"All that glitters is not gold, all who wander are not lost.” This quote by J.R.R. Tolkien has been a lifelong motto for me, especially in the last few years. I can trace my desire to constantly be growing back to when I was eight years old. Every weekend I was hanging with friends and going on new adventures. From this age on, my desire to constantly be on the go and searching for new adventures only intensified. I have always had a deep urge to grow and push myself out of comfort zones, I truly believe that life is just one continuous transition from stage to stage.
I left Chicago when I was 17 to go to college and since then I’ve lived in three states. I lived in Indiana for my four years of undergrad, then St. Louis for a total of three years (two for graduate school and one to start my career), and now I live in New York City. Each of these major transitions has forced me to face the harsh realities of life. The biggest factor when making a transition in life is introspection. The ability to examine your own emotional and mental processes is not only time consuming, but comes with great responsibility, especially when life seems to always be in a flux.
Although I am no stranger to new cities, the move to NYC has been one full of lessons and humility- and it’s only been two months. NYC has shown me that starting over at 21 and starting over at 25 bring two different realities. I’m a lot more established at the age of 25 compared to where I was at 21, but at the same time I left a lot behind in St. Louis. I was able to transfer with my company to the East Coast, which I thought would bring the greatest peace of mind. However, I left my entire support system in the Midwest. I can no longer make weekend road trips to Chicago or Indy. The family I gained in STL is no longer a ten minute drive away. This transition has truly shown my growth over the last three years, and what my REAL values are.
Transitions can just happen to you- or you can take control of them. If we’re being honest, I’ve been allowing my most recent transition to happen to me. It’s not easy admitting that, but I finally can. With the acceptance of this, I’ve found new motivation to make NYC my home (at least for now) and to make this experience the best I can. With each passing day, I am continually transforming mentally, physically, and emotionally without even thinking about it. However, in order for this transition to be beneficial and of true substance, I know that I must be cognisant of my end goal and create a plan for how I wish to mold myself into that person.
The transitions that I’m writing about here are the ones related to physical relocation, but transitions can be anything. They can be as small as starting a new gym membership or as big as moving across the world. Life’s transitions are personal and mean something different for every person. For me, moving to a new location incites this feeling in me that I have to “level up.” However, I got this same feeling when I was starting my career and when I was making changes to my diet. Remember to never let any transition in your life go in vain, always be intentional no matter how small the transition.
In reading my story, I hope you can take away these lessons which I’ve learned from my ongoing journey through transitions:
You can be whole while still discovering pieces of yourself.
Go to sleep each night with a clear mind and heart, and get up the next day to try again.
Have individuals in your life who hold you accountable.
In times when it feels like life has buried you, water yourself and BLOOM!
Learn to return back home to yourself.
Finally, give yourself permission to grow, bend, break…to EXIST. We’re only human.
Good luck on all your future transitions!
Written and lived by Aalliah Robinson
November 6, 2019
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