the beginning of the book

(A glimpse of my bookshelf. My job is withdrawing old books from the library; so I buy a lot of them for 25 cent.
They have REF stickers and big X marks. I feel it gives them a lot of personality.)

"We are at the beginning of the book."

Last night I had dinner at a great Chicago restaurant with a wonderful friend; we are both in periods of transition. We are also both people who feel things very deeply and have a tendency toward remembering everything that has ever happened in our lives and using those memories to torture ourselves. Last night, in a moment of catharsis and healing and growth and determination, I think we made a pact to take a different path.

Induced by two glasses of wine, I had a great awakening, and this morning I'm still pondering it. "We are at the beginning of the book," I said.

Sometimes, as humans, sad and terrible things happen. Oftentimes they are really sad and really terrible. And sometimes when those things happen, we start to believe we've already passed by the best chapters of our lives. We mourn and pine away for days gone by. I think there is so much to be said for honoring the past and cherishing how it has formed and influenced who we are. But it is a dangerous game we play with ourselves when it comes to carrying too much of that past with us into the present.

Regardless of what age a person might be or how many experiences or tragedies have occured, I'm starting to think maybe it's helpful for all of us to place ourselves at the beginning of the book. The previous pages all exist and have a precious place, but we are always moving forward to the next page. And there is always more forward to be moving into. Lots of it.

This morning, I am thankful for the early pages of my book, and I am especially thankful for all the pages ahead.

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