I’ve been thinking a lot this last week about beginnings and endings; about chapters in our lives and transitions from one to the next. Jon and I on the fast-track now, with one week until we leave Portland, two until international departure. Whether it’s jobs, where we live, and the people we see every day, there are endings, and new beginnings happening at rapid pace. We ended our jobs yesterday. I wrote in an earlier post that my job and my personal life had become a little too intertwined for comfort. And although the anticipation of the job ending was a long time coming (I gave notice almost 3 months in advance), the day came and went, the access to email and contact lists was gone, the work that was in progress is handed off, and the chapter was closed as swiftly as ever. Trust me, this is all a good thing. Having instant access to your work email all the time is a choice I made when allowing the smartphone to come into the house, and with its arrival the boundary between personal and professional time was even more blurred than before. More than just email, my job became my community, my lifestyle. And so been a long time and I got so accustomed to that line being blurred. My journey of searching for the me without the job has already begun. Now of course, the ending of a job doesn’t mean the ending of the relationships with the people - that for sure is one thing I’ll hold on to, regardless of wherever my new beginnings take me.
There are other chapters that are ending for me too – all with equally balanced beginnings on the other side. But I continue to believe that while things end, they don’t disappear or become less significant. I may leave the arts community for a short time, but the people I met, and the work we did certainly made a lasting impression on me – and I hope I contributed to it in return.
When I think back on my relatively short life, I think about the chapters, about the times that began and ended, only to begin again. As Jon put it while I was writing this, thinking about the past is a natural way of informing our present; and processing where we think we’re going in the future. Well said. What a change we have coming.
And so to stop boring you with my ramblings, since I’m apparently so deep in this mushy ending/beginning time I don’t actually have a point (other than to muse), I leave you with a reading from camp. It’s a reading that I jotted down many years ago in a quote/poetry journal that I kept for years. I realized the other day that the journal ended up in a recycle bin pile when I was cleaning out the basement. Bummer, talk about an ending. Anyway, thanks to Ruth Igoe from Clearwater for sending me the text. These are a few excerpts from “Beginnings & Endings” by Darcy Gruber, 1980 Counselor at Clearwater Camp.
“...If we stop to think about it, life is an endless stream of beginnings followed by endings, followed again, by beginnings. It is the beginnings and endings that make life really worth experiencing.
Here today, each and everyone of us faces an ending and a beginning…Some of us are ending one phase of our lives here and are approaching a new and different phase....This is the way of life and although it is difficult at times, perhaps, some endings are too hard to make - I would prefer life no other way.
Each one of us was touched by someone here and it is up to us to spread these new "touches," these feelings with others. Each one of us has also touched someone. We must continue on, gather more experiences and knowledge - so that, if we meet again, we will have that much more to share and learn. Everyone of us should realize the best thing we have to offer in this world is ourselves.
…I may never see you again, but we have found a place where we will always be together no matter how many miles separate us physically…And know that after every ending, there is always a new beginning.”