Transition is a byproduct of change. I have always believed that part of my purpose in this world is to make a change.
I’ve realized that if I encourage and implement change, I am fueled by my vision, which makes it a positive move. But if I’m the recipient of change, it becomes a different story; though I’m not resistant to it, somehow it breaks me.
It’s true: Change is easier said than done. Change is hard when it happens to me. Though I know it is constant in life, I wouldn’t really understand the emotional part of it—the transition—until I experience it myself.
Thus, transition is harder to manage than change itself. It pulls me out of my comfort zone, brings me to a foggy intersection, and sometimes questions my existence.
I remember the countdown we joked about. Daily at lunch, we counted how many days remained before June 30. Our team was coterminous with the past administration, meaning its end meant our exit. We were burdened with mixed emotions; we tried to hide our personal uncertainties in laughter.
Half of us were excited because they were up for another adventure and they could finally take long weeks of rest after June 30 (they stopped having regular nights of sleep when they began working in the government). The rest of us were saddened because we were staying: It was a choice we made, believing that our heart is anchored on the workplace and its purpose, regardless of the others’ departure. The two groups experienced the same ending, yet needed to part ways to pursue different beginnings.
It feels different if one belongs to the group that stayed. It feels like one is left behind. The transition makes one feel like losing comrades in battle. One struggles to keep fighting, to remind oneself that emotions won’t help the nation one is serving.
But if one were among those who left, it probably feels like leaving home and starting a new life elsewhere. Perhaps the challenge is in letting go of what was once yours and hoping that the new owner will care for it as much as one did.
For me, the outcome of choosing to stay is more healing and recovery to do. The transition teaches me to cut attachments and live in the same house without my family members. (Sometimes I think of getting the work done with the same people, believing that the results would be better if I fight this battle alongside them.)
Sometimes I ask: Why did I choose to stay? Then I go back to the core of everything: purpose. Overcoming transition is about looking deeper into my purpose, not my emotions. Purpose will tell me that I am destined to be here even if it means that I will walk alone.
Choosing to stay should not be cause for regret. It’s an opportunity for which I should be thankful. Others don’t even have the luxury of choice.
A transition is a temporary distraction. I have to overcome it to better find life’s purpose.
Bayan bago sarili. Country before self.
Jen Pascua, 21, is a project development officer at the Department of Education.
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