I have recently been handed a large life event or transition and below I'll explain the 4 different types of life transitions we stumble across in life.
We need to be mindful that life is going to happen, and that these transitions are part of life, whether we like it or not.
During the last 6 weeks, I have experienced large ranges of a lot of emotions. Anger, rage, sadness, grief, hurt, fear, hope and uncertainty to name but a few. What I have found is that you move through these, although they hit you in waves, and you can arrive at a place where you are at ease with the situation you find yourself in. Breathe into it, take it all in and move slowly, forwards. All it is, is life. I have really come to appreciate the fragility of all things, and the lack of control I have on almost anything. I cannot control a persons view of the world, and am not responsible for how they feel or respond. I think knowing that nothing is guaranteed and forever, and that everything is constantly changing (even if we don;t see it or realise) are big lessons for me. My expectations on certain stuff will no doubt change going forwards.
So, the 4 different types of transition are:
An anticipated transition is something you expect to happen in your adult life. Maybe you decided to go to university, change careers, get engaged, move house or have a baby.
When these transitions happen at the time you expect (or have planned for), there is a great deal to learn about how this meets and supports your needs. There will be times when it still feels uncomfortable - as relationships adapt, as you change identity or your levels of freedom shift.
The learning (levels of satisfaction, frustration and stress) may also be quite different, should these transitions happen when they exist outside of your expectations.
Unanticipated transitions are those you haven’t planned for and don’t factor as part of your life vision. Things like; redundancy, illness or accidents, or perhaps a relationship breakdown. These types of transition can be exceptionally stressful and painful, more so than an anticipated transition. However the potential for personal growth and reward can be much higher. These can be sudden and alongside managing this transition, it is likely that a broad range of other emotions and challenges will present themselves.
Non-event transitions are the absence of an expected event- where something you expect doesn’t happen or it doesn’t happen when you want it to. This could be; not getting a promotion when you had worked hard, not being able to have a child, not getting the house you had set your heart on. Managing grief and dealing with loss (often the loss of a life you expected) can feature quite strongly within this transition.
Sleeper transitions are the ones that occur without a great amount of awareness around them. They sneak up on you. Gradually improving your competence at work, the development of a skill as a parent, the progress of learning a language, the speed of your 5k run. They can also appear negatively - like the slipping away of a friendship or relationship, becoming demotivated at work.
With any transition, the process takes time to shift to a new phase. You may journey back and forth through emotions and learning as time passes. Awareness of the type of transition and planning for the highs and lows will help you understand, learn and grow; and that you'll get through it.....