Beginning, middle, end. All stories have them. 7th grade English taught me that much.
The promise of beginnings used to rule my life. Be it a small beginning, like starting yoga, or a bigger one, like a new relationship, or a huge one, like moving to a new city…beginnings are intoxicating. They hold so much possibility. They allow you to reinvent. You can try something different. Beginnings are like pressing the reset button. You’re stepping into a great unknown, which could be everything you were searching for. Beginnings drove me.
I took middles for granted. The idea of a new beginning was just so thrilling. I saw the middle as a necessary vehicle to another beginning. I’d tire of the middle I was in and yearn to for something more.
And I’ve always hated endings, which is odd since they’re required to begin a new beginning. No matter how welcome an ending might be, they’ve never been easy for me. The packing up of things – emotional, physical or both – the goodbyes… the feeling of finality (even if that doesn’t end up to being the case) that comes with endings scares me, no matter what the new beginning promises.
The thing about storylines – real life storylines – is that defining the beginning, middle, and end is damned near impossible. One minute you’re in awe at all the new around you and then you blink a few times… and wait, it’s comfortable. I’ve found you can slip into a middle so quietly, so slowly that you don’t realize when you’ve reached it.
The same goes for ends. They’re so hard to pinpoint. Rarely is an end the end. Things drag on, feelings remain. Goodbyes you thought were goodbye aren’t. The old blends into the new and the new blends in with the old.
It’s funny that I so desired beginnings because though the idea of a beginning can be romantic… being in the midst of one is hard. Really hard. They feel so topsy-turvy. Beginnings require so much work. Beginnings force you go to out on a limb; you can’t hide in the comfort of a middle you once knew. Things that you took for granted don’t come easy. Beginnings are a whirlwind that can sweep you up…and in doing so, can turn you upside down.
I’ve changed my thinking on this whole beginning/middle/end thing. Though I appreciate and still welcome beginnings, middles reign. I love that sweet spot of a middle, when things hum along. When you’ve gained your footing and feel like you’ve really figured out how to be you in your environment, for better or worse.
As obvious as it seems now, I only recently realized there’s a reason I’d always crave beginnings; I wasn’t satisfied with the middle I was in. Hell, the point of starting a beginning is to get to the middle. My pursuit of beginnings was really a pursuit of a warm, comfortable middle. To find a middle I truly could be content in.
If I’ve learned anything in my search for new beginnings, it’s that finding those wonderful, comfy middles ain’t easy.
So here’s to finding middles that fit…and appreciating those that we have found.