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Endings or Disguised Beginnings?

My friend Natalie and I caught up on the phone last week, the bulk of our conversation about the people we know currently going through a change, whether a job, relationship or even moving.

“This seems to be the year of endings,” said Natalie, who then named six people she knows who are divorcing, their ages ranging from 25 to 65. “Either they jumped in too soon or-”

“They finally had enough,” I finished her sentence for her.

Whether you’re dealing with the end of a relationship, a career, or even just making a shift in your life, though the process can be daunting, there’s a catch to endings: they’re also a chance for new beginnings. A chance to start over, to do it right, or simply try something new.

That doesn’t make change any less scary. Many avoid it, fearful they’ll never find another partner or job or (fill in the blank). So they remain in a situation “that’s okay, not great.” But what if you knew that as hard as it was to take that leap, you were guaranteed a soft landing? Would you then jump without a second thought?

Years ago I made that leap. Truthfully, I was pushed. I’d been living in a two-bedroom with my Uncle Mark in the Bronx when he (lovingly) told me it was time we lived on our own. So I chose to move into a shoebox. Friends and family told me I was nuts. At first I wasn’t sure they were wrong. Not only was I living in a space slightly larger than most people’s walk-in closets, but I quit my high-paying job so I could finish writing my first book, leaving me solely responsible for my own health coverage, not to mention, living alone in New York City.

Turns out, it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Any significant change may appear out of reach, but often it’s not. Journeys begin with one simple step. Then another. And another. And even if you never reach the destination, at least you tried. Which is really what the journey is all about.

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