A new beginning. A fresh start. Turning the page. Whatever you want to call it—beginning again is something that all of us have experienced at some point, or will without any mercy shown. Beginnings are resilient, they do not rest or consider if you are mentally or physically capable of handling them at that point in your life. They come at you with tenacity, force you to change your way of thinking, your way of living, your way of interacting with others. Beginnings don’t rest because every step you take into the future you are beginning again; the cobblestone street of your past life crumbling behind you as you trek forward.
One of the best pieces of advice I was given (or read online, I can’t quite remember now) was “don’t look back, you’re not going in that direction”. It resonated with me because of my tendency to always look at the past with nostalgia and fond memories and at the future with fear and uncertainty. However, when looking back without rose-coloured glasses on, I can rationally recognize that every beginning that lead to where I am now was also scary. You don’t know that you’re uncovering a new, unpaved trail until you start walking on it, leaving footprints behind as a memento of your presence and curiosity when you stumble upon yet another unmarked path.
This past year has provided me with many new beginnings—some I accepted, and some I fought hard against until there was no other option than to move forward or be left behind. The resistance I experienced, whether intentional or not, showed me that beginnings are so powerful, you’ll put everything on hold just to avoid them if you don’t feel ready. But who ever feels ready? Who wanders into the unknown without their eyes peeled and the itch to run back the other way if things go wrong? But, this resistance also showed me that beginnings are not to be feared because, at the end of the day, they mean you are alive. You are in material and immaterial connection with the world around you, so much so that your new beginning can cause a ripple of change that reaches out past the limits you had put in place for yourself. Beginnings are all-knowing, in the way that they don’t know anything about you or what you can handle, only that you either step up or you don’t.
Beginnings are the only reason I can look back with purpose and say “Glad I’m not there anymore.”