I started a couple of different writing projects when the pandemic started. Over the last couple of years they have evolved. The circumstances of those years has made me keenly aware of my transition process. Not out of choice, but in trying to figure out what the hell was going on with me.
One of these transitions halted my writing projects. Something had to give in order create space and give attention to, what I now know, was a definitive ending and move into what William Bridges calls the neutral zone.
To help makes sense of this movement I’ve put together a digital zine that illustrates what it feels like.
In his book Transitions, Bridges outlines the process in three steps:
What I have discovered is that I will do just about anything to avoid the neutral zone. To emphasize I prefer Richard Rohr’s language for his transition model:
On a very visceral level my body will fight against the movement to disorder. Despite having plenty of experience in disorder (growing up in the Air Force) I will convince myself I can skip it and jump straight to the beginning.
What ends up happening is my beginning is short-lived because I’ve never fully embraced the ending and moved on. I straddle the divide, riding a pendulum from one to the other and back again.
It’s only after some heavy convincing (forced) that I finally let go, embrace the end, and fall into the growth-enabling disorder.