You are never back at the beginning

whirl and reach out

We shall never cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time. – T.S. Eliot

You say to me, “I can’t believe this, but I had a look at my old notes, and this new idea I’ve had for this course is actually an idea I had, like, two years ago!”

You say to me, “I’m so embarassed to tell you this, but I’ve realised where I actually want to be is back in my Day Job.”

You say to me, “I’m back at the first business idea I came up with! Why do I have to be so indecisive?”

You tell me this like I’m supposed to pick you up by the scrap of the neck and shake you like a puppy, yelling. As if you are the puppy, sitting shamefaced next to a spreading patch of dampness on the rug.

But you (and T.S. Eliot, except not really) are wrong. You aren’t coming back to the same place. You haven’t gone wandering off to end back where you came from.

Because progress is a spiral, remember? You are coming back to a place that feels familiar, because it’s the same spot on the spiral.

Except this time… you’re a level further up.

This time you have the resources to actually implement the idea you had two years ago.

This time you can articulate the problems that urged you to leave your Day Job in the first place, and know how to make sure they don’t happen again.

This time you’ve quietly filled in the tiny holes in your plan so the new business is actionable.

It’s working. It’s working.

You’re doing it right.

Now go away and kick some more ass.

Creative Commons License photo credit: procsilas

  • “it’s working.”  

    when i hear things i’ve needed to hear as badly as needing water after two days in the desert it never fails to strike me how simple they are.  and how it completely doesn’t work to tell them to myself, and how the moments of needing to hear them can turn into ages of drama if i don’t get those words and i don’t get some treatment of calm, grounded presence.  

    what we do for each other, the way to hold space and encourage, can be so plain and simple and ordinary that we forget to do it – forget that it matters, has impact, is soooo essential.  really, when was the last time you thought of handing someone a glass of water as saving their life?  

    what i like about you, Catherine the awesome, is that you remember to pass the glass.  you remember that these little sips of clear water are what keep the system running well. 

    much love, 
    E.

  • My therapist used to say this to me when I was pissed about coming up against the same issue after thinking I’d “handled” it. She described it as a mountain – but same concept.

  • It’s down to Heraclitus’s ‘you can never step in the same river twice’ thing, isn’t it? That’s only been around for 2,500 years.  🙂

    Funny how we’ve advanced so far technologically, but when it comes to stuff like this, not so much.

    • Although you could argue that nowadays we start on a much higher level of the spiral, in part thanks to people like Heraclitus…

  • Thank you. 🙂 :>
    As often, your timing is sublime. 🙂 :>

    *back to pondering*

    • It always is with articles that pop fully-formed into my head when I wake up.

  • I burst into tears at the last line.  My last few weeks have been spend in unconscious (and conscious, if I’m honest) turmoil about how people outside are perceiving my biz, how to proceed with things, what, if anything, I’m doing right.  What I need right now, I’ve just realized, is someone I look up to to tell me I’m doing it right.  Thank you.

  • TS Eliot was possibly the first man to make me swoon.

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