It could be a new job, a new person in your life, a loss of a loved one, an entirely foreign place. Whatever it is, what's for sure is that everybody goes through transition periods at some point in their lives.
Transition shakes us. It brings changes which can be both exciting and scary. Along with it comes vulnerability, uncertainty and that hanging feeling I can't quite put my finger on. Transition means losing something, or someone. Things won't be the same, for better or worse, we're not sure.
It is because of these that we feel uneasy with transitions for the most part. But it's a reality of life that we will go through, albeit at different scales.
I resigned from a cushy job, recently moved back to my motherland, and gave up a sense of freedom when I moved back to my parent's place.
It must be the rain, or getting stuck in the house for a few days that I found myself reflecting, not quite happily, about my personal transitions. I've been through major ones in the recent years, and yet I'm here again, with that nagging hanging feeling, trying to find the new normal.
|Kiltepan, Sagada | June 2018|
1. We need space and time to process our feelings during period of transition.
Transition doesn't happen overnight, so why would you expect yourself to process your feelings - positive and negative, that quick? For the most part, I tried to act like everything will just gradually fall into place. Some did, but others needed a bit more work. I realized giving ourselves enough time and space can do a lot. An afternoon writing on your journal, a stroll along your favorite streets, a 12-hour van ride to Sagada. Anything that affords you space and time to step back, see beyond everyday chaos, and focus on what's really important for you. I doubt you can think about those when you're constantly in a crowded, busy place.
2. It's alright to grieve and cry for what you lost, and be giddy and excited for what's to come.
It can be big or small, but you will lose something. A thing, a person, a habit, a feeling. I don't like crying over small things, but I realized that grieving is a normal process and that anyone should cry shamelessly if only to keep sane. I've lost some, but they're necessary so that I can move on and free up my heart for what's to come. And yes, we're allowed to be excited, and kilig about those yet-to-happen things too.
3. Find your anchors to help you through this time.
I like making things happen on my own. It's a mixture of upbringing (I grew up knowing that if I want anything to happen my way, I should work on it), and a sense of pride. When I struggle, I do it silently or at least try to. But transition brings so much doubts and insecurity, that doing it all alone will leave you so exhausted. It sucks out all the joy that's supposed to be part of a meaningful journey. If you're transitioning through life, in whatever form, find your anchors - trusted people, your passion, your faith. If you need help, go ask for it. Pray for it. And give back.
4. Vulnerability is shit scary, but you can find your strength from within.
If there's one thing I'm scared about more than rodents, it's vulnerability. Who wouldn't? The moment I signed my resignation letter, I knew I was giving up financial security. The second my plane hits Philippine soil, I knew I was giving up comfort. But it is through losing control that we find humility in our hearts, and connects deeply with people and things that truly matter. When we're vulnerable, we are open to possible hurts, but that only means we're also open to receive grace and love, and kindness that we thought we didn't need.
5. Don't lose focus. Every transition brings a promise of something new.
Whether you go through transition at will or not, we have to remember that along with it comes hope. A promise of something new, something bigger, something brighter. Maybe even something we haven't thought possible, had we been in status quo. I vividly remember one of my closest friends telling me how she got laid off from her first IT job, which led her to her next job, which led her to bringing her whole family to start a new life in Australia. It happened for her, and it can happen to us too.
If at all, this time of transition has led me to connect and reconnect with myself, my loved ones, my writing and even my country, on a whole new level. I hope these reflections can help you through your transitions too, and that we all emerge stronger and happier.