Whenever I finish a manuscript, there is nothing more satisfying than typing the last sentence. While I don’t officially write “The End” on the page, there is a finality to that last period that signifies my journey is done. As a Romance author, my books always have a happily ever after. While the road there is never easy, I love seeing where the characters take me and how they overcome obstacles to wind up where they are meant to be.
Ironically, when I write I typically start with the ending. I have a premise and I know how the story will end–it’s the middle that I need to fill in, and sometimes, the beginning. There’s comfort in knowing how things will turn out. It’s the unknown that is often scary. I entered into the unknown last week. For the past two years, I’ve worked at a startup. It was fast-paced and challenging, but it was an invigorating experience. It’s rare you have the opportunity to help build a company from the ground up. As a marketer, I’m grateful I had the chance to shape brands that touch people’s lives.
About a year ago my company announced a merger–we were being bought out. It was positioned as two complementary companies coming together, but unlike my books, mergers always don’t have happy endings. And with my case, they were looking to scale back the Marketing department to eliminate redundancies. It’s been a long journey and while I anticipated the outcome, it’s still hard when that anticipation becomes reality, especially during these uncertain times.
Less than a week in I’m already on my search for what’s next. I have a new book launching in the next month, I’m trying to help my kids with e-learning, train our new puppy, and find a new job. That’s a lot of new things at once. My plate may be full, but I’m still restless. It’s the unknown. As much as I’m trying to embrace my new beginning, I don’t know how things will turn out and where I’ll land next. For someone who always likes to maintain a sense of control, it’s hard to manage the uncertainty.
So for now I’m taking one day at a time. I’ve always loved the song “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield. We go on countless journeys and often wind up in places we didn’t expect. In some cases we can’t control the ending, but we can control how we deal with the obstacles. We can either let them deter us or figure out a way to move past them. I choose the latter. Starting over is both scary and exhilarating, and it’s a necessary first step. Whenever I write a new chapter it feels as if it’s a clean slate. It’s one small part of the bigger picture. This is but one moment in time, the ending unplanned. It’s still unwritten. I’m moving on to a new chapter in search of my next happily ever after. This time I won’t know the ending beforehand, but I look forward to a new beginning.