Endings & beginnings


I have to give back my computer.

If someone had told me there would be a day when I would become intricately attached to a piece of technology I would have laughed in their face. I would not have believed it. I would not have believed my heart would throb painfully because I had to hand back a computer, I, a girl who is old-fashioned deep in her bones and preferring a day in the sun or teapots of sweet tea by the fire.

Yet here I am, holding on so tight to this machine. I have to scrap it of all traces of me and return it for the next person who will use it. I have to erase all the love notes I tucked all-over its screen and take back the midnight love affairs.

I wonder if the person who will own it after me will hold it close like a person the way I did. I wonder if they will remember to admire its thin delicate surfaces – a mastery of human invention.

I’m hopeless at goodbyes. And any kind of letting go is so foreign on my skin. It always ends up being a battle of monumental scale complete with heart cracking and slamming of doors; spilling emotions and thoughts that billow like a troubled sea.

I attach myself to people and things and asking me to release what often sinks into my body is cruelty. It causes me all sorts of pain. But yet I know the only thing constant about life is change itself.

I’m swimming on these currents at the moment. Change is everywhere I look. Seasons are coming to an end and I have to bid farewell to work and things that have made themselves resident in my heart. Other people must take over from where I will leave. The moment I step out of the door other feet will fill my shoes and carry on the torch. There is something faintly comforting and disturbing about this. Perhaps it is the reminder that the world values humans not for their uniqueness but for their continuity.

Everywhere I look there are reminders of this – of change. Of how we are expected to change along with life and yet nobody tells us how to or exactly how deeply unravelling it can be. We resist change even as we crave it. It is a contradiction that goes right to the core of who we are as humans. Some people are more adaptable than others. I’m definitely not of that family. My hooks sink into things – people, places and experiences – and the cord is hewn with living nerve and tissue. I become part of everything that surrounds me.

But even this naked knowing of myself does not have the full capacity to shield me from the change that is approaching. The old season as it ends will consume me within itself and I do not know where it will spew me.

So I have every reason to fear. Every reason to tremble and take myself to my wits’ ends. This would be so easy to do; just curl up within myself and hide.

But I want to be braver than this. I want to do that which propels me in a different direction. I have this conviction stirring all kinds of fire inside of me – I have to be bold for myself.

This means seeing endings for what they truly are – the beginning of something else. And seeing is more than seeing with the two eyes, it is believing, it is practicing this truth on a day-to-day basis. A practice that looks a lot like substituting fear with courage, watching the inner dialogue, engaging with the things one is passionate about and filling the void with that passion.

It is donning a beginners’ mind and grabbing for those beautiful blank white pages to start scripting that which comes after the end.

Endings and beginnings are intertwined, we know. They have the same life force coursing through their veins. Everything that begins must end and everything that ends gives way to a beginning of something else.

In essence then, we sit at the crux of changing seasons all through life. The magic is in the working with this movement in a way that feeds and builds us up.

So, the computer is going back in a day or two. I’m going to unplug it from my socket and from my body. But its lovely imprints will stay transfixed on the surface of my skin in the same way this passing season will.

There is no end to the growth that change can usher into our path. And we can never truly run away. But then “no one loses their inner demons by taking to the road”. And so we stay. And learn to find a new beginning in the ending that changing seasons bring.

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