At certain points in our lives we find we are in transition. A number of these are educational. Perhaps moving up each school year, or moving from Nursery to Primary, and then on to Secondary school. Many also transit on to University and thence into full-time work. Work brings other transitions e.g. from probationary tp permanent; promotions or new jobs or posts etc.
Paralleling these there are transitions through relationships until hopefully we find one that has more permanence.
We also move from childhood, through adolescence, adulthood, middle age; through to retirement, old age and death.
Transitions come also through changes in housing, environment, income, status, illness and death of those close to us.
THERE IS ONLY ONE CERTAINTY IN LIFE …….. CHANGE
So how to respond to major transitions?
Each stage of change is difficult, but there are comment threads to coping etc. However, what works are one stage may not work with another. Where things are really hard is when the transitioning demands that we re-investigate our own identity. This can often be at odds with family, community, social or cultural expectations or demands. We experience a lot of pressure to fit into other people’s conceptual boxes. A simple example is when a person retires from work, s/he is still expected to describe him or herself according to what they used to do:- retired teacher, driver, plumber, banker, doctor etc etc. But they no longer do that work. There is an identity shift, but society still wants to label him or her by what s/he used to do or be.
Only we can reinvent ourselves to be how we choose and want to be. This is not an easy task. For much of our lives we have to take a lot of account of others and what we believe is expected of us. To choose who and how to be means we have no one to blame, only ourselves. So the freedom to choose to be is a scary one. We will inevitably get some of it wrong. But we will also invariably get a lot of it right.
Destinations can only be directions of travel, and we really need to invest primarily in the journey and the intermediate stops on the way, because those experiences may lead to changes in direction and destinations (if we are truly open to them). Yes we CAN change the journey and the destinations (or NOT ) if we so choose.
This way we can embrace or manage change and try to live authentically, retaining all our core values, respecting all we are, all we are capable of being, and all we are connected to and with.
To do this is to live spontaneously!!!!!