Spring rolls into summer and the season kicks off a parade of graduations, weddings, holidays, and for an expat in Beijing like me, moves.
After four years of living in China, my husband and I are gearing up to move back to the USA. If living abroad has taught me anything, it’s that there is only one constant we can count on: change.
We can’t escape it.
Whether it’s a new job, new house, or new baby, we all go through transitions.
These changes can bring up mixed emotions of mourning for the past, anxiety of the unknown, and excitement for future opportunities.
A little bit of awareness, intentionality, and people to support you may help you transition well.
In William Bridges’ book, Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes, he breaks down all transitions into three phases:
1. the end of something — letting go of the old thing 2. the “neutral zone” — the in-between period of confusion and distress 3. a new beginning — start of different stage of life
He describes a transition as a “rite of passage” — putting the death your old life/identity in order to create a new one, with a time of aimless wandering and life questioning in the between.
Whatever life transition you are facing, time the time to consider which phase you may be in.
If you are ending something, What milestones, progress and breakthrough can you celebrate? What is the “old life” you are letting go of?
If you in the neutral zone, What are you noticing about your thoughts, actions, and habits? What would you like to do to take time for yourself to create meaning in your situation?
If you are starting a new beginning, What opportunities are available to you?
Transitions can take a long time, and are definitely messy. But life is full of them. My hope is that you can start to identify the purpose of them and learn to transition well.
What transitions are you living now?