Transitions: No Versus Not Yet

“You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”

—Steve Jobs


Waiting isn’t easy. Have you ever been in that funky period of transition where you have left something, someone—a career, a marriage—behind and you feel like you are stuck in limbo waiting for the next big thing to come into your life? Or maybe it is a dream or investment you haven’t realized yet…

Transitions are funny, aren’t they? A period in your life where one door is starting to close yet a long treacherous hallway stands between you and the next door you are meant to walk through. This moment in time can wreak havoc on our lives, our psyche, and our wellbeing. It’s change at the very essence, and it is often very hard to grapple with. Sometimes it feels like we are going to be stuck in whatever we are going through for infinity. We have done all the things to “make it happen”—we have visualized, taken action…you name it, we have done it, trying to manifest the next phase of our lives! The new thing surely should have begun and when it doesn’t, it is so easy to get caught up in self-deprecating thoughts, denial, fear, worry, and anxiousness, that the gamble, the roll of the dice was perceived as a misstep on the road we call life.

But what if all we need to do is have a little patience? What if the Lord, the universe, whatever you believe, were not telling you “no,” that you failed, but rather that your place of being is exactly where you should be in this very moment and what is yet to come will happen in due time.

Perhaps, in these moments, it’s hard to have faith that the page will indeed turn and a new chapter will begin, but it will.


No vs. Not Yet

My family just got a little bit bigger. My husband and I just welcomed our first child into the world at the end of the summer while we were living in Barcelona, getting ready for a complete overhaul of our lives. We not only added a plus-one to our roster, but in addition to this life-changing experience we were readying ourselves to move across the Atlantic to Washington, DC. My husband had to report to his new job not but two weeks after our son’s birth. In this transition, I found myself with our infant son in Poland with my in-laws for four months, giving my husband time to setup house in our new city.

I am living through limbo. I have been here before, as we all have. That place of unknowing, a pause preparing us for what’s next. If you are like me, you like having purpose in a world that is turning faster by the minute. When we actually have time to breathe, it feels awkward because it is not what we are used to.

I have had to recalibrate my thinking. This time will pass. My purpose in this very moment is to embrace my newborn son, be his mother, and nurture a bond with him. I have my career aspirations but that is not what is important now. Having this downtime is not a detour on my path, but the greater power saying, “Wait, not just yet.” You may want it all—the career, the family, your goals and aspirations—but it may not happen all at once. This doesn’t mean it won’t fall into place, it just hasn’t yet. Instead of thinking Life is telling you, “No, sorry, the next thing is not for you,” think of Life saying, “Not yet, plans are still being formulated. We are getting there.”


No vs. Not Yet

Ponder that for a moment. No versus Not Yet. They are very different. If there is one thing I know, it’s that in life there is always a beginning, a middle, and an end to everything. All of it. Every part of it. This thought gives me comfort, knowing that the truth is that we are almost always in a state of transition of some kind. This limbo is not forever. It is not a prison sentence, letting you dwell in the dark crevices of your mind. Our job is actually to do our best to be as present as possible for each stage—the good, the bad and the ugly.

Trust me, I know change is NOT easy, but you will get through the transition. Try to look at whatever transition you are experiencing through a different lens. When you feel disheartened, repeat this mantra, helping to uplift your spirits and welcome the greatness about to come your way.

I embrace the change brewing. When the time is right I will step into my light. Something amazing is coming my way. Try it. Say it to yourself. Feel the reassurance it provides. Use it as a reminder that the next door you have to pass through is not closed tight: turn the handle and wait with confidence.