The middle doesn’t get a lot of praise.
The humdrum middle. The boring middle. How can it possibly compare to the thrill of a beginning or bittersweet emotion of an end?
Whether it’s in a story, a relationship or a race, we tend not to talk about what happens in between.
Beginnings can be iconic. “In a whole in a ground there lived a hobbit” and so forth. Beginnings excite; they are intoxicating. Of course they are. Newness is astounding and uncertain and thus, rewarding.
What about falling in love? We talk about the falling in love, the how we met, the wedding day. The story ends when two people come together. But the middle is where things really happen, where the two (or more, hey, it’s the 21st century), navigate the everyday work. The dirty dishes. The exhaustion. The traffic. The conversations. The love. How is that not fascinating?
Or deciding to run a race is exciting. The thought of the glory and sacrifice and work. Then you start doing it, keeping the focus on race day. The middle is where we make ourselves, the race is simply where we show it off.
The middle is the journey. It’s where we make meaning. The middle is our whole life.
Here’s the the humble, beautiful, tedious and difficult middle. You are everything.