The End Of A Chapter, Not The End Of The World

Do you dread changes? Who can avoid changes? Seasons change, things change, people change, businesses change. People come and people go. The truth is no two days are the same. As our situations continue to fluctuate, it’s quite scary to think that what we have today may well run away from us tomorrow. Whether we’re the ones who call the shots or not, there’ll bound to be a time when life unfavourably turns upside down or decides to go its own separate way. Unfortunate life events like a relationship break-up, a redundancy, a health scare etc. can mess up with our mental health and affect our outlook on life. Remember when last time it happened? How did you cope with it? Did it seem like forever? Did you see it as the end of a chapter or the end of the world? How did you finally get out of it?

Personally, I’m easy to fall prey to that black-and-white thinking pattern and get myself into a position where I see no light at the end of tunnel. Does it sound all too familiar? I don’t think I’m alone in this. Looking back at my past troubles, I remember how I sat on the floor in my living room thinking if I can go on another day, another night. It’s funny now I’m speaking in the present (continuous) tense, I can be quite casual about it. Yes, I did go on another day, another night but not without struggles.

What comes to your mind when you hear the word struggle? For me, I automatically associate it with the grieving process. The grieving process sounds heavy but he isn’t a bad boy by any definition. He just needs you to honour him and give some attention to his crying out loud voice. That’s all he asks for. We know that process is unarguably painful but utterly necessary for survival and recovery even though we don’t want to admit it. The best analogy I can use is it’s like you get a severe sunburn, the aftermath is the skin is trying to shed its old layer before the new layer has a chance to grow.

Here I am writing this post to tell the world that it’s the end of a chapter, not the end of the world. I’m sure if you’ve been there and done that, then you’ll know it’s true. You’ll also agree that the grieving process is part of the package, therefore it should be respected, not be played down or ridiculed by any means. It’s OK we all do it differently in the process. Looking at people around me, a colleague of mine was made redundant last week. As soon as he was told to leave, he became quite upset and withdrawn. At the end, he chose to go quietly and that was his way of “coming to terms” with the reality. Then, another colleague of mine is in the transition of getting divorced. For months she’s handled her relationship breakup like “it’s a business as usual”, so well that none of us in the office has noticed anything unusual about her broken marriage. She’s just one of those people that doesn’t like to show vulnerability in public. Two different people, two different reactions. No big deal. As much as we’d like to help people in their grieving process, they need time and space, not words full of cliché like “life goes on” or “you’ll be fine”. They won’t be taken in seriously because it’s meaningless.

As we finish off one chapter and prepare to step into the next chapter whether it’s a new job or a new relationship, what we’ll carry over is a new set of standards or better quality control so to speak. From there, things start to look up and I’ve seen evidence of successful transformation in numerous cases among my friends and ex coworkers. As for me, one thing I’ve learned in my own grieving process is the notion of expect the unexpected. Whether there’s something pleasant or unpleasant in store, with a “no expectations” mindset, it does get easier, come what may. It’s not about lowering the standards, it’s about not being controlled by the uncontrollable.

Now this post is about to draw to a close. Yes, all posts must come to an end. I thought I’d include a photo of a beautiful sunset over Sydney Harbour taken by myself, with a narrative: The reason why people keep falling in love with sunset is because it doesn’t last… Tomorrow, there’ll be a sunrise, a new chapter. Watch this space!

Thanks for reading. Catch ya in the next post soon!

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