Conclusions. Life is full of them, writes Emma Wood. Things ending to allow for other things to begin.
My history teacher always taught us, hammered into us, that a good essay always finishes strong. Her tip: Always think long and hard about the point you want to make before you start writing, so that everything ties together wonderfully in the end.
I’ve applied Mrs Arentz’s theory about a good essay to my life.
I like to relate to people, to situations, with it all already figured out. I’m happy to share my struggles as long as I have a lesson to show for them. I’ll gladly part with my thoughts, feelings, emotions, provided I no longer feel them. If I’ve had a rough day, I won’t speak of my rough day until I reach the evening and can say “I had a rough day, but that’s over now”.
I love to conclude. I love figuring out what a situation has taught me. I love getting to the bottom of things. I’ve always lived my life that way.
At the moment, what I’m going through has no conclusion. It’s not over. I can’t wrap it up in a “bad day” bundle and draw out a lesson. I do not understand most of my thoughts. I’m vulnerable, and I don’t know what today’s meals have to hold.
I’ve been diagnosed with anorexia. I have an eating disorder. I was going to wait to tell the world this until I was better. Until I was over the hurdle.
But here I am.
Hopeful stories, I’ve always thought, end on a positive note. Hope can only be learnt once the story is over. But surely hope isn’t needed at the end? Hope is for the story, it’s what helps us move forward. Waiting for a conclusion isn’t going to help us learn to live through it.
Some days, I feel hopeful. As I return to a healthy bmi, I feel more joy, more energy, more myself. Other days, hope is not what I feel. There is no light at the end of the tunnel.
On these days, it’s the people around me who I’ve shared my unconcluded story with who carry the hope for me. Who edge me on.
So hope. For the sake of those in our city who can’t. Hope. So they can too.