We all go through times of transition, whether it’s changing jobs, moving cities or saying goodbye to friends. Here are some ways to handle transition well.
About a year ago I did a week-long debrief of my last 5 years.
One of the things I discovered from it was that I hadn’t done as good a job at handling change as I thought I had.
Instead of going through a healthy process of grieving loss and coming out the other side, I’d been avoiding it altogether.
This time, as we approached moving countries, and saying goodbye to a seriously amazing bunch of friends, I resolved to handle things differently.
This time I sat down with my wife and we wrote a list of all of the people and places that we would miss and wanted to say goodbye to before we left. Then we planned out when to visit each of them.
2. Celebrate Friendships
In the past, it wasn’t until I would reach my new destination that I’d begin regretting the things I hadn’t told my friends. To transition well, it’s really important to make a point of doing this. If there were things that were hard to speak out, we wrote them down and gave them to our friends.
3. Express Emotions
Even though it might be culturally awkward, it’s really sad to be on your own when you begin to cry over the loss of a friendship. I made the point this time to be okay with crying in front of people, because I realised that I wanted them to see what they mean to me, and to be able to share the weight of the loss.
4. Tell Stories
My natural tendency is to focus on what’s next, but I’m learning the importance of looking at what has been. During our most recent transition, we reminded ourselves and those around us of the things we’ve experienced together. We told the story of our time there. We talked about what we learned and how we’d changed.