The only beginning is birth.

Really, there are no others. Everything after that is the middle.

Meeting new people. New friendship, new love. New jobs, new years. These are just the lesser beginnings - the ones that don’t change your age. You're still on the same clock. You haven’t started over.

I have spent periods of my life obsessed with the beginning. I’ve craved fresh starts and do-overs. But these things don't really exist. At the start of each fresh new page, the writer is still me. The habits are still mine. I’ve never looked desperately for change or reprieve and found it at the beginning of something. I’ve found it in the center of me.

In the middle of you, there is wisdom. There is experience. There’s history and intelligence and gut feelings. These things are hard-earned by time and shoveling your way out of the beginning and into something deeper.

The middle is your reward. The dense, obscure surprise of life. This is where everything happens. Where you use your head and your heart to make the best of every bent and broken situation (even the ones you didn't bend or break).

The middle is long. It’s the part between leaving a hospital in a car seat and coming back in that last ambulance. There’s plenty of material there, I think. Although you will be tempted to start over, remember in that (fruitless) attempt you’ll be continually forfeiting the beginning you’ve already had - damning yourself to be eternally ignorant. Forever inexperienced and always skipping the good part.