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The Way to Healthy Transitions is Through

I kissed the plant. I actually kissed the plant. I am letting it go into the care of my best friend as my family and I are preparing for the very first relocation of our lives. We are moving from Bucharest, Romania (where we were born and raised) to Copenhagen, Denmark (where I start my new job and where we dream to settle for a better life).

I have been privileged to work with SPAN for the past year as a volunteer and to receive the gift of the Laws of Transitions Certificate Course and still … the practice of transitions is the hardest exercise yet. RAFTing through these last weeks in my home country, soon to be just my birth country, I have come to understand transitions to be the best example of integration. When she speaks of the concept of integration Dr. Brene Brown points us towards the latin word “integrare” - to make whole. The experience of transitions is life at its finest. It encompasses both giddy expectations and grief-provoked angst, joy in the face of a long coveted adventure and intense nostalgia as we look back on what we are closing the door on.

I carry on conversations in my mind and write letters I will burn instead of send. I cry and say goodbye in person or on the side of loved ones’ graves. I check messages coming from our destination about our new home, new surroundings, new people, new projects. We plan parties, excited about the music, the food and the occasion and spend the entirety of its duration in tears and hugs. We write thank you messages with our jaws tight of already missing everyone. It will always be the people we miss.

I am lucky to have had a year between full time jobs. It might just be me but I don’t think I would have been able to process this move healthily if not for time to sit with my tears of joy and pain, my questions, my plans or lack thereof, my excitement enmeshed with my fear. I must admit that I was a skeptic. Yes, I understood the theory behind building my RAFT but … it wasn’t until this transition loomed close that I understood there is no way around it if I wanted to thrive. I am writing this in the throes of building it. And like a builder, my body and mind get tired, splinters pierce my skin and hurt, I find pieces that look good to build into the raft only to discover they are empty wood chunks. I keep going, there is no way back or around this. Only through. I keep weaving this raft together piece by piece and don’t let myself be too derailed. When it all becomes too hard, I breathe in deeply and intently and reach out for help.

Through the portal of transitions, we all want to “walk lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world”. The only way for that is through. Through going back on paths that hurt, making peace with issues that will remain unsolved and burning letters containing words uttered but never sent. Through tears, hugs, trying hard to only make promises that we will be able to keep. Gifting small parts of us, like our beloved books and plants in the hope that a part of us will remain in our homeland through the moments others remember us here.

See you all on the other side of the rapids, in a safe harbor.

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