This time of the year is filled with transition for so many people- teenagers graduating from high school, college students going home for the summer, graduates taking the first steps into the ‘real world’. Summer is a time of change and with that change can come so many emotions, good and bad.
Walking away from what is comfortable and familiar can be scary, heartbreaking, and sad. Often, during times of transition, we are told to focus on the positive outcomes… “but you are starting the best years of your life” or “just wait to see what the future holds for you!” That can make it feel wrong to be sad or scared. Those emotions can make us feel guilty for not appreciating the good things that may be coming.
But it is okay to be sad. Transition means leaving something behind. No matter how grand the new venture may be, there is still something that will remain in the past. Something that doesn’t come with you.
Tomorrow, I am leaving my first professional job- the job that I have had for three long years. I am leaving the coworkers that have become family, the students that have shaped me, the office that has felt like home. I am turning three years of work over to someone else to do what they want with it- to build upon it or tear it apart for something new. Although I knew that this transition was coming and I am leaving to chasing an exciting new path in my career, I can’t help but feel sad.
This isn’t my depression. This isn’t something to be fought or overcome. These are natural feelings to be embraced, feelings that will go away with time. When you live with depression, you become hyper-aware of your feelings or moods. The first hint of sadness is usually accompanied with an “oh-no” because it is often followed by depression’s choke-hold.
Yet sometimes, sadness is just sadness. It is natural. It is okay. Transitions aren’t easy and saying goodbye is the worst. Embrace the feelings that come with transition. Temper them with the hope that the future holds something wonderful, but don’t push them aside or run from them. Let that sadness remind you of the good that has come thus far. Hold onto it and when you are ready, let it go.