Some years ago, there was a period in my life when everything was going beautifully. I was busy and active, but never overly stressed. During those days, I felt at the height of my creative powers, like I was growing in every way. And here was the amazing thing: every resource I needed just seemed to come into my life, without my having to go chase it down.
You ever have one of those times, when everything just seems to be going your way? That’s what it was like. And I’m not talking about just for a day, or a week, but month after month, things just kept going like that, getting better and better.
I should have known that streak wouldn’t last forever. Somehow, I didn’t see the crisis coming.
It came anyway.
One day, for no apparent reason, all hell broke loose.
Suddenly it seemed like everything was in turmoil. Everything I’d taken for granted, the stretches of peaceful concentration, the effortlessness of everyday life — gone. It wasn’t just that I was being shaken out of a sense of complacency. It was more like I was being shoved out of my life.
I’ve never been through an earthquake, nor experienced the fury of a volcano or the direct hit of a lightning strike — but I’ll bet they all feel something like what I was feeling now.
It’s hard to describe in detail, but it seemed like every aspect of my surroundings, an environment that had so recently felt altogether nourishing and supportive, had all at once turned against me.
I want things to go back to the way they were! I thought. But I knew things couldn’t go back to the way they were. They never do. They only go forward.
Acknowledging (albeit grudgingly and with a continuing sense of considerable resistance) the fact that I was being forced to leave behind the comfortable life I’d known, I plunged into the difficult and frightening business of making a transition to a new chapter, with no clear sense at all of what that new chapter might look like.
It was terrifying. I felt like I no longer even knew who I was, let alone where I was heading.
At one point things got so bad that I actually let out a physical wail of distress.
And in the next instant, there was a blinding light — and I heard the thundering of a nearby voice:
“Congratulations, Mrs. Mann — it’s a healthy baby boy!”
Transition: it never feels easy, does it?
But then, you can’t just stay where you were.
And really, considering the possibilities of the road ahead: would you even want to stay where you were?
Photo © Sigurdur Stefnisson