The Scary Beginning

We all know the feeling of beginning something, the rush of nerves, or the uncontrollable excitement. There are new beginnings that happen in rhythm, the beginning of a new day, the beginning of summer, the start of a new fiscal year, or a new school year. There are beginnings we launch into with intention, a new job, a product launch, a fresh workout class, welcoming a baby, But then there are beginnings that creep up on us, without a rush of adrenaline or even a moment to prepare. Sometimes we find ourselves at the beginning of a journey we didn’t choose, like unemployment, a market crash, a breakup, a new body pain that won’t go away, life after the death of a loved one. It’s just as we relax into a sense of routine and familiar patterns that some new affair pulls us off course. Like a ferris wheel bench that comes behind and hits our knees before we are ready, we fall into an awkward position as something we haven’t felt before, carries us upwards. 

Perhaps what is most scary about beginnings is the possibility that we won’t get past them, that failure will overcome us and we will lose this chance to become something new. Like training a new puppy where every opportunity, whether seized or missed, sets the course for what type dog he will become, the beginning of something requires focus. Our attention can’t be elsewhere, we have to commit to caring about the outcome.

A friend of mine recently started her own business. In looking over her website I was struck by the polish of the design, juxtaposed with empty spaces inside. Pages with intentional titles were followed by Lorem ipsum dolor sit ame. This is similar to much of our lives. The design may be flawless, or at least polished enough to get by. The titles of our internal pages are the categories of our care, kids, work, finances, parents, hobby… But how many of those internal places are fully written? How often do we open the books on our mind’s shelves and read the deepest desires we have stored there? How many blanks spaces are left unnoticed? How much chaos uncleared? How many times have we begun at this and turned the light off, to begin something else instead? Maybe the next beginning we choose could be to go back and finish what we started.

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