"There should have been a better farewell. But in the end, there never is. And we take what meagre scraps we can find."
- Richard K. Morgan
Positivity is used to soothe the distressing voidness from endings. It is thus natural to see exaggerated positivity during those scenes. The temporary illusion of sadness at these moments makes goodbyes difficult. Thus farewells are usually awkward and regretful. Numerous promises are made, only to be forgotten over time. Although end is another name of beginning ,a beginning can’t completely replace the ending. Especially, people are irreplaceable. As life moves on, we are forced to keep only a selected few from each chapter of our lives. This is a meagre scrap, considering the uncountable moments of each chapter. In a few weeks, current seniors would graduate, and mark the end of their years at Berkeley. Several of whom I shared memorable moments with, will choose who to keep in their lives. This quote made me wish that I be a proud scrap to them, saying a farewell for not too long.
“I hate endings. Just detest them. Beginnings are definitely the most exciting, middles are perplexing, and endings are a disaster. The temptation towards resolution, towards wrapping up the package, seems to me a terrible trap.”
– Sam Shepard
I too hate endings. The feeling of completion is inevitably accompanied by at least some shred of regret. As one approaches these moments packaged as endings, one cannot help but ponder about all the mistakes made along the way. It may be forgetting that one friend’s birthday, that quiz you didn’t study for and failed, that night you didn’t go out while your friends had fun. We regret even more so than right after we made those mistakes themselves because only at the end do we truly look back and stare the aftermath of our past actions in the face. Middles are perplexing because in that moment, our actions seem comparatively insignificant. Not because they really amount to more at the end but because we intentionally overlook them until we get there. By any real measure, there is no true ending until the day we die, only pauses and restarts, but by labelling certain times as “ends,” we give ourselves license to push back retrospection. In fact, just the knowledge of an ending approaching somewhere in the horizon compels us to table our concerns and qualms for later, to face them collectively at the end.
On one hand, I realize that confronting our actions at each turning point would take a toll. On the other hand, this prevailing feeling of reaching some inevitable end at which we finally turn back to see where we were heading, seems even more hard-hitting. By then, we can do nothing but regret, only promise better things at new beginnings and middles. It is this unavoidable feeling of helplessness that scares me about times we call endings. I want to look back and fix things as I go, but I inevitably end up leaving that for the end. But perhaps that is what makes them necessary; A moment that forces you to confront the collective result of your actions since the exciting beginning and through the perplexing middle, so that maybe at the next pause, you won’t feel as helpless.
"All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time."
– Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet In Heaven
If you’re going through college or past that phase of your life, you’ve probably had your share of endings. Some of those endings made for good memories, some bad ones. Some are way in the past, some you are still hung up on. Some people take it hard, others are quick to transition from it. But one thing that applies to all of us is that life goes on. Time is a miraculous thing: it takes us to places – places in the world, places in our minds – we never would have imagined we’d be. If you know deep down that you have not tried your best and therefore will have regrets, transitioning from an end to a beginning might be particularly hard. If not, then you are that much more ready to take in whatever that might come next. Either way, you cannot possibly create a concrete plan of your life today, let alone of your next few days. Things come and go, and the only thing you can do is to try your best to give as much of yourself as possible in all that you do.
“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
I like this quote because it’s easy to understand and tells you to keep pushing through your obstacles without letting go or giving up. There are times when life gets hard, and it just feels as if it’s falling apart like a cup that’s overflowing with water. However, life will present you with both ups and downs and no matter how shitty it seems there’s going to be good things that come as long as you keep your mind open. A negative mindset can be worse than the things around you.
This quote doesn’t have a profound meaning to me—it just keeps me going!
"My intent was to carry out my duty as a doctor, to end their suffering. Unfortunately, that entailed, in their cases, ending of the life."
- Jack Kevorkian
Twenty five words with incredible weight. We take a case such as that of a doctor- whose job is to revive and not to decimate, and ask ourselves an interesting question. Why do human beings have such a disaffinity for the idea of "the end"? Is it moral to prematurely end something before it's due time? In my opinion, closing certain chapters of our lives does just as this quote says- ends suffering. It allows us to return to our true individual and create new networks of self growth and see life in ways we never did before. It allows us to make a decision. There is no moral compass to steer you in all directions of your life, and so you must value your own judgement, as the collection of these judgements ultimately determines your life. I advise those who fret to allow the end to bring you closer to another beginning.
"The end of a melody is not its goal: but nonetheless, had the melody not reached its end it would not have reached its goal either. A parable."
- Friedrich Nietzsche
Is life like a melody? Or no?
We'd certainly like to think that we are incessantly striving towards a goal that lifts up with every new stage of our lives. I personally really relate with this quote that life is rather more like a negative parabola in which we, at some point along it, reach our goal that we've been frantically trying to achieve, upon then where we reside - coming back to the root of things - with realization of the simple things that used to really matter coming back to us.