301/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. Has anyone ever said something to you that has changed the way you think about life? I didn’t think it was possible but it happened to me about ten years ago. As has happened a few times over these gratitude posts, I don’t recall the person outright as in this case the person was a stranger in a meeting I was also attending but it’s what he said that stayed with me. The subject matter was about making changes in life and taking the first few steps. I learned a lot in that session but the most interesting thing came from this stranger. He made an observation that most people are afraid to make a change as they are “putting an ending into a beginning”. I thought it was an insightful remark but didn’t truly understand its meaning until about a year later. I had a very comfortable job at the school I taught at for about 15 years. Because of my Masters program at UBC, I applied for and was offered a job on contract for 3 years teaching beginning teachers how to teach. I couldn’t make the decision as I was worried about what would happen after the three years if I even lasted that long. Where would I end up teaching once I finished my contract was the big question that was standing in my way. Yes, it’s normal to question the beginning of change but I was so focused on the ending that I wouldn’t allow a beginning. I then understood what that stranger had meant. I was already deciding how the 3 years would end (or rather focusing on something that no one can predict) rather than focusing on other considerations. Once I stopped worrying about the end result, I could actually contemplate the start and by weighing things, I took on the job and it was an amazing experience. Yes, the ending wasn’t ideal to begin with – starting at a new high school that I wasn’t initially fond of but am happy with today. That stranger’s comment also helped with many other life decisions from trivial to monumental such as starting the writing of this blog to making the move to take a break from my relationship. I now live life by that motto – not putting an ending into a beginning – and have that stranger to thank.