Blog Post


17 August ·


Still not fully awake, I sit at the table and press the ‘power’ button on my laptop. My favourite mug steaming freshly prepared coffee in my right hand, I wait for my cluttered computer to start up. I take the first slurp of coffee and greet the new day with a smile. And I start thinking... about September, or rather Septembers: another beginning - another school year; new groups to be tamed; new books to be brought to life; new possibilities and new challenges. I feel overpowered by a surge of emotions I know only too well. It’s a blend of excitement about all the wonderful new moments quivering in the air, waiting for their chance to come to life and of panic that I am unable to fully comprehend, but I do know that it has always accompanied the excitement of new Septembers. As well as all other beginnings, as a matter of fact.

Is it just me, I wonder, or do others also suffer from nerves when faced with a September? I don’t know. But I do know a person who took years to adopt a dog they had wanted for a long time. I also know a person who has found it impossible to say ‘goodbye’ to a failing relationship and let something new, fresh and beautiful into their life. Then, I know someone who had been stuck in a pretty lousy job for an incredibly long time, believing that there was no way they could make the step towards change. The list goes on and on. There are people out there who want to learn how to dance, sew, speak a language, draw – people I know who are facing new beginnings, or have finally found themselves at a beginning. It seems, then, that others also have their Septembers, their beginnings. It seems that others feel the same about them and can get frozen when confronted with one. And when they finally start walking on a path, other people are also confused trying to push through the chaos of beginnings and reach a place with just a bit more stability.

“I wonder why” – I can almost hear the voice of the curious little girl inside me. As she lifts her little head to see and understand, a wave of emotion comes over me, bringing with it the memories of my beginnings. Why is it that beginnings affect us the way they do? I believe it’s because there is a lining to every beginning. These linings are places where we pause. Places where our old skin – our old habits, old job, old relationships, old beliefs – becomes too tight. We realise that it is/they are making it difficult for us to breathe, and we start considering if there could be any other options. And standing there at the lining of a beginning, almost incapable of breathing in an old, worn-out shirt or wearing shoes we find it impossible to throw away, despite the hole in the sole (a hole we only become aware of when we feel our feet are getting wet), we unbutton the collar and undo one shoelace. We can now breathe and insights start reaching us. We already know what to do next – that understanding has been in our hearts for a while, waiting patiently. But, the problem is not what to do, it’s how to do it.

How do you unbutton that shabby shirt down to the very last hole, the one missing its button, and then fold it? How do you take off that shoe which now perfectly fits your foot... and then the other one as well, the one with a hole in its sole... take them and put them together with the folded shirt... then take a plastic bag and put these things, which have been there for you for so long, in that bag? And later that day, when you set off for your worn out job, how do you take that bag and, before getting on the bus, put it into a dumpster... and silently, so that no one can hear you (for what might people think of you!), say: “Goodbye! And thank you!” How do you do all that? Because, you can never be sure that a new pair of shoes will ever fit your foot so perfectly – can you? Will you ever be able to find a shirt which will suit you so well? And it’s at that spot exactly that we can get stuck for ages, putting the shoes into the bag and back on the shelf. If we are not careful, we can stay there for a really long time (maybe forever!), with mixed feelings, wishing for a new beginning and fretting over all the unknown things ahead of us.

The last puzzle piece falls into place with the last sip of coffee and I suddenly understand my September panic. It is the fear of the unknown! The linings of beginnings are the endings of the old things we know. The lining of new possibilities is danger that it might be too difficult, that it won’t be the way we imagined, or that we will simply miss the old things that we knew so well... the old US that we knew. But then, a very simple law of nature takes the panic and anxiety away, leaving peace and just a little bit of motivational excitement. The place where we pause, with one shoe in our hand and the other one in the plastic bag, is not a place where we can stay forever. It isn’t good for us to stay there too long, either. Also, if we mean well to ourselves, it isn’t possible to go back. The road only takes us forward, and embracing new beginnings is actually the only possibility. It is OK to stay there for a while and look at the old shoes, shirt, job, relationship, beliefs with respect. It is OK to feel gratitude for the old things which have led us to this place where new things begin. “Thanks to you, I am what I am now – THANK YOU. But the time has come for me to say goodbye to you and make a step forward into the unknown”, I tell my old Septembers. “I want to move on and go forward, this is the only possible direction”, I tell myself and turn to the new September beckoning me.

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Svet reči je osnovan 2009. godine sa željom da kulturu učenja stranih jezika predstavi kao sastavni i neophodni deo života.


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