It’s the start of the year and everything seems fresh, new. There are novel opportunities lurking everywhere if we were to just grab them.
The thing is, to have new beginnings there must be endings too.
In all aspects of life.
If you are starting a new career or job, it means you have left behind an old one.
If you are starting off a single life, it means you just ended a relationship.
If you are mourning a death, a life has ended and left a hole in your life.
If you are falling in love, it means the silent time you had by yourself is a bygone, or at least is not as plentiful as it used to be.
If you just had a child, it means you are no longer only responsible for yourself.
If you moved to a new house, it means you left another behind.
If you moved countries, it means there is a city you had to say goodbye to.
New beginnings are wonderful things, but we must acknowledge the endings in order to have clear, wonderful foundations.
These are my rules for saying goodbye to the old and hello to the new:
- Be grateful – to the home that is no more, to the relationship that taught you so much, to the story that ended, to the book with no more pages, to the life that will no longer be yours, to the life you had to cry.
- Say goodbye in a meaningful way – in our feverish, hectic lives we might forget to be detailed oriented, to take a moment and grasp what surrounds us before we move on. So take a moment, look at that empty apartment, make a list of the friends you are leaving behind, make a list of the friends that won’t accompany you on the journey forward, make a list of the friends that will. Feel the emptiness that surrounds you now, let it seep through you, it is part of who you are.
- Take some, leave some – We don’t need to take everything with us when we move on. Some clothing items need to be given away, some friends are only there for a blip in the time/space momentum. Furniture may change, so will books, so will you. Don’t take hurtful feelings along, don’t take guilt with you. Leave it behind. Take forgiveness. Think, what will make my journey lighter? What will make my journey heavier? And that will help you decide what to pack into yourself and what to leave behind.
- Change your new space – Make it your own. You don’t want to use the same words of endearment with your new partner. You don’t plan your days the same way you used to when you didn’t have a child. If you are single now, clean the space, change the bed, if you can, get a new bed or new bedding. Paint the rooms. Create a clean slate in what used to be an old picture. Don’t allow old presences to impose themselves in your present.
- Do things, differently – If you liked to cook, still do, but maybe try new plates. If movies were your thing before, perhaps now you want to try reading more, or watching tv shows. Take up a new hobby.
- Be with you – In the new space, in the new job, in the new relationship, in the new singlehood, in the new phase of life, be with you. Stand still and watch yourself. Who are you in this new era? Who do you want to be? Who have you become? What is it that you feel proud of? What would you like to change? See. You. You are still the same, yet changed. You have left something behind in order to take some more steps forward, or sideways, it doesn’t matter. You are you and you are on a wonderful journey that is called life.
So, yes, start anew, but don’t forget the old. The old is what makes us be who we are, the lessons learnt, the jobs we hated and made us grow, the jobs we liked and were too comfortable for growth, the house that pushed us outside, the outsides that pushed us inwards. It is all a part of the wonderful you that is you.
Share what old things you have left behind to start anew!