I’ve been thinking about “starts” a lot lately.
For the first 25 or so years of our life, we have to start things. Start school, start university/college, start a part-time job, start a “grown up” job. We’re more or less forced to start these things. We don’t even really see it as a big deal, it’s just growing up. They’re natural starts.
But what happens after you’ve grown up? When we’re not necessarily forced to start anything? When starts are no longer natural, they need to be intentional starts? When there isn’t a guaranteed or known outcome on the other side? How do you even begin to start?
It’s a tough transition to go from natural starts to intentional starts. There’s a lot more discomfort, risk, doubt and vulnerability with intentional starts.
If I go back to school, that means I won’t have as much disposable income or time. It will be much harder to pay bills. I might even fail.
If I start a new job, it might be hard. My coworkers might not like me. I might not like the job.
If I start a relationship, I could get really hurt. I would also have to consider someone else’s time, feelings and priorities, instead of just my own.
And while those discomforts, risks, doubts and vulnerabilities are (or at least feel) very real, so are the rewards. The satisfaction, sense of accomplishment, love and growth; these things are immeasurably more powerful.
So what if our natural starts prepare us for intentional starts? What if we can look back on our natural starts and realize the emotions and rewards that came along with them? That yes, they were crazy scary and hard, but we were better off for them.
It’s easy to stop starting things after we don’t have to anymore. But it’s also boring.