Here’s a cliche I’ve never once said about my own writing, because neither part ever applies: I’m going to keep this short and sweet.
This will be the last iteration of For Your Consideration. I started this column almost exactly a year ago and didn’t know what it was I was writing toward at the time. What started as a “recommendations column” celebrating the things I often take for granted turned into a biweekly dispatch on betrayal, relationships, healing, and, well, endings. It was probably always about those things, even as I was pitching the idea to my very patient editors and made a list of potential topics that included folding laundry, junk drawers, Riverdale meme accounts, recipe cards, pasta for breakfast, and a whole lot of other things that seemingly had nothing to do with my personal life.
I had a feeling when I started For Your Consideration. One of those gut feelings that you can’t ignore but also can’t really explain. I knew I had something I wanted (needed) to write, and at first I had to dress it up as a silly-fun recommendations column to safeguard myself against the uglier, messier, harder to unravel shit that I really wanted to write. I got there eventually, and about halfway through, the pieces clicked into place. Ultimately, For Your Consideration tracks the many (nonlinear and often nebulous) stages of grappling with betrayal and heartbreak. You gotta eat about it; you gotta sing about it; you gotta unravel about it; you gotta put a name to it. I was always writing toward something, even before I knew it.
Just like I had a feeling then, I have a feeling now. It’s time to end this little project, at least for now. I’ve never been good at ending things. I hold onto friends who aren’t really friends for too long. I forgive like it’s habit. I lost whole parts of myself over the last year and still waited and waited and waited to end things, continuing to lose bits of me in the process.
You have to know when to end things, and you have to follow through with it. Fear of change is a widespread human affliction, but here’s the thing: often, things change whether we give them permission to or not. Sometimes the things we hold onto for dear life have already changed, weren’t what they were before, and then what are we really holding onto?
Here’s another cliche I’ll hit you with, one I’m learning to embrace: Endings give way to new beginnings. I’m writing this from a city I’ve never been to before, where I’m alone for now, waiting for someone who has changed my life in a very good fucking way. And if I can leave you with one last thing at the end of this wild, chaotic series, it is that you can leave. My life was upended without my permission last year, and now I’m choosing to upend it on my own terms. For Your Consideration is all about agency and choices. To consider is to think purposefully and to move toward something. I feel like I’ve finally arrived somewhere after all the contortions this year and this column have taken. I hope I’ve given you something to consider.