A little over a month ago, we moved from our apartment in New York City to begin a new life in the nearby suburbs. My daily experience has been turned topsy-turvy as I went from the comfortable chaos of city life that I’ve learned to navigate with a lot of patience and a bit of machismo, to the greenhouse-like tranquility where life seems to flow at a carefully measured and predictable pace. It’s been a big change and I can tell you honestly that the transition has not been an entirely smooth one.
Perhaps because I’ve been cast out of my comfort zone, I’ve been experiencing some of the same deep emotions I had during the last time I made a major life change -- when I left the professional working world to care for my daughter – a change that ultimately resulted in my re-invention as a career coach.
Both physically and emotionally, I am in a new place where routines have yet to be established, where chaos reins not on the outside, but on the inside. This type of place is comforting for one reason. It is the knowledge that one day soon I will be speaking in past tense of my experience to someone else who is now going through a similar change. My clients today are the recipients of my wisdom. My neighbors tomorrow will be the recipients of my apple pie.
It is this knowledge that motivates me each day to embrace my new surroundings despite the mixed feelings I sometimes experience.
As I look around, I am struck by another realization. I am not alone in this quest. Almost daily, I meet someone else who is going, or has recently gone, through a major transition of their own. Like me, they are a bit unsure, feeling their way through a maze of new resources, new connections, new routines.
We smile at each other on the street. We share our experiences. We reach out with questions.
And before long, the future begins to slowly unfold. The chaos in my head is now a comfortable buzz of familiar routines. The neighborhood is a cacophony of voices, faces, and places I know well. The newness has faded. I have transitioned.