Those transitional periods in life are always the worst. That period when growing pains feel more like pain and nothing like growth. That period when you thought you knew who you were until one day you look in the mirror and have to introduce yourself to that strange person on the other side of that glass. That period where everything is in the process, but hasn’t fully changed yet. Change is hard. Especially when you’re comfortable where you are. But the best thing about change is that it isn’t the end of everything, it’s just the end of what was.
Imagine riding the Greyhound bus. I know some of you may be too good for that (lucky you) but I’m definitely not, so yea. Anyway, on long bus rides, there is a high possibility there will be multiple stops. You have your standard stops where some people get off while others get on. The process usually runs smoothly and within a few minutes, the wheels on the bus are going ‘round and ‘round once again. These stops are easy, but sometimes, if you’re unlucky enough, you experience the stops from hell. Those stops where everyone has to get off. Sometimes, it’s expected, sometimes it’s random. Either way, everyone and everything they came with has to be taken off the bus and all passengers have to wait on another bus to continue the trip. These are what they call “Transfer” stops. I like to call them “Transitional Phase Training”.
These stops usually suck. Sometimes, you’re asleep, dreaming about a life in which you’d never ever have to take the bus, and all of a sudden, you feel a tap on your shoulder and a voice in your ear telling you to get up. Your first sleep-glazed thought is “Why? I’ve been sitting here the whole time?”, but then you realize everyone is getting up. You wish you could go back to sleep and continue to dream, but you’d rather get to where you’re trying to go, so you’re forced to join the herd of travelers, scrambling for their bags, wondering when the next bus will show up.
Sometimes the next bus is there waiting upon your arrival. Sometimes the next bus is 10 minutes late. Sometimes, you’re stuck standing outside of a random “bus station” that looks a lot more like an abandoned post office in the middle of nowhere for 3 hours wondering if you’ve been set up. You’ve been out there for what seems like years, but eventually, the bus comes. The bus always comes. Regardless of how long it takes, the journey always continues and you always reach your destination.
Those transitional periods in life are lot like transferring buses. As soon as you find a comfortable position, things switch up. It sucks, but guess what? You’d never get to where you’re trying to go if you weren’t forced to get off the bus that brought you this far. In the moment, you’d probably much rather just stay on the first bus and ride it out, but you’d also probably end up right back where you started. Nobody likes being stranded in the middle of nowhere, carrying all their baggage with no place to go, but it must be done. As frustrated as you want to get, you have to remind yourself you are not waiting in vain.
That next bus will always show up. No matter how long it takes, it will be there to pick you up and take you to the next stop. I’m only 25 miles in on my journey and I’ve already been forced to get off at more stops than I can count. Stranded outside with all of my baggage, wondering if this is my final stop. But it’s never the final stop. The journey is never over. There was a time I thought it was, but here I am, still riding. At first, I hated the transfer. I despised having to change. Why can’t I just ride this same bus all the way? But I’ve learned that’s not how it works I’ve learn that staying the same usually takes you back to the beginning.. I’ve learned that you cannot avoid change, so there is no point in cursing it. Instead, embrace it. You have to be patient. I know you want to stay on, but there comes a time when you just have to move on and let go of what is familiar.
Life is one big bus station and we are all waiting on that one shuttle that will finally take us to where we want to be. It may not be here now. It may not even be here tomorrow. But it always comes. Always.
So don’t worry.
Embrace the stops.
Embrace the transition.
Your next bus will be here soon.
Originally published at davidfnmorgan.com.