Sunday, December 14, 2008

Beginnings and Ends...


I've been thinking about the nature of beginnings and endings lately. There have been quite a few in my life lately, so naturally the topic's on my mind. Where to start?

This is my last week in Springfield for the next nine months or so. It's a really scary thought. I'll finish out my days here this week and head on an adventure that will lead me around the Midwest for the next month and then off to Europe for the following semester. I'll be departing from my friends, from Springfield Ballet including everything it's taught me and all the people there I've grown to know and love, my professors who've invested their time and energy to help me grow and learn, and my family who are just a few hours away. I'll trade it all in for the unknown. It's a scary thought to say the least. Leaving what's comfortable for what is unknown is horrifying for me. I'm very anxious about it all.

I realized sitting in class Friday that I was sitting in what would likely be my last philosophy class ever. I've finished my requirements for Philosophy (and then some) and now I'm on to finishing my Religion degree, which will likely include me leaving Drury a majority of next year to pursue my MA in Religion at MSU. It was a very humbling moment. All I could think was, "Do I really deserve this degree yet? Have I learned enough? Did I try hard enough?" Surely, I could have pushed myself harder, absorbed more, internalized more, understood more. Then again, I think I've lived the last three years well. A wise man once told me not to let my education get in the way of my learning, and I think I've created a fine balance of the two in my life.

I don't know what to do with it all most of the time. It's overwhelming. There are times when it hits me all at once and I just want to close the door to my room and not open it again. I want to stay here where I'm comfortable and where I've been happy, but I know that even if I were to close the door, the world outside would keep moving without me. I've got to look forward and take the road less traveled. I've got to make myself accountable for my own future, take responsibility, take charge of my life and have courage in doing so.

What I'm realizing more and more is that my life is intertwined with so many others around me. I can't sit in my room and try to live in the past, wonderful though it was. I have a responsibility, a duty, to those who have made me who I am today (all of my wonderful professors, Ashley Paige Williams at Springfield Ballet, all of my friends and fellow bloggers who have helped me through my tough times over the past few years, my amazing family whom I can never appreciate enough) to continue on, to reach my potential. Every time it feels like the end of a stage of my life like it feels this night, I need to not imagine a door closing. I need to imagine a new door opening with all of the people who have helped me along the way standing behind me urging me to walk forward and keep going on the journey. Yes, I'm anxious and scared, but I'd be a fool not to push myself to that next level.

So here's to new beginnings which couldn't exist without old endings.

4 comments:

Mozart said...

Not a whole lot to say, Mark, other than best of luck--with ballet, class, experience, life, and all that other good stuff. ;)

-Shanna

Mozart said...

Oh, and happy birthday! Don't party too hard...you've got finals, among other things!

Latesa said...

You're going to have such an amazing time over in Greece!! :)

PeterAtLarge said...

Nice piece, Mark. Congratulations on the turning point, and good luck with the travels. Do you plan to take your blog along with you? I hope so. Best of everything for the holiday season... and beyond!