transition. the process or period of changing from one state or condition to another.
also known as what my entire life is defined by right now.
and maybe your life is too.
because, if we’re being honest, aren’t our lives marked by the passage of time through transitions from one place to another?
from one day to the next, each breath a new change. with the hope of changing into something better, more beautiful, something more lasting.
you’d think after years of calendar pages, seasons, birthday cakes, moves, funerals, and brand new school years that I’d be used to transition. or at least a little better about going with the flow.
but I would be one hundred percent pretending if I said I was doing well with all the transitions the past six months have brought.
new job. new place to call home. friends in different cities. a change in routine.
in the middle of all the transitions I spent time this summer enjoying the space and slower pace, attempting to let the transitions catch up to my mind and body. it was then that it hit me. that things can’t stay in this state forever, as much as I want it to.
I can’t live in this inbetween, spending my time without any structure, essentially stuck in life being like a series of Gilmore Girls (or insert other favorite tv shows here) reruns.
don’t get me wrong, I love a good rerun and and the comfortable familiarity of it. yet I am also aware that real life isn’t like a rerun, that though memories can be revisited and scenes memorized to an extent, we are constantly moving to the next episode, the next set of stories in our life.
yet despite knowing all of this, I’ve been treating my life like it’s in the rerun stage. like it’s constantly repeating, stuck in the past scenes and moments that unfolded. relaxed. as a safe place to hold up until you get a glimpse of whatever might come next. it’s nice and all, this uncertain yet comfortable period of rest, but eventually that ends. and new rhythms and new surroundings come.
so how do you transition well?
I have been learning a lot on that topic, and hard core struggling with pretty much every aspect of that. I’m also the most sentimental human alive and am the poster child for loving where you are so much the idea of leaving rips you apart within. the only time I want to leave is if the life season is hard. or I’m running from the reality of what happens.
I’m often the last to acknowledge that leaving is natural, departures come, and maybe there is something exciting there. maybe the best is still yet to come. and so I’ve missed out on the terrifying joy of embracing what comes next.
it feels a bit odd to be writing about transition when you’re still in the middle of it, everything up in the air. I’m not sure there’s any definitive time table on when to move forward. when you know it’s time to change. but just like fall rolls around and the leaves turn and your heart turns into the new season with it, some things are intuitive. you’ll start to realize no matter how badly you want to, you can’t stay.
staying means refusing to accept the potential + possibilities. it means not living like mercies are new every morning and all things happen for a reason. it means denying yourself so many chances to create, to dream, to connect and build community with other hearts, to use the full beauty of what the layers of past years, hours, and months have built within.
and I don’t want to keep building barriers, to miss out on what the haze of transition reveals and unveils in my heart, my story.
so here’s what I am very slowly learning.
you have to start processing it all. after all, I’ve only been out of college for half a year. it was not long ago that I teared up at the thoughts of my beloved campus and late night walks around the lake and familiar daily interactions by the coffee shop. it took me a long time to write my captions about graduation, to look back on the camera roll stocked with an endless supply of nostalgia and scenes I will forever treasure. even longer to write about new starts, friends moving, and all that I am actually feeling.
processing means breathing. writing. allowing tears to fall. transitions are signifcant. give yourself permission to mourn what was, to recognize how those days are significant in the calendar of your soul. how they fill pages of journal space.
recognize that it may hit you all over again at random times too, change and loss are like that.
slowly unearth the dreams your previous season did not give you time to pursue. find out what’s been lurking in the corners. on those lists of somedays. figure out what that means for now.
pick out the best parts of this past season. what you loved. what you did that you liked. what you liked about yourself and why. find ways to perpetuate some of those things.
look for community.
gradually assemble a list of stories to read, view, listen to. that’s the best way to start opening yourself up to what comes next. to the reminder that your story is part of a far bigger and even better one.
pick up the phone and text a friend, or write them a card.
then, you’ll one day discover that you have amassed a list, maybe too huge and ambitious, of all the things you want to try, to learn, to get a grip on.
for me, this meant learning how to actually be in the kitchen, starting writing rhythms that are more consistent, refusing to go back to last summer where I hid away from everything, seeking out people, searching for places to get plugged in, trying to develop new rhythms for growth in faith.
have I perfected or even really begun much on any of these? not really.
to be real here, sometimes transition looks like eating frozen Trader Joe’s meals, making the Chick-fil-a drive through your best friend, spending many hours alone but not wanting to move from the comfort of your own house (because real talk, community is hard and building relationships is hard and it’s not your same people anymore), and piles of laundry + life all over the floor because you are exhausted of trying.
but the slightest start is still a start. so I’m learning to take it one step at a time. no matter how tentative. what you do now is a promise to your dreams, your future self, to all you already walked through. don’t let it sit there. don’t let it go to waste and disappear from your grasp.
remember, no matter where you are, you are still growing. take some time. play around with ideas. pick one small habit and embrace it. consistency will come. growth will come. the things you hope for will come. these are all things I’m preaching to myself these days.
sometimes we forget that we were not made for this temporary phases, these transitions and arrivals and departures. we are wired for forever. and that can layer on top of the already complicated whirlwind of emotions occurring.
but neither were we made for plopping ourselves down like a child on the sidewalk, determined to pull everything around them into a stop. there is a balance to be reached, even if it seems impossible.
so, friend, life simply cannot stay a series of *insert favorite show here* reruns. because there is so much more to discover. so many more stories each day waiting…
for you to tell them with quiet grace and bold honesty
for you to live them with eyes that refuse to let emotions filter out the gloriousness of it all, right-here-right-now
for you to write them on your walls, traced into your skin, experienced in surround sound and an explosion of senses, captured in each photograph, smile, post, journal entry, act of making, act of loving, moment spent in connection with others.
here’s to believing they are important enough to leave the couch for.
here’s to stories and to being brave enough to stay for whatever scenes unfold next.
here’s to transition and acknowledging that it is sometimes the worst, yet is always for the best.
here’s to the mess, to not having it all together or figured out, but learning to be okay with where you are at.
here’s to remembering that under every transition, glimpses of forever, of what lasts are there, bringing hope.
title inspired by jumpsuit | Twenty One Pilots