Transitions are usually challenging. That is true of the one I am in now.
Claiming my vocation as a writer means leaving my work for and with People of Faith for Equality in Virginia (POFEV). That is work I enjoy, at least much of it, and certainly it taps into and often fulfills my passion for justice (especially as an expression of my faith).
Friday was my last day as the full-time President of POFEV. However, I will be continuing in a part-time capacity until mid-February, working on a couple of projects and making sure the transition to the future goes well. I also am writing more, taking a poetry class, officiating at weddings, and looking for some adjunct teaching or other part-time work for the future (work that helps sustain and even complements my writing).
So, I am in that strange in between space–not entirely in the old mode but not entirely in the new either. It requires a lot of balancing; sometimes I feel like the man who has one foot in the canoe and the other on the dock–I don’t want to fall into the water!
When the guru of transition theory, William Bridges, started writing and teaching 30+ years ago about the phenomena of this kind of change, he called the in-between period “chaos.” At times, that feels right.
But more recently he started naming this period as the “neutral zone.” I don’t feel that at all. There is nothing neutral about this; I certainly am not stalled either!
Instead, I experience it as an intensely nourishing time, even as I struggle to balance. The conflicts between the old and the new often produce rich new understandings of myself and my journey, provided I can avoid getting ensnared in anxiety.
The key is to not fret, and not to spend time trying, in moments of challenge, to be in the space where I am not. It also is necessary to plan, and then not let the plan become more important than reality. Time for both, I keep saying.
Time for both. Or perhaps the best way is to say, “Time for my life.” the one I have been in, the one to which I am going, and everything in between. Maybe, in that sense, we all live in transition, all the time. Some are just more, well . . . . transitional . . . . than others, right?
I am grateful to God for being on the move, and for knowing God is going with me, or better yet, I believe I am going with God!
[Note: I will say more in coming weeks about how I came to make this shift, or perhaps more accurately, how this shift came to move me.]