“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning,” British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said in a speech following the second battle of El Alamein. It was the first major success for the Allies since the war had begun in 1939.
I’ve been thinking a lot the past couple of days about my own “end of the beginning.” I’m not referring to war or great struggle unless that’s how you view life itself. No, I’ve come to the end of my beginning as it were. Adulthood has finally reared its ugly head in full force.
This week marks the last week of my senior year at UNC. It probably marks the end of my formal education. After 17 years of schooling, I being shoved straight out of the nest and into the rest of my life. This shove is a little harder than usual thanks to a wild end to my senior year and facing what might be the worst global economic situation in 90 years.
I thought I’d be prepared. I was planning on saying goodbye to so many people. I planned on enjoying all the traditions in April marking my exit from the beginning. I planned on leaping straight into the beyond, job in hand.
I haven’t seen anyone outside my family in over a month. April was, in essence, canceled. Starting May 11th, I’m officially unaffiliated and unemployed. So much for planning.
But that’s life for you. Don’t get me wrong it sucks, but it’s not all that bad. Heck life has already thrown a few curve balls at me. And since this is the beginning, I’m sure I have a lot more coming my way.
I take comfort in knowing one thing though. Without the pits of life, how could I ever enjoy the highs?
This end is also a beginning for crying out loud! The grand middle, the meat of the rest of my existence lies before me. So many adventures. So many tragedies. So many great highs. So many great lows. It is exhilarating. It is terrifying. But it’s life!
I’ve been fighting through this end, constantly uttering one phrase: “It is what it is.” After all, nothing is promised to us. A fact of life I think I’ve learned well these past two decades. Am I ready to end my beginning? No. Will I be alright on the other side? Yes.
Happy Last Week of Classes, UNC.