In July of 2005, I returned home to find there had been a fire in my apartment. I felt like my entire world had been destroyed, and I was left to start over. A few weeks ago, I was on my way home, and my street was completely closed due to a large fire on my block. I thought: Not again. Luckily for me, it wasn’t my building, but for the two buildings affected by the fire, those people are essentially starting over.
Because of the fire, starting over seems like the worst possible thing, but I’m learning it can be constructive. For instance, I was writing a novel, and then it was going nowhere, so I started over. The entire thing. And, miraculously, it’s going somewhere.
Or, this year, I’m teaching a new grade in a new classroom. It is my eleventh year of teaching, and I feel like it’s my first. But I’ll use this new beginning to challenge myself. And hopefully, in the end, I’ll be better for it.