All the Feels
“How are you feeling?”
That’s the most common question I have been getting since I announced to my network I was going to sell the house I love, leave the community I’ve built for 15 years, and quit the professional world I've been a part of for nearly a decade. “How are you feeling?”
And then, usually, an option: “Sad? Or happy?”
Both and more, actually.
All of it, actually.
Earlier in life I think I might have believed that most major life transitions and changes boiled down to either end of the spectrum: happy or sad, grieving or joyous, good or bad.
But, actually, I am living in the grey right now – the in-between, the all of it. I am #allthefeels all of the time. And it feels so good to unpack and come face to face with how transitional space is about the full range of feelings. I've found that embracing the rollercoaster of transition serves me better than denying or avoiding it.
I am happy.
Happy about the adventure ahead.
Happy about the possibility to refresh a career that was creating stress and not tapping into my passions.
Happy to have the time, privilege, and ability to explore.
I am sad.
Sad that soon I will not be physically close (around the corner, across the city, down the hall at work) to people I love living near.
Sad to say goodbye to a house that has been a really important place of shelter and community for me. (But also happy because, to be honest, it’s also been a lot of work.)
Sad to leave my beloved bit of land in the city, the plants I have cared for, the cherry tree Joel and I planted together.
I am confident and completely believe in myself right now. I am also full of self-doubt.
At times I am ecstatic for the change and adventure ahead, during other moments of the day I am filled with an existential dread of what did I do? In the quiet moments when my eyes first open in the morning, a series of thoughts race through my head: I don’t have a job to go to! Someone new is going to live in this home soon! (Not me anymore!) Joel and I are going to be in a car together for very long periods of time! What did I do!?
I find myself randomly laughing and having outbursts of joy. Surrounded by boxes, bubble wrap, empty cabinets, and other clear indicators of change, I ask Joel to spin me playfully in the kitchen, softly kiss me. I point at him laughing and say, “Look what we are doing!” We hug for an extended period of time, and I wonder if the neighbors can see us through the large window, are questioning if our hugs are longer than usual. They are.
I also cried weeding the garden today. “This will be my last time weeding this garden,” I thought. “Goodbye, garden,” I said in between small, slow dripping tears. (Afterwards I did cackle a bit killing a Japanese beetle with my bare hands.)
Without a second thought I cleared out my closet and donated over half of my clothes. Two of my friends showed up to my goodbye party wearing “my” clothes. “Too soon?” asked one friend. “No,” I said, “It suits you, plus now you’ll have to think of me when you wear it.” (Also, I learned a valuable lesson: I don’t need so many outfit options.)
I have said dozens of goodbyes, smiling widely for some, choking back tears for others. The parents of one of the first friends I made here – my “Minnesota Family” – showed up to my goodbye party in the park. My “Minnesota Mom” hugged me tight and whispered in my ear, “Maybe at the end of the trip, you’ll realize this is the place you were meant to be all along.”
I have known who I am saying goodbye to forever and who I am actually saying “See you later” to. I’ve accepted the difference at times with grace and at times with grief.
This is the reality of transition, of change, of movement.
I believe shifts in our lives are a time, as many wise people in my life have instructed, to really sit with how you are feeling. And further, to acknowledge the beauty in not being binary in your emotions. It’s not just the extremes, it’s the full spectrum. The wide ocean of feeling something, and then, something else. To say goodbye to people you love while holding the possibility of what if, the expectation of new connections. To be happy and sad and outrageously broken up inside and at peace and confident and full of self-doubt and ready.
What a gift to be here with all my feels.
Are you going through a transition? I LOVE coaching people on feeling #allthefeels and maximizing their life transitions. Contact Sara at wearegrowinghome (at) gmail (dot) com if you would like a transition session.