You’ve probably heard the trite expression that every ending marks a new beginning. In fact, it is not true. Sometimes endings simply mark a reversion to an older way of life. A lifestyle with nothing new… in fact one quite likely more familiar than whatever was ended.
This kind of an ending brings with it no excitement or novel expectations for the future. It simply restores previous expectations and shutters the recently exciting possibilities. In doing so, it carries with it a kind of comfort. A comfort that comes with a return to the familiar and more rehearsed courses of action that will now extend in to the future.
The actual shuttering itself can be momentarily disorienting… even sad… but the immediate recognition of the older way of life (often mislabeled new again) as something to which you have already had much opportunity to become accustomed dulls the emotional impact of the ending.
There is a danger here, that whenever the future is so uncertain and the past is so well known, that we will be content constantly renewing our subscription to the familiar. This strategy, as comfortable as it may continually appear, no doubt inhibits personal growth and self-education.
I have been told, rather recently to be honest, that I am likely too opinionated to make others feel comfortable. As someone that prides myself on constantly exploring and learning new and useful things, I have a hard time settling the accusation. I feel rather open to evaluating new things, and if my judgement of what is best tends to return to the same things repeatedly – I am quick to think of it as a result of intense and earnest reflection on all possibilities so far encountered.
The question I will pose to myself, and also to you, should you find yourself in some situation involving endings and ideals, is this: did the ending come because of some desire on your part to return to some familiar existence, or did it come because you were leading someone out of their own? It seems that more often than not, endings can be explained by that question alone.
The other kinds of endings – the ones that question can not help to explain – are the only ones that truly mark new beginnings.