How to Handle Difficult Career Transitions

How to Handle Difficult Career Transitions

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Ever since we moved, I have been doing projects. A lot of them. Whereas other people will spend money on clothes and beer, I will spend money on molding, paint, and shelving. Part of my obsession is that I have a design background, but most of it is that I am an extreme nester. God help me when we decide to get pregnant.

Needless to say, it’s a problem.

Especially since I work from home. I can’t concentrate until everything is done and put in it’s place. Or mostly done. And then, without fail, with every project, there is a moment. A sense of dread. Total exasperation. Exhaustion.

This time around it was the paint. Well, it is always the paint. We didn’t paint our last place, thank God. It was already white. I like white walls. A lot. But we painted two places ago. Or rather I painted everything and twice. And we painted the place before that, and we painted this place.

Every time, it is a nuisance. You always forget how hard painting really is. How long it takes to put up the stupid blue tape, how annoying it is to do two coats, because you really thought it would take just one. Humans have evolved to intentionally forget such things.

I always look forward to painting, until I want to stab Ryan in the head with a brush and the color is completely off despite trying seven, eight, nine samples. I hate painting. Let this post allow me to never forget.

Ryan claims he never forgot, but he helps me anyway. And while I am freaking out that the white may be too white, Ryan is saying phrases like “Let’s let it dry,” and “We need to do a second coat,” and “Oh, I’m really starting to like it,” as fast as he can manage.

Then finally, we are done.

I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. The next morning, it’s liveable. The next day, it’s growing on me. And in a few days, I’ve decided it’s the perfect color. How could I have ever thought otherwise? My heart swells I love it so much. (“Let’s paint the bedroom now,” I exclaim. Ryan hopes that I am kidding.)

Transition times are tough. When paint dries, you can literally see the color changing, your paint strokes disappearing, and your walls going from one state to another. In life, it’s not as cut and dry.  Like when you get a promotion, and suddenly your slammed with more work than you can seemingly handle. Or when you start a side job, and you’re juggling multiple missions at once. Or when you get to know your boyfriend’s family and they drive you up the wall.

There will be that moment. The one where you have no idea what you were thinking. But give it time. Transitions need time. You have to settle in, find your new habits, define a different self. Your mental and physical memories, ingrained in your everyday, will push back. You’ll want things to stay the same. You’ll want to be the same person, do the same things. You’ll try to retreat. Change will seem much more of a nuisance than it’s worth.

But then the paint will dry. (I promise.) You’ll wake up the next day and life will be a little easier. And things will be a little easier the day after that. Until you couldn’t imagine anything different. And you’ll forget all the bad stuff until next time, thank God.

So if you’re in a transition, know that it will be difficult. Even when it’s not supposed to be. Even when it’s something good and exciting and amazing. It’s still going to be tough.

Just give it time. And maybe a second coat.