Endings as Beginnings: A Shift in Perspective

I recently sat in class during the last seminar discussion of my educational career, only being made aware of the fact a few minutes earlier.

I’ve been mixed with melancholy for the past week knowing I was enrolled in the last course of my graduate career, but I still had till December, right?

Wrong, all that’s left is a presentation and a paper.

I was sitting in a room, full of people I’d been exchanging brilliant information with, some for years, and I was sitting there as a student for the last time.

As discussion started, I continued to sit and simply look around the room at everyone as they contributed their ideas and interpretations of the search for Authentication in non western art, and silently I thanked each and every one of those people for allowing me to have this experience with them. I drank it in.

Sitting in these rooms year after year, with some of the most respected scholars in the field of art history, I’ve learned more about the history of art that I could ever explain. But more than that, I’ve learned about life and the world around me.

Such as my dear fellow colleague, whom I’ve also worked alongside for several years as a graduate teaching assistant. Not only is this person an  amazing scholar, full of passion and intelligence for her field, she’s also a yogi, and she’s taught me so much about being unattached to outcomes of situations, about taking care of your person no matter how busy we get, and about being present among a sea of chaos which we all exist in at times.

Or the professors I’ve studied under. For years these distinguished scholars have taken my overeager personality under their wings and they’ve guided me deeper into the things I love about art, the world, and life. They have given me so much of their time and knowledge, and have helped shape me into the scholar I am.

I have experienced a serious love/hate relationship with my education. Who hasn’t experienced this with something they love so deeply? Relationships, jobs, careers, everything. The path I had decided to embark upon was sucking the life out of all other areas of my life. I found myself underwater in school work and never-ending piles of deadlines. It required me to sacrifice. alot. I barely even had time to volunteer, something I was deeply passionate about having in my life. Grad school demanded ALL of me.

Due to the financial commitment to my education I felt obligated to finish my degree even though I was experiencing some SERIOUS dislike. I questioned, what am I DOING? WHY am I even doing this anymore? Is this REALLY what I want to be doing now? Do I REALLY love this with all my soul?!

The rocky cliffs of Étretat by Monet.jpg

Yikes! I’m thinking I’m deep into my education, and now I’m not even sure if this is what I want?! SHIT!

Then I met someone who shed some light and perspective on my situation. I began to approach my job, my education, the papers, the readings, all the grad work differently…I only saw it for its good. I focused on everything that I was experiencing with nothing but positive energy.

*Pay attention to the people closest to you in life, for they are all here to teach us. Remember, relationships are assignments. 

Low and behold, more positive things started coming into this area of my life. Sounds simple, but how many times a day do you catch yourself saying something either under your breath or in your mind that sounds like this:

I don’t like my boss.

I don’t like my co-worker. I hate this place sometimes. Ugh, I hate my job today. 

I’m so tired of doing her work. I don’t want to be here today. I’m so tired, I don’t want to work, I want___instead.

The list can go on…

And the more you say it, the more you SEE it. Then, before you know it toxic negative thoughts and behaviors are going for a joyride in your life.


on with the positives…

I just graduated and essentially I was working in my field, and being funded to further my education. I was doing something I loved (even though there were ALOT of times I hated it, this was the hardest thing for me to comprehend that I could love AND really dislike something, and sometimes at the SAME time), that I had only a little time left as a student and even under all the papers and work required of being a student, I still LOVED sitting in these class rooms with these brilliant people, talking and learning and exchanging ideas about the world. I mean, COME ON. This. is. amazing.

So my perspective shifted.

And with it, positive things rushed in.

5 thoughts on “Endings as Beginnings: A Shift in Perspective

  1. davecenker says:

    Proactive attitudes produce amazing results don’t they? We all encounter those negative scenarios, even in those arenas we love so much. It’s easy to say and much more difficult to actually “do”. But, when you shift perspective as you have so wisely done, it’s amazing how everything changes 😉 Congratulations on your accomplishment, both the degree and the revelation that perspective is so incredibly powerful.

    • Sara Ann says:

      Thanks dave. It is amazing how a few negative thoughts about something like your job can overtake your perspective. I practice this in all other areas of my life but had been a bit oblivious to my role in bringing more negativity to my job/schooling etc. even dealing and interacting with people at work that REALLY challenge me, its all a lesson

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