start/finish

Life is a cycle, right? Sometimes it’s like laundry – you find you are doing the same thing again and again.

There are also life events that start and finish over and over, yet the in between is different.

Take school. Over the past 17 years, I’ve had many beginnings and endings regarding schooling and educational settings.

In 2002, I went to college and took a one year intensive course to become an Educational Assistant/Teaching Assistant.

Start. Finish.

I started and finished working at two different schools for my practicums.

I began working in the school system and started and finished eleven school years. In that time, I started and finished at seven different schools (one school – my favourite – two different times, and one school for only a month).

That’s a lot of working relationships to start and finish. And, harder yet, bonds with students that start and finish, often abruptly due to higher needs trumping that relationship.

In 2014, I started to finish (?) my undergrad degree. I had started it 34 years prior, and thought it was time to wrap it all up. I started and finished three years of courses.

And I thought I was done with McMaster, but then I started and finished working on an archeology project. And somehow, I’ve started on it again.

Last January, I started something else. I started taking creative writing courses. I don’t know when I started writing, but I have never been consistent about it. Until now – and every day, I write.

I was pondering the reasons why I didn’t do this before, or do writing as my degree. I always said I wanted to finish my degree and I always said I wanted to write.

Why didn’t I do them in tandem?

The answer came to me and I felt it deep in my bones. Until I told ‘my story’, I wasn’t going to be able to write anything else. The #metoo movement gave me the impetus to write it down and I can now recognize that once that boulder (mountain?) was moved aside, the ability to write other things has been allowed to flow.

So, I am not sure that I am finished with that particular story – I did submit it to a non-fiction contest last winter and I also submitted it for an assignment. But it is no longer the thing that stands between me and other ideas.

My courses for the spring session are done and summer is here. I am perusing the fall calendar and writing down all the ideas that pour out of my head – bits and pieces of paper with points of view, characters, settings.

And I’m writing. Every chance I get.

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