The human side of transition

17 Aug

The human side of transition

Close your eyes and imagine it’s 200 years ago and you are about to get on a boat to emigrate (by choice) to Australia. It doesn’t matter where from.

You’re at the port and you’re about to board the vessel. What’s going through your mind?

Possibly you’re second guessing yourself and counting costs. Are you saying goodbye to some family, friends or acquaintances, perhaps forever? Are you saying goodbye to the things you know and grew up with? The food, your command of the local area, your favourite shops or even your intimate knowledge of how to get things done. Maybe there’s been some elements of your plan that you’re not sure of you’re worrying. Will you have enough money? Who are the other people on the boat? Will your children be ok on this long trip?

Now you’re on the boat, what changes?

Having left your past behind your thoughts turn to the trip as well as the future. Is the boat safe? Are the people you’re around safe? Will you or your family get sick? How comfortable will you be? What will your future life be like? Have you planned adequately? There’s no going back!

Nearly there

Have you let go of the past yet? Are you sick of the journey? Or are you excited and elated by the new life you’re about to discover? What are the people around you talking about? Is it the life you left, the life you will find maybe a bit of both? How much time are you spending thinking about things? Some people seem to be ignoring everything whereas others seem to be obsessing. What about you?

The arrival

You disembark and set foot on Australian soil. You get that strange sensation that comes from being on a boat and feel the stability of the land. What now? What is everyone else doing? What are your hopes & what are your fears? How much energy do you have? How clearly can you define what you will do next?

So what?

Transition is an interesting thing. For some it starts a long period before an event and for others its thrust upon us. Some of us plan meticulously and others find this difficult. Some people obsess about the things we give away and others move on disturbingly quickly. When its done, some of us experience regret and remorse whereas others feel set free.

So whatever the transition you’re facing spare a thought for those you are travelling with if you care about them. Their combination of reactions and experience is likely to be different to yours.

A little bit of understanding goes a long way.

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