I am writing this post some thirty thousand feet above the ground, seat 16A. A few moments ago, we flew over the snow-capped, Swiss Alps and I found myself day-dreaming of June, when I will be hiking up them with my mom. But for now, I am heading towards London with a promise of rain and a sad low of 9 °C.
For the past hour and a half, I have been writing the last chapter of my novel, hoping to compose its very last word while cruising the skies. You have to admit that would be something to remember. Alas, it will probably have to happen behind my desk, or in a quirky café around Greenwich Market. One thing is certain however, I will finish it and the thought itself – that of a completed first draft – makes my heart swell.
The truth is, I have rarely (dare I say never) finished anything I have started. I can hear my mom, on the rare occasions I exasperate her, repeating this one sentence over and over again, like a broken record. “Finish what you started” – the chorus of my adolescent years. I started playing the piano and gave it up after 13 years of an intense relationship with classical music. I started making hand-painted lamps and quickly lost the enthusiasm. I started the TEFL course to teach English abroad and still haven’t completed it. I could carry on, but you get the gist.
Cabin crew, prepare the cabin for landing. Ironically, it looks like I won’t be finishing this post now. The view from the window is all clouds and no sky. London awaits in the gloom. The seatbelt sign has just turned on with a soft ping, we will be touching down soon.
*Back at my desk, sipping a much needed afternoon coffee*
Having been forced to pause my writing, I have had the time to reflect on my words and I realise that there are two reasons why we don’t finish what we start:
These can be mishaps, setbacks that get in the way, planes preparing to land or in one word – life. They can be perfectionism, procrastination, fear, doubt, financial troubles, bad luck… you name it. These are things that, like nearly any obstacle, can be overcome. They will require a great deal of patience, perhaps even sacrifices and determination. But sooner or later, things fall into place and what was begun will be completed.
2. Passion (or lack thereof)
I have been trying to find myself ever since I graduated from university. For many, this is an achievement in itself, something to be proud of and consider as a “finished” task and although this is all true, graduation is not finishing. It is starting. It is going for a ride, unsure of the destination. I have been on this ride for nearly three years now and looking back, there is a lot that is left unfinished. But unlike reason No. 1, this is not because of life, it is because I didn’t have enough drive and motivation to finish them. Because they didn’t come from within. Because they were distractions from what really mattered, from those things that make my heart race and stretch my lips into a smile. Music. And writing.
All you need to do, is sift through it all.