“No, this is not the beginning of a new chapter in my life; this is the beginning of a new book! That first book is already closed, ended, and tossed into the seas; this new book is newly opened, has just begun! Look, it is the first page! And it is a beautiful one!” – C. Joybell C.
A blank page.
In that crisp, white expanse there’s anything but nothing. There’s possibility, space for expansion, a call to expression. There’s the freedom of self determination. Memories yet to be made, stories yet to be created, life yet to be lived.
There’s also the gut-knotting anxiety of needed invention, of starting anew… again. Of needing a plan, a route, a story. “Should’s” and “have-to’s” and self-limiting fears and doubts.
In relationships, jobs, and everything else, when we turn the page on a story we felt we knew, understood and connected with to abruptly find a clean sheet, what the hell do we do? Whether it was our choice or not, we’re told that transition is a process, yet the weight of it comes all at once. It’s a strain to simply keep ourselves and our world from buckling amidst the mess of it all.
It isn’t easy to move on, even when it is. We create our circumstances, our relationships, our lives for a reason. We choose and choose again until we’ve crafted a world unto ourselves, a world we understand, a world, no matter how painful and ill-fitting, where we feel safe in some way. Where we feel home.
Moving on means turning away from pages we’ve poured love and our entirety into and turning towards an empty expanse. A blank page. A starting point bound atop years of starting points and stories that mattered deeply to us.
Finding the emotional energy to put pen to paper and draft a new incarnation can feel overwhelming if not impossible. Why bother starting when blankness waits just around the corner? When everything we build is so uncertain and fleeting?
Why do we build in the first place. Why do we try? Why do we keep starting and re-starting and hoping?
Because in that fading prose lies everything. Love, fear, happiness, beauty, laughter, embarrassment, joy. Because those endings and starts are filled to the brim with living, with experience, with memories that cannot be taken from us even as we turn away from the tales themselves.
Endings are messy. They’re painful. They’re also necessary. Without them, we wouldn’t be who we are and we wouldn’t find parts of ourselves obscured by self-imposed boundaries. Endings mean we are alive – that there is more to tell.
When we find ourselves staring at a blank page, it isn’t blank. It never was.
Pick up your pen.