As an adult, the cycle of change is less absolute than the cycles of change from our youth. Dating, starting to drive, getting a part-time job, graduating from school, moving away to college, and getting our first apartments are all reasonably big life experience hurdles that occur in a fairly condensed period of time. Particular events and life activities chronicle these passages. Similar, obvious changes that adults experience—starting a family, moving to another city, changing careers, divorcing—are also marked by notable events. But there are more subtle, yet still profound changes, like the kind my friend is navigating, that require our energy, attention, and faith to fully find the new path upon which we are meant to travel.
This sort of change is not easy because it means that we will shed part of our identity. We must do this completely—recognizing the associated grief of this loss while carrying the banner of faith that the next path will present experiences and discoveries both joyful and fulfilling.
My most recent change occurred over a span of nearly 15 years and my father’s death was the watershed event initiating a lengthy period of reflection upon my time transferring from present to past in my own life. Without taking any action at all, time passes. Each day ends, becoming part of our collection of yesterdays. The question that continued to reverberate in my consciousness was: how am I spending my time? It is the personal version of the age-old question: what is the meaning of (my) life?
The transition that followed included periods of panic, anxiety, introspection, trepidation, fatigue, courage, serenity and joy.I am certain that more transitions will occur in my future and I will repeat the process of saying both hello and goodbye to parts of my identity. Embracing this journey, and the companions with whom I share the travel, make the transference of time a splendid life experience.