I wrote the following article on Facebook Notes about five years ago. Some words were changed to express my views better. I thought I’d share it with you because some of us might be going through a transition too. It was written at a point when I was still unsure about pursuing a life abroad or staying put.
I’m going through another transition in this so called life. Having been through 8 different schools from nursery through college and having lived as an NPA ( No Permanent Address) for most of my life, I should be used to it by now. But still, I’m not. Here I am, a bit misty eyed and feeling sentimental about change.
They say change is good. For someone who practically lived a nomad’s life, change is still awkward and quite difficult. Outwardly, you try to maintain a smooth transition as if it’s just as ordinary as going on a trip, but inwardly, you feel like a grown tropical tree uprooting itself to be transplanted to a forest somewhere in Russia. Uprooting oneself means trying to determine what bits and pieces of your life you’ll need to remain in order to survive the climate there. Uprooting yourself means letting go of the life you have – the UK shopping, the public reading, the coffee sprees with friends, the sleepless sleepovers, the eating out with family on Sundays, the grocery shopping, the kitchen escapades with sisters, the bonding with your dogs, the endless list of things you do every day.The little things that make your life ” your life”. Furthermore, uprooting yourself means physical separation from people you love and care about. It’s hard because I need the people I have right here and now. I need their love, affection and support. And somehow, I need to shake off their physical presence and just be left with loving thoughts, fervent prayers and 15 minute phone calls.
I used to consider myself a control freak. I was always comforted by the illusion of control. There’s a certain level of comfort in knowing what comes next: your paycheck on the 15th, lunch date on Tuesday, dental appointment on Saturday, bills every 1st week of the month, things like that.Things are easier that way, much less complicated. This is my life. No jack in the box! No curveballs! I was always attracted to the myth that somehow, if I knew what I was going to do tomorrow I could control it. I thought, that’s why we have planners right?! Why plan if you can’t control right?! Might as well not plan at all.
I often confused predictability with stability. I thought, if you don’t know what’s in store tomorrow then how do you start getting there today. Routine is good. It keeps you grounded to home, to family, to life. The daily grind is stable. But recently, I just realized, that routines and habits don’t make stability. Stability is just a reflection of what’s inside. In order to reflect if you are really stable, you don’t ask yourself: “Where do I need to go today?” Instead you ask : ” Where am I going in my life?” You don’t ask yourself: ” Should I take the bus or jeep to get there?” Instead you ask: ” How do I get to where I want to be in life?” And lastly you don’t ask, ” What am I still doing here in this dump?” instead you ask, ” What is my purpose in life? ” If you have a clear answer for all of these questions, I’d guess you’re pretty stable even if you don’t have the faintest idea of what you’re going to do at exactly 7:35 AM tom.
I read somewhere that one should never confuse being busy to having a life. Being busy means having things to do while having a life means having time to do certain things with people in your life.
The truth is, life is uncertain. No matter how much we want to or how many activities we scribble in our calendars, things don’t always go our way. The scary truth is transitions magnify this truth tenfold. During a transition, you are faced with a gazillion “what ifs” every second coming from all directions, like laser beams destroying your seemingly ” foolproof plan”. What if you can’t find a job there? What if you can’t find true friends? What if you get sick? or homesick? What if you were better off having roots in the place where you were born? What if your plans fail? What if you fail?
I read in Chicken Soup for the Soul book a very wise woman remarked, ” If I fail, what’s the worse that could happen, I fail! What’s the best thing that could happen? I succeed!”
I guess in transitions the best thing we could do is to prepare ourselves that ther’d always be something unknown. Heads up people: The grass may not be greener on the other side of the fence. But it doesn’t mean it’s barren. Life is one big adventure whether you are on this side of the fence or the other. The difference lies in how well you transition, how well you adapt to your environment. I love this line from life coach Martha Beck which goes,”Trust your life to unfold perfectly.” We don’t know what will happen in the future, all we can do is our best and trust that God’s hand will lead us somewhere meaningful.
I feel like I’m in the middle of a transition now. In a few months, my baby who depended on me for everything is gradually learning the concept of independence. She is learning to stand and soon, she’ll be walking. She was babbling and now she says syllables like “dada” and “mama”.I am nostalgic at how much and how fast she has grown. I want to let her explore but at the same time keep her safe. I am continuously learning how to raise her, to adjust to her needs and to better understand her. It is both a nerve wracking and exciting time for me as a mother.But I am trusting that somehow I’d be able to ride these changes out and come out a better mother for her.
How about you? Are you in a transition phase too?If not, do you find transitions easy or difficult to deal with? Feel free to share your thoughts!