Are We There Yet?
By Jacey Eckhart
I woke up happy this morning. It rained for a week straight, which reminded me how we moved back to the States from rain-drenched Norway exactly one year ago.
Call me shallow, but I was so glad to come home. Back to my family. Back to the sunshine and the (mostly) blue skies. Back to the beach and bare feet and fresh peaches and the perpetual surprise that is…Marshalls.
After a year of knocking on doors like crazy looking for the right job and the right life, my career Next Door opened at last. I think I am through the Next Door. But how does anyone know they made it for sure?
After all, it took a ridiculously long time to get here. I can't help but feel a certain amount of shame that I could not make it happen sooner. Brad says that is like being ashamed I could not make corn grow faster or strawberries ripen.
True enough, I guess. William Bridges, author of the iconic book Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes, says that there is no rushing the neutral zone. It takes a lot of time to get through it and there are no shortcuts.
Which seems silly to me. It is ridiculous how grinding the long hallway can be during a Next Door Project, isn’t it? Surely it would be so much more efficient if we could sign up for our Significant Life Changes like moves and new jobs and new family members in an orderly fashion at a convenient time.
When I do all the work of a #siglifechange, I want the Next Door to open to the sound of trumpets. I want confetti. I want a heavenly host singing “Hallelujah” at the very least so I am ready to enjoy it right away.
Instead the Next Door opens with a whisper. You only recognize it because you have been here before.
And I have been here before. I do know this feeling. I felt like this when I was 21 and woke up with my head on Brad's chest months after our wedding and my mom called and she was not surprised to find Brad in my bed. I felt like this when I first saw my own picture in the newspaper next to my byline. I felt like this at Christmastime surrounded by my grown kids and their lovely spouses and my little granddaughter at last. I still feel like this every time I stand before an audience.
This is what the Next Door feels like: Complete. I feel for a moment, the smallest moment, the tiniest time, complete. Calm. In sync. What bliss.
If you are still in the middle of your long hallway full of nothing but closed doors, take a minute and look up. I opened a window for you. The sunshine and warm breeze blowing in is a reminder of what is to come. Or, it is pollen because I forgot about all the pine trees out there.
Either way, keep moving forward. Keep knocking. Because it is the only way to get to your Next Door to open.