Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.
Transitions in life are hard. No one can warn you about everything you may experience when you make a transition. A future employer can describe your day-to-day. Your mom can give you a million hints. The college mentor can show you a potential roadmap.
These are not the things that make transitions hard. When you transition, you slide into the day-to-day. You recall as many hints as you can. You refer back to the roadmap whenever you lose your way.
No, what makes transitions hard are the moments that don’t have a roadmap; the unforeseen twists and turns unaided by mom’s hints.
It’s that moment when your best friends tell you they will be in three different parts of the country, when you realize the stereotypes about your job and how society feels about it are true, and when you look back and think “Why did I even study that in college?”
Transitions are hard because you push away from the bank and start paddling out to sea only to have your oar break halfway to your destination. Then, when you look around, you realize that the shore is out of sight and you’re alone in the blue mass. You’re left floating and wondering, “Should I have brought her with me? Or should I have hopped in his boat and gone with him that way?” Only to eventually settle on wishing, “I had never left the comfort of the shore in the first place.”
When another boat becomes visible in the distance, their origins unknown and their destination irrelevant, you finally take a moment to lower your anchor. They are wandering too, missing their own shore and lost in their own path. You tie up alongside each other to share some rations and swap some stories. She, too, misses her shore, came out alone, and feels lost at sea. But for that moment, none of that matters. You giggle into the night and wonder if the sea just got a little bit smaller.
Eventually, dawn wakes you up again and with the promise of a fresh start, you are forced to set off again.
Transitions are hard.
I miss my shore.