I am in the midst of planning my exit strategy. I want to do this elegantly. Cleanly. I want to be a pillar. Exemplary. I have been messy and seditious and hurtful and full of misdirected anger in so many other aspects of my life. And in this I want to be mindful, concise. I want to find that balance between taking what is rightfully mine and not taking anything from anyone else. I believe in infinity so this should not be a win-or-lose proposition. There is a Zen koan that goes something like, Best not to begin, but once begun, best to finish.
When I was younger I thought, well, that sounds scrimpy, not to even begin. How lame. Get in there! Live life! Begin! Begin! Begin! (And begin that thing over there while you’re at it!) But now? Now I get it. Because once you start something, it tends to take on a life of its own. It gets its hooks in you. Friendships blossom. Lovers become demanding. Children…don’t even get me started.
I got lots of inspiration of the every-journey-begins-with-one-step variety while I was growing up. (Growing Up = up to and including now.) But where is the advice on the subtle finish? Whom do I speak to about the charming conclusion? No one. Because no one wants to admit failure. And for some reason, endings and failures have become synonymous in our sad little culture. Finishing without failing seems like something marketable. Something important.
I am not a good finisher. I just want to walk away and not look back. While everyone is still laughing. I don’t like the sound of soulful, meaningful departures.