“For every end there is a beginning.” The phrase can sound cliché or trite, because we’ve heard it so many times. Whether it is cliché or not, it certainly is true when I stop to contemplate the meaning. As humans everyone comes to an end, and we all have a finite amount of time. During our lifetime there are many beginnings and endings.
For most things, there has to be a conclusion before moving to the next phase. We stand on many stages during our life, and the curtain must come down before we can move to the next spotlight. From childhood to adulthood, our characters certainly change, as do our experiences and beliefs. I couldn’t wait until my school years were over, because the work world seemed more appealing than homework and gym class.
As I entered “Corporate America,” I realized that my college days seemed so much better. I missed the learning process and being part of a group of students that supported each other. We can find ourselves in periods of our lives, when we are unhappy, and discover we long for the past or simpler times.
As I have gained experience and wisdom, I found that we should never wish away our days, or wait for the next best thing. Take advantage of each stage of life, and revel in the moment. As the saying goes, “This too shall pass.” Nothing lasts forever, and no matter what the circumstances take advantage of each moment. Regret is easy after the fact, but living to the fullest, should minimize the regrets we have. The voice in our head isn’t usually our best friend, but going with a “gut instinct” is usually a safe bet.
No one gives us an owner’s manual at birth, or a guidebook on what paths we should follow. Once we step onto the stage, we are invested one hundred percent in the role of our life. There is no understudy to take over on the days we feel like removing ourselves from the plot. We need to accept the mystery, adventure and drama that is the human experience.
I believe we reach stages in our lives when we look to reinvent ourselves. I know that when we come to the end of a difficult time, such as a death of a loved one, or a divorce from a spouse, we usually need to start over in a different manner. We shed the role that we’ve been playing. Often it is a reemergence to a whole new sense of self. Styles change, technology advances, why can’t we?
Recently, I had a setback with some health issues and went through the loss of my mother. I looked for my understudy but couldn’t find him. I knew, as much as I tried to fight it, that I had come to a significant conclusion to a part of life. Grief makes us want to dim the stage lights and hide behind the scenery. Most people will accept a momentary pause in the action, but remaining behind the scene is not an option.
Death makes us reflect and take an inventory of our lives. This highlights the importance of each moment. The introspection can guide us to the next path we must travel. As Socrates stated “The unexamined life is not worth living.” For me it has lead to a reinvention of my professional life. I truly believe that everyone has a talent, which is a passion in his or her life. Those that follow that passion and use that talent are the happiest and most content with their professional lives. They are the most successful in their careers.
I’ve been stumbling down a path, that I thought was going to take me to a place of fulfillment. I found disappointment and a few monsters lurking behind their desks on that journey. My dream of “OZ” was not taking me to any Emerald City, because my passion was nowhere on that route. The flying monkeys were clouding my vision. I was playing with practicality and dollar signs. I was not using my true talent, and did not feel passion in my work. In fact, a lot of days I just felt in a rut. I was going through the motions, but not enlivened by my career.
So I took a big leap and picked up my proverbial pen. My passion has always been writing, and I had let circumstances move me in another direction. My new stage is about me finding inner happiness through expression and creativity. I need to remind myself at any stage in my life I am the director. I should be in charge of the stage moves, and not have life directing me.
I am lucky, because I have people who love and support me, and recognize my talent. For many people it’s a scary proposition to suddenly switch courses and start a new show. Everyone has heard the phrase “Don’t give up your day job.” This type of thinking is not really pushing anyone to a greater purpose. There is no empowerment in the status quo. I am sure Gandhi, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Martin Luther King, and countless other visionaries didn’t feel that way.
It came down to a belief in myself, a search for fulfillment, a group of supporters, and the stage to play it out on. I just saw a t-shirt with the slogan “Don’t give up your daydream.” This is a profound twist of words and so appropriate for my life. It is only a brief statement, but it proves that at any moment we can reset the stage. It is never too late to reinvent ourselves, just don’t wait until the finale and the curtain is coming down. Make sure there is time to enjoy the standing ovation.