They’re devastating things, beginnings — but incoherently beautiful. There is void of a million possibilities and you don’t know for sure how it’s going to end and I think that is one of the main reasons all of us are so frightened. Beginnings are nature’s way of giving us a clean, unbiased perspective. A lot of times, beginnings entail new experiences, like a baby’s first steps or a student’s first night away from home. We have expectations and anticipations as to what these experiences may be like. The baby may be expected to fall down or feel pain in his legs. The student may expect to party excessively but ultimately our memories start with a clean slate and remain untainted by our imagination and intuitions.
Often, these beginnings are unpredictable. They’re forced upon us and we have no choice but to face them, they barge into our lives in the most terrifying yet galvanizing way. It might be the start to something you’ve been waiting for your whole life or something that causes you an unimaginable amount of trepidation; either way you might as well make the starting of this unexpected experience something that exhilarates every cell in your physical being, makes your heart pound like it’s going to tear your chest apart because, honestly, if this is what commencing the experience makes you feel like — it’s worth every drop of your blood and sweat.
This is the beginning.
Almost anything can happen.
This is where you find
The creation of light, a fish wriggling onto land,
The first word of Paradise Lost on an empty page.
Think of an egg, the letter A,
A woman ironing on a bare stage
As the heavy curtain rises.
This is the very beginning.
Billy Collins managed to bring such an optimistic and refreshing perspective to beginnings, but I feel like most of us always go back to that feeling of uncertainty. When I started writing this piece, there were so many questions that ran through my mind. Would it be worth reading? Should the first sentence be something so unbelievably beautiful? Would people want to continue reading it? Would this finally be worth the while or just another useless draft? I really don’t know all the answers to that and I don’t think a lot of us will ever know the answers to so many of the questions that haunt our brains before starting something new. I guess my advice to you is something that was meticulously articulated by Arthur Ashe :
Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
Written by Meghna Gaddam
Edited by Panu Hejmadi