By: Annie Sragner, Arts and Life Editor
My favorite thing about autumn is watching the ripe-toned leaves twirl down from the trees to the ground. It feels like nature’s confetti that celebrates the last hoorah of life and growth before the lethal frost of the approaching winter.
Like the leaves, humans participate in a similar cycle of birth, growth and death. We face the same endings and beginnings, but luckily we get to experience more seasons.
Humans seem to view endings as undesirable crises or looming countdowns, but they are a natural part of all life. I have a hunch that the fear of endings is rooted in the fear of the unknown. There is a discomfort that comes along with the indefinite, and people usually dislike being kept in the dark about what to expect.
In life, we are only guaranteed to experience birth and death (and taxes, too), but what happens in between is just context for the story.
Between our beginnings and endings, it can seem like nothing ever goes exactly according to plan. Life is full of shocking updates, unexpected surprises and plot twists, but it is these turbulent circumstances test our decision-making process.
People often feel nostalgic or wistful when reminiscing on the past and anxious when looking to the future, but try not to panic if you notice that plans are unfolding differently than you expected. When life throws you a curveball or a tough choice, move forward with your mind and gut, not just your heart.
Even if you find yourself on the worst of paths, don’t passively unravel into a poorer situation. Even if it feels like it is too late and defeat is near, try to maintain your mindfulness and recognize the choices that come your way. We’re all in the driver’s seat of our destinations and our actions get us there.
Essentially, tell yourself that this tough phase will end up okay regardless of the current circumstances. Once you recognize this, drive in the direction of resolution. Expect unexpected roadblocks and changes in plans, but use your resources and past experience to get you through. Each phase of our lives is just a chapter in the story that comprises our identities.
Be thankful for each new chapter you get to write. What would you rather think at the end of your journey? “Nothing went exactly as I planned it,” or “Woohoo! What a wild ride!”