I don’t always like conclusions because it means the end of something – the end of the book, the end of the weekend, the end of a challenge, the end of a relationship. However, what I have come to realize and understand more as I get older is that the conclusion of one thing often leads to the beginning of something else. Let’s take a look at some!
- The Conclusion of a Book: I love to read! It doesn’t matter if I am holding an actual book in my hand and flipping the pages or an e-book that will easily allow me to read in the dark or listening to the audio version as I drive along the highway in busy traffic. I love to read. I get caught up in the lives of the characters as I am transported to another world, another time, another adventure. Because I become so invested in the characters, I often mourn the conclusion of the book. I want to know more. Sometimes the book will be one in a series, and I will get to continue with my beloved characters for a brief period until the series ends as well. What I have learned to love about the conclusion of a book or the conclusion of a series is that now I have the opportunity to find a new group of characters to love. I get to try on new identities and new time periods and new worlds that might have rules or languages all their own. The conclusion of one book means the beginning of another adventure.
- The Expiration of a Weekend: There are many forms and versions of weekends. Some are just your normal two-days-I-hope-I-get-to-rest weekends. Some are long-holiday-with-friends-or-family weekends. Others are great-music-great-dancing-great-show-great-competition weekends. For normal weekends, I get a little sad that it has come to an end because sometimes I’m just want to relax by staying in a bath and watching watching my favorite show or reading my favorite book. Other times, however, I look forward to the end of the weekend because it means a chance to try something new or have a fresh outlook for the week. At the end of a long weekend, although I am tired, I feel recharged from creating new memories and spending time with people who value me. It allows me to look forward to the next time we get together. Last but not least is a great competition weekend. I never want those weekends to be finished. I enjoy cheering for my friends as they perform and compete on the dance floor. I enjoy hearing them cheer for me as well. I love dancing until my feet hurt and the sun comes up over the horizon. I can get lost in those weekends and those moments. The best part about the conclusion of those weekends, though, are the new friendships that have begun. Some of the best friends I have are because we spent a weekend dancing together. So, at the end of the weekend is the beginning a friendship.
- The Completion of a Challenge: I love the end of challenge, not because it is over (although some of them I had a party after) but because I get to look back and see how much I have grown as a person. Whether it was a structured challenge or the kind that crops up in life, we learn from it. The conclusion of one challenge means we are ready to face the next. Notice I didn’t say “win the challenge”. Sometimes the challenge is more than we can handle, so all we can do is get through it, lean on those around us when we can, and survive it. Those are the qualities that prep us for the next challenge – perseverance, growth, and knowing that we will be different on the other side of it. New perspectives await at the end of a challenge.
- The End of a Relationship: Let’s face it. No one wants to admit that they can’t make a relationship work, but sometimes they have to end. Maybe they were unhealthy or maybe they had just run their course. This happens with friendships, romantic relationships, and familial relationships. I’m (almost) always sad when one of my relationships ends. Sometimes I am sad because I had high hopes for the relationship, but we just weren’t compatible. Sometimes I’m sad that I didn’t recognize sooner how unhealthy the relationship was. Sometimes I’m sad because the relationship was wonderful, but our lives took us in different directions. What I have found, though, is that where one relationship ends there is room for a new one to begin. Maybe it’s a new friend or a healthier relationship or maybe it’s that you need to be a better friend to and have a healthier relationship with yourself first. Whatever the case might be, the end of a relationship is a chance for a new relationship to begin.
You see! The end doesn’t have to be scary. It can be a time of new growth, a time for new adventures, a time to reflect on who you have been and who you want to be. Endings, like sunsets, are just new beginnings you haven’t acknowledged yet.