By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor
Last week, I finished re-watching one of my favorite TV shows of all-time, “Californication.” I’ve followed alongside the up and downs of writer Hank Moody as he battled written work, or lack there of, all while pining after the one that got away. Oh, and still trying to raise his daughter, Becca, who helps center both Hank and her mother Karen.
But I watched the finale, knowing exactly what was going to happen– would Hank get on the plane? Forget New York, what about Los Angeles? I hope this doesn’t spoil it for you, but even though I know how it ends, it doesn’t make it any less important or any less meaningful. Why? Because the finale can make or break the show. And doesn’t that completely ring true in our own lives?
Finales, one way or another, mark the end of a journey. They mark the end of the familiar story and lead us into the unknown. For graduating seniors, it’s about the final assignment, the final test and the final class. It might be the final time you see your friends or your sorority sisters for a long time and that can leave an unsettling feeling in your stomach. The truth is that change is scary and it’s uncomfortable, but it’s necessary. We can all do our best to run as far away as possible, but in the end, it is always nipping at our heels and eventually catches up to us. We can avoid watching the finale, hoping that if we don’t know the end, the story will continue. Denial doesn’t equal satisfaction; it only prolongs the inevitable.
I have another confession to make: I’ve never enjoyed writing these pieces. It isn’t because I don’t have opinions or that I’m too afraid to share them. No, that’s not it. It’s because I want what I write to last. I want it to exist long after I leave Baylor and even beyond that. I want what I write to have purpose and to be memorable. I don’t want it to define me because I am much more than a few words on a page, but I want it to be an expression of who I am, a chapter in an ongoing novel.
For me, this is my final opinion piece. This is my writing finale for the Baylor Lariat. I’ve put it off, hoping that if I didn’t write it, it wouldn’t be true. But that isn’t how it works. So I won’t run from it any longer. I can’t; I tried; I failed.
So this is my finale. My two years at the Lariat is over, my three years at Truett Theological Seminary are reaching their end. My wife and I will soon embark on the next great adventure. Am I terrified? Absolutely. Will it be uncomfortable? Probably. But what is true is that no matter how great some stories are, they all eventually end. Harry Potter ended after seven books. Michael Jordan eventually retired. Ambiance, the world’s longest film (720 hours long) eventually will end, albeit 30 days later.
Am I comparing my time at Truett and the Lariat to Jordan’s career or to the Harry Potter series? No, of course not. But I do have a story, and like all stories, they must end, they must air their finales. And it’s time I accept the end of this one.
We all remember good finales and quickly dismiss the bad ones, replacing them with how we wish they had ended. Does Hank get on the plane? You’ll have to watch for yourself, but if I have any say in how my finale ends, then I know I must admit this one has ended and move on to the next one.
Nathan Keil is a graduate student at Truett Seminary from Northwood, Ohio.