Right now, it’s 6:30 in the morning. My room is an absolute mess. There’s seven rubber totes in the middle of my floor. There is also a stepladder in the trunk of my car (with the backseat pushed down so it can fit), in case you were wondering.
When I was in college, there was a direct correlation between the state of my room and the state of my life. If clothes were thrown all over the floor and my bed was unmade, it meant three things: Exams, boys, or a bad race.
Five years later, I’m the girl who makes her bed every morning before work. My room is typically spotless. I’ve learned to do laundry before I run out of underwear. The current state of my apartment should bother me, but it doesn’t.
It just means I’m going through a transition.
Respect the process of a transition.
Do you know where I’m headed this morning? I’m signing a lease to a new apartment! It will be my first time ever living on my own. No family, no roommates, no significant others (I threw that last part in for shits and giggles). It will be glorious.
Do you know what else today is? It’s the start of my seventh week of work! I have officially been at my job for a month and a half. How crazy is that?
In the six weeks since I started my job, I’ve written less blog posts, worked out less, cleaned less, and eaten worse. And I am surprisingly ok with it. Yes, some days I wake up telling myself, Get your shit together, but then I remind myself that a new job, a new gym, a new routine, and a new apartment is a lot to take on. And therefore I need to cut myself some slack.
Transitions are stressful. Do yourself a favor and don’t add more stress to the situation.
Since graduating college, I’ve lived in four different states and moved six (soon to be seven) times. It gives my parents an aneurysm. While my constant wanderings can be stressful, each experience taught me to respect transitions. When going through a life change—whether it be a new job, new home, new family member, new routine—allow yourself the free reign to do whatever you need to do to get through that transition. If you skip the gym because you haven’t buckled-down on your routine, skip it. If you have to eat out because you don’t have time to cook, eat it. Do these things, and do not stress yourself out more by feeling guilty when you do them.
Can you see how strongly I feel about this? I bolded and underlined that. I don’t think I’ve done that before.
Give your transition a deadline.
Like any free-for-all, you will eventually have to cap it. Meaning, set yourself a deadline. Tell yourself that by such-and-such date you will have your shit together. For me, this period ranges from one-to-three months, depending upon the transition.
Two weeks ago, I was at my running group and met a new teammate who just moved to the city. I asked her where she was from and how she was enjoying the DC. Her minimal responses told me something was bothering her. On a hunch, I bluntly told her, “Give yourself the right to hate this place for six months. Whatever negative thoughts you’re having, tell yourself it is ok to have them.”
She looked at me shocked, so I continued. “I hated DC when I first moved here. Hated it. And I thought I had to love it because I moved my life here. It’s ok to hate a new place. It’s ok to be frustrated when you pay up your ass in rent, can’t find a group of friends to jibe with, or land a job that has nothing to do with your college major. Give it six months—that’s how long it took me to find my rhythm.”
When she found her words again, all she said was, “Thank you for saying that!! Everyone just loves it here but it is so different than what I’m used to!”
There’s a little perfectionist in all of us, and it kills us when we’re not on top of our game. We want to be productive, hit-the-ground running, eat healthy, kill our workouts, and stay positive through all of the above. But when you’re going through a life change, you won’t be on your A-Game. You just won’t. When you go through a transition, you have to over-compensate on things that used to run on autopilot. You will be indecisive, less-than productive, and some things will slip. Tell yourself it’s ok.
You will get back to your routine, your meal prep, and your gym schedule. You will. But you won’t get there immediately. Accept that you are in a transition, cut yourself a little slack, and everything will come in time.