Transitions. They happen to us frequently, unexpectedly & sometimes, annoyingly.
When I think about transitions, I think about a flurrying of events. Sometimes they’re big events but often time they’re smaller–a series of seemingly insignificant occurrences that rapidly accumulate to create this bigger transition. When I think of transitions, I think of things happening (kind of like that atomic nucleus definition). Nothing is standing still, everything is moving and dynamic.
But what I didn’t realize is that transitions can be prolonged, too. Sure, some transitions are quick & defined–going to college, starting a first job, getting married. But in normal everyday life, sometimes transitions stretch out for long periods of time–weeks, months, even years. There are slow shifts, imperceptible changes that you don’t realize are happening until the full transition is over. They leave you antsy & anxious, like you know something is happening but you can’t put your finger on what. A transition is not the starting point, nor is it the destination. It’s the inbetween part, limbo part, the changing part.
This is how I imagine our 20’s: a series of long transitions.
When you graduate from college, you throw away all the benchmarks. No more freshmen, sophomore, junior or senior years. No more organizing your life based academic calendars and extracurriculars. You get a clean slate instead. And that’s good and fine and exciting, but it makes it harder to mark the passages of time. Do you think of your life in terms of each new birthday? The duration of a relationship? In between jobs or big moves? In college (and frankly all the years up until your 20s), the beginnings and ends were clear. Beginning of a school year, the end of the school year. Beginning of summer, end of summer. Beginning, end, beginning, end. Transitions are easily defined and happen quickly. There’s not a lot of time between departing from one year/stage and arriving in the next one.
But now…the beginnings and ends are blurred. It’s not really clear where some things start or end. This whole long, undefined transition thing happens–when did I “depart” from the last stage and when will I “arrive” at the next one? Is there even an answer?
These long transitions make me antsy. A very big part of me feels like I’m waiting to arrive somewhere or become something…but what? What am I becoming? Where am I arriving? Adulthood? Because hate to break it to you Kasia, you’re already f*cking here.
But this anxious feeling of transitioning into our “adult selves” is something my friends and I share. We’re still unsettled & anxious, and we’re waiting to finally “get somewhere” but we don’t know exactly where.
That’s where honor here comes in. (Ah, yes, I’m finally getting to the subject of this post. Thanks for bearing with me). “Honor here” is different than “honor now.” Honoring now is more about being present in this moment, which is good and important but different than honoring “here.” Honor here extends past this moment and applies to these longer stretches of time–these long winded “transitions” if you will.
In yoga (wow it only took me 500 words to mention yoga, new record), you’ll hear teachers talk a lot about honoring where you are (on your mat). They’ll encourage you to notice your thoughts as they pop up (because spoiler! It’s impossible to think of absolutely nothing for long periods of time), acknowledge them, and let them pass without judgement (which is harder than it sounds, but doable).
That’s what honoring here means to me. It means noticing that I’m uncomfortable/changing/amidst a larger transition, acknowledging those feelings and letting them pass without judgement (no criticizing myself for “not having it figured out”). There are days that I’m definitely not comfortable with being an adult & want to clearly define my life, but sometimes I just have to sit with it. Try to be my best self every day of that transition period, find the things that bring me joy & hold onto the moments where I feel most myself. I gotta recognize/honor where I’m at and keep honoring here as an important part of the grander scheme of my life. That’s all we can do right?
I’m not saying it’s easy. And I’m not saying I’m a master at this honoring here thing. But I’m making an attempt to just be where I am instead of wishing I would “arrive” somewhere else. These transitions are important (for some reason maybe I don’t know yet) & I shouldn’t rush through them just because I’m uncomfortable.
I read a quote recently, “Learning to be happy while you wait is worth learning.” So even if we do feel like we’re “waiting” for something, we ought to try to make the best of it. Learn to be happy while we wait. So wherever you are in life & however you’re feeling, honor here, right now, right where you are. &.