So, I’m about three and half months into my new job and new home (same city, same company), but I’ve really had a rough go of it. Having been in my first and only job for 18 years before this, I am surprisingly still off balance a bit. I forget things easily, can’t recall words hanging in the front of my brain, need more sleep, feel emotionally detached and then overwhelmingly emotional.
There’s grief in leaving my former team, and missing them and the way we did things there. There’s excitement about learning and exercising new skills. There’s learning a new office culture and being the “new person.” It’s just been a lot more than I knew would come. Then again, how can you know?
One book that has been helpful to me is called Transitions (surprise!) by William Bridges. He gives examples of transitions such as marriage, promotion, loss, moving, etc. Here are some of the main points from the book that have provided context to my experience, followed in italics by my response.
“First there is an ending, then a beginning, and an important empty or fallow time in between. That is the order of things in nature. . . .But endings make us fearful. They break our connection with the setting in which we have come to know ourselves, and they awaken old memories of hurt and shame. Growing frightened, we are likely to try to abort the three-phase process of ending, lostness and beginning.” P. 17
No wonder I feel a little lost out here on my own! It’s part of the process and it’s scary. Note to self: Remember it’s fruitful.
“Every phase of life has such a task [an ending], and failing to complete it satisfactorily means that you make the transition into the next phase with unfinished business. And most of us didn’t entirely finish the job of resolving identity issues back then. Consequently, whenever we enter a new transition, some of those old identity issues are going to reemerge.” P. 32
That makes sense to me; I’m feeling inadequate in so many ways, feelings of insecurity I haven’t experienced in years are creeping up again. Can I really do this job? Why is my loneliness so intense right now? Note to self: Remember that you are beloved in Christ, Judy, that never changes. It’s normal to have amplified emotions.
“Endings and beginnings, with emptiness and germination in between. That basic shape is so essential to growth that we must learn to recognize it in our own lives. The societies that were most knowledgeable about it and designed rituals to facilitate it had, however, little faith in descriptions. Literal statements do not reach deep enough in the mind to have a lasting effect. For that reason, these societies couched their most important insights in the form of stories.” P. 175
The Greatest Story Ever Told follows the pattern of creation, fall, redemption, restoration. Note to self: Knowing my story in light of this story makes all the difference!
Perhaps you have some hard-won advice? I’m all ears.