We’ve been saying “this transition” will end “soon”, and yet the “transition” seems elusive.
Then I started to think about all the different transitions we’re actually doing.
Kiddo learning French is going to take longer than a few months. As does getting used to a new school, a new country, and making new friends takes time. Cultures are not things you pick up on in a day or a week or a month.
Curt, too, has been going thru mega change. He has been in a big job transition with work travel taking up at least 50% of his time. He didn’t mean to pick up a new job while moving countries, that just got tacked along. (Oh by the way…) He has a new boss, and new demands, and also new work context. All while existing demands didn’t exactly die down.
And, I signed up to write a new (my third) book right before coming, a project I’ve wanted to put off for fear of doing it badly. It nearly killed me to do the book proposal because I never knew what was going to count as “done”. I kept getting told “you’re nearly there” but in reality that meant months and months more work. I couldn’t manage my pace, my expectations and to know how to manage my own energy. In the middle of the move, it felt too much and I know my frustration showed. But the “funny part” is that because I had let go of some corporate board roles before all this transition, I thought I had taken into account “enough” buffer for the transition.
And now as we’re here… we’re starting to realize there were a bunch of “unnamed” goals — things that were largely unaccounted for. We wanted to be more present to one another. Maybe have more fun. Travel a little. While I hadn’t originally wanted to be fluent in French, that’s now on the list and any day short of complete success feels like an abysmal failure. We’re juggling a lot of things, lottsa notions of ourselves, and who “we are”, and who we will be.
it feels as if we’re stuck “in the middle”, some kind of purgatory spot. I was reading a management professor’s book (who also happens to be a Paris friend) for some research, and she writes about the word “transition”. Ibarra writes: at the root of transition is “in transit”, a voyage from one place to the other — a neither here nor there that William Bridges , the transitions guru says is one reason why people don’t want to make change. We lose touch with the ground.
And THIS explains so much how we feel in Paris.