I remember the first time my parents told me we were moving. I was eleven turning twelve, about to start 6th grade. Up to that point, nothing had really changed in my life. I'd lived in the same apartment, gone to the same school and church, had many of the same friends. The idea of moving even 2 hours away seemed like the scariest thing in the world.
Note: For you youngins we didn't have internet back then—we were lucky to have a computer! I played a lot of Where In The World Is Carmen San Diego. So no, there really was no way to keep in touch with friends save the good ol' letter. And we all know how that turns out.
Sure, I was excited to finally have my own room. Sharing with two sibling was rough. And there were some people that, let's face it, I would be happy to never see again. Like Brian, the boy who stole my first kiss, though I still say it doesn't count. But it still felt like a death sentence.
Anyway, that move was my first official fresh start. It pushed me out of my comfort zone, brought good and bad things/people, and ultimately shaped a big part of who I am. I may have only spent three years in Brentwood, CA, before moving to Utah, but that fresh start taught me something:
Moving on can be a great thing.
I've had many fresh starts since that first one. Moving to Utah, finishing junior high and then high school, going to college, moving in with different roommates, getting married, having a baby or two. Each came with hard things, but also wonderful and happy things. I've come to really love the fresh start now, because it's almost like an adrenaline rush or something.
What will happen?
Who will I meet?
How will I handle what comes of this?
It's exciting! That nervous, scary, potentially awesome exciting we all know—anticipation. I used to hate anticipation, but now I've learned enough to know that things have a way of working out. Never in the way you imagine, but they do. Actually, it usually turns out cooler and crazier than you thought.
With the coming New Year, I've been thinking a lot about fresh starts, and I've decided it's time for another. New agent, new year...it seems right to start with a new manuscript as well. As hard as it is to set a book aside after so much work, it's time. I feel really good about it, actually. Not that I'm super excited to begin the submission process anew—I certainly don't have rosy dreams of it anymore—but it's nice to have a blank slate, of sorts.
So here's to fresh starts and all the good and bad they bring.