How many of you have ever found yourself in a period of transition with your life? Maybe you’re starting a new job, getting into a new relationship, moving to a new place, or becoming a parent for the first time. Some transitions we choose like taking on a new hobby or changing up your current lifestyle. Other transitions are thrust upon you. Like losing a job or having a partner break things off suddenly.
No matter what type of transition you’re going through, there’s no question that these seasons can be full of confusion. They can also be surrounded by excitement, giddiness, or anticipation. But whether you’re looking forward to a new chapter or trying to find your footing, seasons of transition are often filled with lots of uncertainty.
I’m currently experiencing one of those transitions right now. And luckily, it's a happy one!
So, I’m moving in the fall. I got accepted into grad school to pursue a masters in theatre education, and I could not be more excited. This also means leaving some jobs I’ve come to love, moving to a completely new place, and starting over after I’ve just started to feel settled.
Seasons of transition like this can also bring about so many doubts and extra levels of stress. Am I making the right decision? Is this the best school for me? Is this the best step for my future? How am I going to be able to say goodbye?
As I’ve been totally overthinking all of this, there’s one phrase that continues to help me calm my own brain. To help me put things in perspective, I keep reminding myself that it’s just life. There’s no right or wrong way to live it. And if I make choices that make me happy and lead me down a path that I feel has a purpose, that choice is correct.
It’s just life.
Everything is going to work out exactly how it is supposed to. There will be moments of triumph and moments of doubt, but the moment you take yourself way too seriously, you’ve lost.
It’s just life. No decision I make is going to be completely irreversible. And the catastrophizing that I keep doing is irrelevant and hyperbolic anyway.
I keep ruminating over these “what if” questions. What if I move to a new city and can’t find any friends? What if I’m not cut out for the program? What if I run out of money? What if my boyfriend moves with me and it doesn’t work out?
Well… what if it all does work out?
We tend to catastrophize and picture the worst case scenario. Why? Why do we do that to ourselves and break our own hearts before we even need to? Does it make it any easier when the hard thing does happen? I mean… not really.
It’s cheesy and overused, but that’s why I still love that dialogue asking “What if I fall?” “Oh but darling, what if you fly?”
I know, some transitions feel big and scary and like you’re never going to be able to land on your feet. But the secret is, you always will.
It’s just life. It all turns out okay. Every time. I promise.
We put this unnecessary pressure on ourselves to live this bold, fantastic, amazing, and wonderful life. We put so much pressure on building a perfect life that we sometimes forget that living is allowed to be simple. It's allowed to be joyful. We’re allowed to enjoy things and just let it be.
It's just life. You're allowed to make the choice that just makes you happy. You're allowed to do the thing that may seem silly. You're allowed to take the risk in pursuit of something that brings you joy.
How many of you do what I do where you make perfect the enemy of good? You think "well, I can't do that thing cause I'm not good at it." "I'm sure I'm going to fail, so why even try?" "If I can't give it 100% effort, I shouldn't give it any, right?" Wrong.
It's just life. Try new things. Fail. Take a risk.
Here's an example. Recently, I went camping. Yes, camping. Not only that, but we were rock climbing...outdoors...on real rocks. Needless to say, I was a little apprehensive before leaving. I was on this trip with my boyfriend and all his friends who do this all the time. And I'm just a beginner. Before we left I just kept thinking, "they're going to judge me. I'm not going to be good at it." I was terrified I wasn't going to fit in, and I was going to make a fool out of myself.
But, you guessed it, I had a blast. Everyone was so encouraging, and I tried some things I never thought I would do. If I had listened to the doubt monsters when they told me I wasn't good enough, I never would have had that experience. And I'm so grateful I did.
Cause at the end of the day, it's just life. And I would much rather be out there living it, not in my head panicking that my choices aren't going to pan out. After all, life never really goes as planned, does it?
I don't wanna build up a perfect life that never goes wrong. I want to make bold choices and live messily. I want to take risks and, yea, sometimes that means I'll have to do a little cleaning up down the line. But you can't live like you're made of glass, afraid to ever take a tumble.
There’s no secret formula or a place you have to be. There’s no measuring stick and timelines are irrelevant. If you wake up every morning, surround yourself with good people, and do something with those 24 hours that makes you happy, you’ve won.
For right now, my biggest challenge is just letting things be. Anyone else struggle with this? Cause I don’t think I’m alone.
I'm working on letting it be and not judging the uncertainties I'm feeling during this season of transition. For example, I can look forward to moving, but still feel those moments of panic or stress. I'm just not going to let them eclipse my excitement. I’m trying not to judge my emotions while remembering to enjoy each season of life as it presents itself. To focus on the excitement as much as I focus on the fear.
I’m trying to be more intentional. I’m intentionally saying no. Saying no to the intrusive thoughts that make me question my own happiness. Saying no to comparison or judgment of my own choices. I’m done waiting around for the other shoe to drop or freaking out that I may not end up with this "perfect" version of my life.
It’s just life. And however I end up living it, is the absolute perfect way for me to do so.
It doesn’t feel like it’s that simple. I get it. Believe me. And writing all this down and sharing these thoughts with you all won’t mean I’m magically fixed and all of the sudden I won’t be panicking about the future.
But for now, in this moment, I’m trying to take a break and lean into gratitude whenever I get hit with those rude and intrusive thoughts. Whenever I start to have a moment of doubt and uncertainty, I’m trying to take a beat. I’m trying to remember that it’s just life. It’s a beautiful thing that I get to live every day. So here’s to enjoying that life a little more and worrying about it just a little bit less.
Who’s with me?