Transitions; from high school to college, college to first job, single to married, married to single, small town to big city and vice versa. They’re everywhere. Often quite desirable. Sometimes not so much. But always inevitable. Whether fully embraced or fought kicking and screaming, change happens.
I recently experienced the really good kind of transition as I moved into a new job. It was the right step for my career at exactly the right moment in the environment I most wanted. I could not be happier. And yet it was still a transition. There was still stress. I still wanted to finish it all at my old job as my inner perfectionist continued to try to cajole me into a full-blown ball of stress. And while I wish I could say I took a deep breath and talked her down, I can’t.
At least not for the better part of my two weeks. I tried to be the picture of calm, cool, collected and do what I can by 3:00pm on Friday, but instead I stumbled through it with unrealistic expectations and ill-though out timelines. All the while, trying as hard as I could to talk myself back to normal.
It was an e-mail from a wise sage (aka, my mom) that finally helped me round that corner. Here’s what she said:
“You are conscientious and kind and you want to leave things so that others will not be left with more to do, which is going to be the case anyway.”
And there it was. There was nothing I could do. Leaving always creates a hole. There is no way to fill that hole until someone new is hired. No amount of work I could do would ever fill it. Walking away does not change who I fundamentally am. It does not make me less kind.
Just as stumbling through this transition didn’t make me any less excited about the new opportunities on the horizon. It just simply made me grateful that I am able to recognize the things that make me lose my solid footing and that I’ve got those sages standing by to steady me.