A friend shared this piece with me right after I left my job to set out on my own. It focuses on times of transition and the importance – and beauty – of those moments in our lives.
Transition – whether from one job to another, from school to the “real world” or relationship to relationship – is tough. I know, I’m smack in the middle of it myself. But, during times of transition it’s so important to remember that simply because they appear challenging, or even scary, doesn’t mean they can’t and won’t be wonderfully, exhilarating experiences in the end.
When faced with periods of transition – especially when mandated – give this little exercise a shot. Approach them as you would one of those exciting, maybe even frightening, life-experiences you actively seek out – like running a marathon, swimming with sharks, going on a missions’ trip or bungee jumping! View them as a choice, revel in the thrill of the ask at hand, and then imagine yourself on the other side – celebrating your inevitable accomplishment!
I have a dear friend (and amazing photographer) who coached me on my first marathon. I was getting pretty freaked-out as the race day got closer and I’ll never forget him sharing this very real (and hilarious) little truth as encouragement, “Käri, once you admit to yourself you aren’t actually going to win, then it all becomes quite easy. All you have to do is run…”
For a competitive soul such as myself, acknowledging I wasn’t going to win was hard, even though, logically, I knew I had NO chance of winning (but isn’t that the beauty of the human psyche? We actually DO believe we have a shot at the impossible, which is what makes us and this world so amazing and dreams a reality!), but it also didn’t mean I was going to lose. I needed to keep in mind that I was certainly – if nothing else – going to accomplish an amazing feat and personal goal.
When I crossed that finish line to strangers cheering me on and volunteers congratulating me and meeting my every need, I was overwhelmed. My soul came alive. I felt exhilarated, accomplished, respected, successful. I did it! Even though I didn’t “win…”
That’s what it feels like on the other side of transition. You stumble through, and even fear, the initial reality of the situation, but then you acknowledge a new reality and find your place within it. And after a time, you look back over your shoulder and say, “well, that sort of sucked, but it was worth it.” Because when you turned and faced forward again, you were met with nothing but glorious opportunity and the realization that you could do it – and did.
And that is when your soul begins to sing.