On Endings

Ever since I was little, I’ve always hated when things would come to an end. It could have been an experience as big as a three-month summer camp, or something as small as a movie - it didn’t matter, I hated endings.

The worst part about it wasn’t even the ending itself, but the days or moments leading up to it. The moments that come before an ending are where the reflection happens, and for me it was the time when the immense joy for where I was set in and the attachment was at its strongest, making the end that was closing in even tougher to bear.

As my internship with Motley is nearing its close, these emotions are coming up all over again, except this time with a little bit of a twist.

After years and years of fearing change and the endings of experiences that I truly loved, I have started looking at endings from a different perspective. Instead of fearing that experience being over, I started imagining the ways that the experience would live on in my future. This mindset changed things. It transformed invading fear into unwavering appreciation, and deep sadness into joyous reflection.

This new mindset was perfectly reflected on an even larger scale through Motley’s mission to revitalize downtowns.

Working with towns struggling to find their voice showed that the fear of one chapter ending can be turned into the excitement of a new one starting. Motley enters communities with bright hopes and new ideas. They don’t see old towns as an end, but instead as an opportunity to rebuild using the most unique characteristics that the place has to offer.

This is an important lesson, not only for community developers and placemakers, but for all of us. It’s important to view ending in a positive light. To create a desire to find out what great things could lie right on the other side of an ending chapter. We must not fear the end, but know that they are placed intentionally on a path to beautiful change and valuable improvement.

And as for me, I am no expert at this yet. But I am working to love endings because just like an old town looks for a new direction to chart its future, I will carry with me where I have been into whatever places I get to call mine down the road.

— Lindsay