When I first set out to write this post two weeks ago, it was on the heels of finishing The Dark Tower, the final book in Stephen King’s series by the same name. In this final installment he tackles the topic of endings very directly:
Endings are heartless.
Ending is just another word for goodbye.
He knew how hard it was going to be. How tough it was for us readers to say goodbye to the characters we’d fallen in love with. And he was right. Over the course of 4,488 pages (and for me, just over eight and a half months), I found myself completely absorbed and transported into his weird, wild, Dark Tower universe. Leaving that world, frankly, kind of hurts.
But now—having taken some time to reflect on “endings”—I find that I disagree with King rather strongly. It’s not goodbye, it’s hello.
Sure, I said “goodbye” to the Dark Tower series. But in the two weeks since, I’ve said hello to Frank Herbert’s Dune, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, David Foster Wallace’s Consider the Lobster, and Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle is the Way.
I said goodbye to one mammoth series, yes, but I’m also saying hello to some tremendous works that I’ve been wanting to tackle for years. I’ll start Infinite Jest in June. After that, I’m thinking about either Alan Moore’s Jerusalem or Hilary Mantel’s Cromwell trilogy. In the nonfiction world, I’ve started Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Incerto series and just barely dipped my toe into Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
And in other realms of my life, I’ve said goodbye to various bits of indecision and stress, and hello to new opportunities. I’ve been volunteering locally offering “tech support” to those who need it—including spinning up a simple website for our local school’s summer programs and connecting local businesses with relevant folks I’ve met in my career to help tackle challenges they’re facing this year. And I’m considering jumping in over the coming weeks with a few opportunities to learn, network, and grow as I set a course for what’s next in my career.
Finally, I’m also saying goodbye to WordPress. It’s been mostly a hate-hate relationship, and I’m ready to build an online home that meets my needs and doesn’t feel like a chore. So if you don’t see me here much for the next few weeks, it’s because I’m hard at work building some new and better. (Note: I've since jumped to Ghost and I am so very happy with the change.)
Lots of goodbyes? Maybe. But I’m focusing on the hellos. For that, I am grateful.