I recently moved. Like last weekend actually. Moving as a fully functioning adult with your significant other/ life partner/ favorite human and dog-child is a little different than moving at the end of every semester in college or even the couple years after. Your friends are all spread out all over the country (or world… shoutout to my girl 🇮🇪 Fiona 🍀) and you can’t as easily just round up the troops and bribe them with pizza to help you move all your crap and drive the U-Haul around. Or borrow their giant Suburban (passed down through their family to graciously land in their possession for your convenience) to avoid even paying for, or learning to drive, a U-Haul in the first place.
Each move is different than the last; hopefully you’re getting better and better at packing and organizing so that the unpacking process is easier. Or maybe you’re like my sister and you just close your eyes and throw everything into a box and tell yourself you’ll “sort through it later”…… and 15 years “later” you’re finding unmatching earrings, faded pink headbands and a barely functioning Game Boy Color from 1998 in a dusty, yellowed, plastic drawer somewhere.
We thrive off of habits and routines, especially when we figure out what works well for us. That’s not to say we don’t need a change of pace or a new environment sometimes (like after living between Troost and Paseo near the 39th block of KCMO and walking to your apartment complex door under the street lamps with your key strategically sticking through your knuckles for a year and a half) – but generally speaking we get comfortable in our habits (good or bad) and change can be a challenge.
Remember how scared you were to “graduate” from 8th grade and start your freshman year of high school? Woof.
How about that feeling of starting your senior year of high school, reflecting back on your twirpy 8th grade self, pretending that Drake actually wrote “Started from the Bottom” specifically to target that momentous day of your teenage life? Positive transition? Or… maybe not if you’re one of those folks who thought high school was the TIME OF YOUR LIFE 🌚
What about that transition from graduating high school to your first year of college away from home? Learning how to function as a human without a parent or guardian breathing down your neck while simultaneously attempting to make it to each class, workout, practice, and so on and so forth without missing your 11am futon nap?
If you break it down, we are constantly in transition. One year to the next, one week to the next, one day to the next, one moment to the next. Transition from the bed to the bathroom in the morning, from brushing your teeth to cooking breakfast, from walking down the stairs to driving to work or to school, always transitioning from one task to the next. We are champions of transition – yet we definitely get uncomfortable when we are experiencing a transition that doesn’t feel so familiar.
I think sometimes when we are constantly caught in transition, especially from one stressful experience to the next (cue definition of toxic stress) it can be easy to lose ourselves and lose sight of the ground. You ever trip down a hill and you’re just rolling and rolling over and over and you have no idea what direction is up or down or sideways? Transitions can feel like that, too.
It’s so important for us to connect to our values in these moments. Lean into the transition with all of the feelings and emotions it brings, and look for places to dig your roots in. Leave room to grow in your new pot and start thinking about how you’d like to be replanted when your rootball grows too big and you are craving fresh soil and a bigger pot.
Think about what values make you who you are, or about a time you felt like you lived your values in a super big way. Whether you’re in sport, retired from sport, or have never competed in a sport in your entire life – this applies to all of us. Who are the people in your life that bring out the best in you? What actions can you take that make you feel more connected to your values?
Connecting to your “why” can sound super cheesy sometimes, but connecting to your “why” and being intentional with that is the “how” to finding yourself when you’ve been finding yourself lost in transition for a while.