“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”
― T.S. Eliot
I am a such a sucker for the symbolism of new beginnings and fresh starts.
Yes, I do recognize how cliche they can be and how silly it sounds to some people. But that is perfectly fine by me, because symbolism that works for some may not work for all. That’s okay.
For me, someone who struggles with the crippling weight of depression and anxiety that bogs me down every waking moment of my life, anything that can symbolize a new beginning fills me with hope.
Just the idea that maybe a symbolic new beginning can give me a chance to do better next time is life giving. This is why I obsess over things like my birthday, which is a new start to a new age in my life, or New Year’s Eve, which dangles a fresh brand new year in front of my face. This is most assuredly why I love celebrating my birthday and new years so much. And it must have been fate that the two happen in the span of the same month.
But for someone who loves new beginnings so much I equally hate endings. I hate it when somethings ends because it is difficult, nearly impossible, to move on.
Some examples from my personal life include, but are not limited to: how I hated moving away from Sugar Pine after working there for a summer, how I hated the end of my first relationship, how I hated growing apart from high school friendships, how I hated being done with my time at Fresno Pacific and The Syrinx (our student newspaper that I wrote for), and etc.
New beginnings are beautiful but endings suck.
For something new to begin something old has to end. And I love that I get to start anew but I resent that something else must cease.
As a diagnosed Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) I grieve endings for extended periods of time with as much vigor that I celebrate new beginnings. (A quick side note, for those who do not know, a HSP is defined as: having hypersensitivity to external stimuli, a greater depth of cognitive processing, and high emotional reactivity.)
While I reflect upon things that have ended and started in my life in the past few years, there is one constant that I cannot deny: Steve Thurman. Steve, who started out just as my college pastor at church, has become one of my dearest friends.
Throughout the past 5 years, throughout all the dreadful endings and wonderful beginnings, Steve has been one person that was always there. Always there to listen, to give advice, to give whatever support I needed.
I bring up Steve because as I think about how new things are starting, and maybe old things are ending, I am learning how valuable it is to celebrate those you love. And also how important it is to celebrate anything that brings you joy or hope (both of which Steve absolutely brings to my life).
In fact, Steve was the person who introduced the word “hope” into my life after my first boyfriend ended our relationship. Hope was the word Steve used over and over again when consoling me outside North Hall before his night class at FPU. Religiously (pun intended) Steve would show up with my favorite snacks, usually a candy bar and Pepsi, and listen and remind me about hope.
Today is my birthday. I am turning 23. It feels weird and uncomfortable because a lot of things in my life are different than they ever have been before.
But it is a new beginning. The ending of year 22, the beginning of year 23.
I have hope that 23 will be the best yet.
“The chief beauty about time
is that you cannot waste it in advance.
The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you,
as perfect, as unspoiled,
as if you had never wasted or misapplied
a single moment in all your life.
You can turn over a new leaf every hour
if you choose.”
― Arnold Bennett