Beginnings are tough. At the beginning of 2017, I moved to Cambridge and (barely) knew four people there. I was in a new city, at a new school, with a new internship. Every conversation for a good month was riddled with small talk and introductions, constantly having to fall back into the same, rehearsed bios of who I am and how I got to where I was. Eventually, I actually got to know an amazing group of people, and by the end of my few months, I finally felt at home in my little community up north.
Now, I’m on the other side of Massachusetts in the Berkshires, and once again, I’m starting over. Except this time, it’s even harder to meet people. When I’m working in the office from 10am-6pm, the time and opportunity I have to make new friends is scarce. Whenever I’m on a break, the other apprentices are in class. And by the time I’m off, I’m exhausted and just want to curl up with a good book and some tea.
Beginnings are lonely. They never seem to get easier, and every step forward seems to be met with a pause. I wish there were an easy, step-by-step guide I could read to figure out just how to transition from the rocky beginning to the wonderful middle, but every beginning is new and brings its own challenges. And that, despite the hardships, is what makes them so exciting.
I realized that by the time the fall semester begins, I will have moved seven times in the span of one year. That’s a lot for anyone. But, I also realized that, when else in my life will I have the opportunity to explore so many different places, try so many different things, and meet so many different people? I have nothing holding me back, no commitments tying me down or keeping me in one place. I could do anything.
Looking back, if I had just stayed home in Maryland, where I was safe and everything was familiar, I would not have grown nearly as much as a person. I would not have nearly as many opportunities open to me. I don’t know who I would be if I had stayed, but I would not be who I am today.
And once I took the first leap of moving to Cambridge, the other leaps became easier and saying yes wasn’t as scary. Now, it feels as if I have the entire world just waiting to be discovered, as if everything is possible if I only try. Every time I make a new start, anything could happen.
Even though always starting over can be difficult, if I’ve learned anything, it’s that things take time, and patience is key. You can’t just sit around waiting for the world to happen to you—you have to go out and make things happen in the world.
And, with that, what theatre fan would I be if I didn’t drop some If/Then lyrics at the end of this post? Here are some lyrics from the song “Always Starting Over.”
If we’re always
Every brand new morning
Then we’re always
With the end in doubt
We can leave life for tomorrow
Or grieve all that we thought we’d do
Or make each moment new
All that has happened is happening now
All that might happen is here, somehow
All of the choices that made me, me
All of the accidents yet to be
All that’s ahead
And all that’s behind
It’s all in the moment
I make up my mind
And open my heart
What’s something you learned when you started over?
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