It takes strength. It takes willpower. It takes some fantastical belief that whatever that next big step you took will keep you on the path towards fulfillment (whatever that even means). It’s a naivety that not everyone has, seemingly losing it along the way through some combination of fear and being content.
Transition is actually quite simple. All it requires is one person who want’sneed’s something to shift in their life. It could be as basic as salary or vicinity to family. Or it could be as complex as needing to run away, to find the person you dreamed of finding, to reinvent yourself, or even to lose yourself entirely. We all do it for our own personal reasons. It can be selfish, cowardly, courageous, and self-less. Each transition offers a valuable insight into a persons mind. It might take time to unpack it all but once you find it? It is the key to who they are and who they dream of becoming.
There is a price to be paid. Leaving people behind and losing touch. Stumbling through a brand new system of social and political norms in and outside the workplace. Screwing up for the first time and not being close enough with your supervisor to know how bad it really might be. Chasing dreams has a cost. Granted the cost of a new job in a new city is insignificant in the grand scheme of life but you understand my point. Strap in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. It’s not meant to cause a U-turn, it’s meant to toughen you up. It’s how you learn the new surroundings and how you ultimately thrive within them. Have you ever tried starting over from scratch? Reconfiguring your life to a world unknown only a few months earlier. I remember my first gut-wrenching move. During one of my odd, lonely ramblings I told my closest friend that I was going to marry the next person I dated. Obviously that was an outlandish statement (although if it happened it may have been the greatest “I told you so” of my short life). I said it not because I meant it, I said it because I was scared and needed someone. I needed someone who could walk me through what I’d just done because I hadn’t yet understood it myself.
So when does the “transition period” end? It doesn’t. Life is a continuously evolving transition, you may have just amped it up for a period of time. The best answer is this: transition has slowed once you rely on people in your current town more then you do those friends afar. Once you’ve shifted your support structure then you can say you’ve downshifted the transition. It may feel like one long waiting period. As if just on the other side of the door is the life you were looking for but your number just hasn’t been called yet. Kicking that door down Van Damme style probably won’t help. It takes patience. There is no fast lane.
I will say it again: strap in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. But damn is the view beautiful over the horizon.
[Note: This is the last post in this Life in Transition series. It has been a pleasure – and honestly therapeutic – to write these posts. I hope they’ve been comforting and helpful, that has always been the goal.]
Photo courtesy crookrw