No, “begindings” is not a word.
It’s a lifestyle brand I’m trying to launch.
If I remember correctly, my first-ever column as a young shadowy-eyed skeptic part-time reporter at the Greene County Daily World was titled, “On Beginnings and Endings.” That was in June 2017, a month after graduating from Indiana State University with my bachelor’s in journalism and two months after getting married to my husband, Kegan, on my birthday.
My last column with GCDW in October 2018 was titled, “On Endings and Beginnings.”
Oh, boy. A lot has happened.
So, to further the play on words, I give you the nonsense title, “On Begindings.”
As I write this, the entire world is in flux. More so than usual, it seems, so what better time to introduce strange words into the lexicon?
I wish I could say my time away from the Daily World was filled with adventure and enrichment; that I networked and forged everlasting friendships; that I succeeded so hard that everyone who looked at me was struck temporarily blind by awe.
No. That is not how your twenties work. I learned a lot of difficult lessons, more than once because I didn’t “get” them the first time, and they all came as a box of hilarious anecdotes dipped in special dark chocolate trauma.
As you can see, my time away from GCDW was so bad that every time I try to speak frankly about it, I almost immediately start joking about it as a way to cope.
Although, I did go to Hawaii. I worked in closer proximity to tactical vehicles than I probably had any right to and I tortured my husband with my homemade attempts at Bulgarian sarma and burek.
All my life, I have wanted to write. I have always written. Growing up, it was a type of fun and self-expression that cost nothing. It helped me to make sense of the world around me, which was often scary and unpredictable, and still does--whether I’m trying to write a brief poem in Onegin stanza or trying to boil a probable cause affidavit down to a few hundred words. I enjoy breaking down subjects, especially history and science, and explaining them to a general audience. I love learning new things.
I like to write far-future renaissance Balkan fantasy in my spare time, complete with constructed languages, and the amount of research that is necessary to write fiction that rings true is overwhelming. Fiction is another method of writing that has been relied upon, since the beginning of time, to help people make sense of things: how the earth was made, why we fall in love, why I am haunted by a heartbeat beneath my floorboards. Fiction is often much harder to write than non-fiction. Non-fiction is harder to read. And often, you have to read a dollar store romance novel or loot your DVR for “Supernatural” re-runs to make yourself feel better after reading or watching the news.
If Dean and Sammy can avert the apocalypse and return from the dead too many times to count, and look darn cute doing it, then hey--you can get through whatever this is.
My point is, truth is the foundation of all good writing.
Anyway, this isn’t the first time my life has corrected course unexpectedly. And each diversion has brought me closer to finding my voice. I used to think my voice was 20-dollar words and the illusion that I knew everything important there was to know--but apparently, it’s as honest as I can be, to a fault, and I hope a little funny.
Life comes full circle so often, it’s really nothing but “begindings” and “endginnings.”