We all go through phases and different periods of growth and personal exploration throughout our lives, it’s part of being human. For some, this is an incidental thing. They look back and remember, “Oh, that was my green phase, or oh that was when I was married…” and it’s a passing thought and they get on with their lives. Some people are simply not reflective in that way. For others of us, though, introspection, observation, and reflecting on our various different phases and periods is an integral part of understanding ourselves and our lives.
Maybe it’s an introvert/extrovert thing? I just know I’ve always been introspective and aware of my own self-development. Throughout my life as I’ve encountered dissimilarly minded people, we’ve marveled at each other’s weirdness and wondered how the other can live that way. (The problem is that those extroverts always think their way is the right way. But that’s another story for another day.)
Eventually, gradually, I got to the point – or age maybe – where I gave up trying to pretend about who I was. I stopped pretending to enjoy things and I stopped doing things that I was pretending to enjoy. I stopped allowing myself to be dragged out when I’d rather stay home. I stopped drinking, as that was part of the cycle of pretending to enjoy stuff. I started exercising. I went back to school. Before I knew it, I had transitioned into another phase of my life.
Sometimes life events propel us into something, we’re unprepared for that forces us into a transition. That’s scary as hell. Even when it’s a good thing like a marriage or a job promotion or a move, change is stressful. But lots of times it’s those unexpected “bad” life events: sickness or death of a loved one, unemployment, divorce – that wreak havoc on our lives and bring about the most difficult transitions.
We’re all subject to life events that bring uninvited transitions; we’re all vulnerable to the randomness of life. Shit just happens. We can mitigate and try to anticipate and manage, but there are always things we couldn’t imagine or didn’t prepare for, and that’s the stuff that’ll get you.
There are some transitions that leave us barely recognizable to ourselves. Some bring irreversible change. Almost always we can look back and marvel that we never could’ve gotten here without going through that.
It’s a pretty good feeling, when you’ve weathered the storm and you find yourself back at the wheel and in control of your life once again. Maybe it takes a minute to regain your composure, but you’re somehow stronger or more confident for having had the experience.