I’m so close to finishing my Bachelor of Social Work degree for which I’ve been studying for three years. Now, as the days of my student placement draw to a close and all of my essays and written work are finally done and dusted, I feel a mixture of emotions, both positive and negative and everything in between.
Frank Herbert must have understood this too. He wrote ‘There is no real ending, it’s just the place where you stop the story’. As did Emily Griffin (Love the one you’re with), as reflected in her words ‘He nods, as if to acknowledge that endings are almost always a little sad, even when there’s something to look forward to on the other side.’ My favourite quote is this:
‘Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending.’ (Carl Bard).
Journeys happen in many ways and yes, they do always have to come to an end. My studies have been intensely life-changing for me and have taken me on a journey (as clichéd as this sounds) of self-discovery. Before I enrolled in social work I was under the illusion that my life career was as a secondary school teacher, though many signs were showing me I was barking up the wrong tree. In fact, what I really needed to do was get to know myself – my weaknesses and my strengths.
I needed time to find out why I am like I am and who I want to be, as well as what I really have to offer the world. Entering into my new career of social work has allowed me to finally be who I really am and it’s taken a lot of tears to get here. I have had to face the truth about what I wanted, take huge risks in my personal life which still bear the scars and throw myself into life with complete abandon. My studies and my employment challenge me every day to move out of my comfort zones and into the lives of others, where I have learnt so much that I could have never learned within the confining walls of a classroom.
So though it’s ending, I’m stepping off the train as the real me – no pretence, no trying to be someone who I really am not and what a way to end! It is, too, a continuing journey, indeed the story has not yet stopped, and I plan to enter my forties with enthusiasm, passion and joy. So let’s raise a glass to endings!Sue Oaks copyright 2012