Endings and goodbyes are never easy. When facing the end of something you loved, the final curtain call can be excruciating and heartbreaking. Even in the moments when the ending is welcomed and for the best, actually breaking away and closing the door is difficult.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this and talking about it with my daughter. This weekend she danced for the final time with her competition dance team. Although she decided months ago that it was time for her to move on and take her training in another direction, it didn’t make the weekend any less emotional for her. Some girls were dancing in their final competition because they are graduating and moving on to new beginnings in college next year. Regardless of the reason, this weekend was the end of something that had been an important part of most of their lives until this point. Whether it was college or simply new training opportunities, new beginnings and adventures are in front of them. Still, saying goodbye and taking the stage for the last time was not easy for any of them.
I think one of the reasons we find it so hard to face the end to both the good and the bad is that we leave behind certainty. Closing one door to open another requires faith. It’s our nature to be cautious of the unknown, and so we often cling to the doorknob of the closing door because we’re afraid to turn our eyes to the new world in front of us. We need to remember that what we are leaving behind was once the new adventure waiting inside an open door too. Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
Unfortunately, I haven’t found that this practice of moving on to get any easier as an adult. You would think that we should get better at it. After all, we’re wiser and have been through this process of ending and beginning again so many times. Yet, in some ways, I wonder if it gets harder. Do we simply start to lack the energy involved to make a break and start anew? Have we convinced ourselves that this is as good as it gets and there aren’t better tomorrows and stories out there? Do we think it’s too late to have a new beginning?
I’ve decided that I don’t want this to be the life lesson my daughter learns from me. I don’t want her to lose her sense of hope, faith, and adventure. I don’t want to lose those parts of myself either. So, all of this really relates back to the journey of personal discovery I am taking this year. Some doors are harder to close than others. They might creek and push back as you try to get them closed. You think you’ve closed the door only to find that it has popped back open. I find myself holding the door closed and running in place while pressing against it trying to keep it shut. Yes, change is uncomfortable and difficult. Staying in one place and never opening yourself up to all the wonderful things the world has to offer, however, is far worse. So, take the chance and be willing to open and walk through a new door when opportunity knocks.
And stay tuned as I share with you just how this has been happening in my life over the past few weeks. I can’t wait to tell you about it!