. Speaking on live radio, giving presentations to a room full of people, turning up to conferences without knowing a soul. Getting involved with a change movement with a group of random people I met online (and whom I love dearly!).
Far more confident. Not afraid to show my vulnerability. To be kind, compassionate, empathetic.
To seek opportunities, and to take advantage of them when they present myself.
Exploring my creativity, unleashing my ideas, revealing my dry sense of humour – and discovering people like it, and they don’t think I’m weird (well they might do, but in a good way, I think – hope! – and anyway, what does it matter?).
There are so many things I could do, that I can do, that I do do.
In short, I am intoxicated by possibility.
I feel there is little I cannot do, or achieve.
My dear friend Kylie recently observed that I am living for two. I loved that observation: it made me smile. Everything I do is for Hugo. It is not for my own validation or personal ambition (there is an amount of personal satisfaction of a job well done, of course: I am human) but ultimately it is for Hugo and all other babies like him and families like ours.
For most of the time since Hugo’s death, while I have been fueled by the desire make a difference in his name, his legacy, celebrating my achievements has felt uncomfortable.
I will never be comfortable with what happened, I will never not want Hugo back and would gladly hand back all the opportunities I have had in return for my son back in my arms.
But I am proud of what I have achieved, I am proud of the woman I am now.
What happened to me has not beaten me. Every day without Hugo presents challenges of some form, but they will not beat me.
I am who I am today because of Hugo, and in spite of everything that has been thrown at me.
I dwell in possibility. I am intoxicated by possibility.
I have chosen possibility: the possibilities I have to offer to the world, and the possibilities has to offer me.