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They say all good things must come to an end. I like to think that they end so something even better can begin. So why am I sad when the end I’ve known is coming, and even desired, finally happens? Here’s what I’ve come up with:
Closure is for more than romantic relationships. Whether you’re moving out, starting college, or changing jobs, you have to grieve what once was to fully accept what’s coming up. You move through your own unique phases—based around the usual sadness, denial, what-ifs, acceptance, and even excitement—to fully embrace the next chapter of your life.
The unknown is scary no matter what. Sure, we all deal with change and transition differently, but what human isn’t at least a little bit afraid of something they’ve never experienced before? This fear tends to get you thinking about the negative and what could go wrong. But have you ever thought about what could go right? Yeah, you could fall, but you could just as easily fly.
You doubt your inner beliefs. It can be difficult to tap into your true thoughts and beliefs, especially in an age where we’re all bombarded by the opinions of others all day long on social media. Then, even when you’re able to truly listen to yourself and make decisions true to you, it can be hard to stick with them. You don’t want to disappoint the people around you—your friends, family, significant other, boss—but what about disappointing yourself?
It breaks your societal contract. We’ve become programmed to want certain things based on how we look, where we grew up, what grades we got in school, what we see on social media, and what other people tell us we want. And when we make decisions that go against all these beliefs that have been drilled into our minds from a young age, it makes us feel like we’re wrong. But you’re unique and have unique thoughts, beliefs, and desires. Don’t let what you’re supposed to do stop you from making decisions that will make you happy.
You think it’s wrong to be sad. Just because you’re the one driving change doesn’t mean you can’t be sad. And you know what they say about stuff you’re not supposed to do—that just makes you want to do it more. Your feelings are valid regardless of what spurred this transition. Feeling sadness over what you had is how you’re going to feel grateful and happy during your next chapter.
Change is supposed to bring up a wide range of emotions—it’s evolutionarily programmed into us. Which makes it even more beautiful if we allow ourselves to unapologetically feel all of it.