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May 29

The Only Constant is Change

Decisions, decisions...

Decisions, decisions…

Turning the page. Beginning a new chapter. Starting anew.  For some, these are phrases that bring emotions like trepidation,  nervousness, maybe even fear.  For others, transitions are something to be excited about. To thrill at the possibilities. To wonder at what is next.

For me… transitions are inevitable. A part of life.  Growth.

Hallmark moments in life are often marked with these senses of transition. After high school, I was convinced my best times in life were behind me.  Until I went to college. Then THAT was the greatest part of life. Of course then I met some awesome people and visited cool, unique places after my school days came to an end. It was then – for SURE this time – that I had found my place in life… then years went by with more and more changes. Faces fading in and out of life,  jobs, clients, events… change upon change upon change.

And now, another transition is taking place.

After years of living in my adopted city of Washington, DC I am now transitioning again. Now it’s a move taking me from a large metropolitan city and an urban lifestyle – to a more suburban, smaller town experience. City living to Rockin’ the Suburbs.  Helllllllooooo Awkward.

What does a kid who has grown accustomed to walking city streets to eateries, farmer’s markets, bars, and every other thing needed do when the answer to ANYTHING includes the phrase “drive down the road about….” WTF?! Drive? Drive what? For more than a decade my “cars” were a pair of sneakers and an umbrella.  Now, gas prices aren’t just a news show talking point, and I am learning to appreciate words like “supper” (which, I must admit, is a wacky way to describe a meal… reminds me of Little House on the Prairie). But I digress.

Change is indeed inevitable. There was a cliche that said “the only constant is change.” True, but I also like part of a rant by the once-funny Dennis Miller who said “Life is like riding the bus, it requires change.”  These transition points we face in life shouldn’t come strictly from the “Oh Shit” department of our emotions. Granted, when awful moments come about, and a transition is truly something unplanned for, you might get that sense of fear. That sense of confusion or dred. But even in those moments, even at those unexpected times of grief… change is inevitable, and often surprisingly helpful once time does its magic and pulls you farther and farther away from the epicenter of your transition point.

When I was a kid, my parent split up. I was young, but not young enough to not feel the direct pain of a divorce. My father’s leaving was stemmed from a terrible injury he sustained to his brain, which caused his personality and outlook to change dramatically. I was young, but not young enough to fail to understand these reasonings. But still, the transition of my father leaving – leaving me, my brother, my mother – I took this transition with difficulty and responsibility. What did I do wrong? Why couldn’t I do more to help him and perhaps stop this change, in him or in our life? Why did I fail my father?  If you are someone affected by divorce in your childhood, or know someone who has this kind of history, you know what this feeling feels like. It is, sadly, a common feeling that children experience when something this traumatic happens in life.

But even this moment. Even something like the loss of a parent… it inevitably changes you. But in an amazing twist… this transition not only helped define me, but it drove me.

youarehereThis drive wasn’t an ambition or wealth, or greatness, or some other falsely monitored sense of “success” – but it drive me to be strong, Strong for me, strong for my family. Strong in my belief that transitions, whether known or unknown, would allow for me to grow… to learn.

i guess it was this focal point that allows me to embrace transitions. I don’t think of myself as any kind of expert, but I think I have some lessons-learned that might help you in whatever transition you are facing (no matter if it’s a positive or negative transition)…

1.  There is no spoon. – We spend a bunch of time on our transitions looking for meaning, for rationale, for a sense of “why” – take some time to ponder these, but don’t get lost in the wash. Try not to spend all your time bending the spoon, and instead realize that these moments are inevitable, are frequent, and are natural.  Figuring out the why to the point of paralysis is just an exercise in futility.  Once you have that…

2.  Implement the “Pull the Band-Aid Quickly” Theory. – Get that transition going, and then get it REALLY going. Don’t dwell, don’t linger. Pull the ripcord. It’s time to jump.  I think why most people dred life’s transitions is due more to the fact that the transition of the transition becomes it’s own thing – a big HUGE thing. You see the fork in the road? Make your choice, and turn that wheel. Then back on the gas and G.O.

3.  Screw that Double Rainbow, Get Ready for the Double Pot o’ Gold! – Transitions have a constant finality to them.. they end, and what you arrive at? Well, that’s up to you. Again, you could approach the outcome with sadness and too much “remember when’s” coming from your mouth… OR you could prepare for an amazing Return on Transition. New places, new faces… these bring new opportunities, new successes. Don’t look back… forward thinking, forward looking. It’s what’s about to come face-to-face with you that matters the most. Your new starting point. Not ending. Beginning.

Turning the page. Beginning a new chapter. Starting anew.  For us all, let’s commit to seeing the possibilities, the opportunities, and the new memories to be made.  It’s sometime a tough pill to swallow, but the ending is always bright.

For me… transitions are inevitable. A part of life.  Growth.  ….and a great way to find a better to play, live, and dream. Like the boys of Oasis said, “Don’t Look Back in Anger, I Heard You Say.” Couldn’t agree more, Noel. Cheers.. ~DK

2 comments

  1. Stephen

    We’re glad to have you, a good group of friends makes living here much more palatable.

    1. dknight

      You are a gentleman and a scholar. Thanks for letting me join the band.

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