When I asked my friend John the other day for advice on buying a new surfboard, he also inadvertently gave me excellent life advice—or at least that’s how I chose to see it—when he suggested that I “power through the transition.”
In the context of surfing, John meant that although the board I was eyeing was a little shorter than would be recommended for my experience level, he said I should select a surfboard that I “want to ride long term” and that I “power through the transition” of getting used to a surfboard that is smaller and has lower volume than what I’ve been riding. In other words, it would be a hard but worthwhile transition to get from one stage to the next.
In the context of life, John’s advice captivated my attention and really resonated with me. Perhaps that’s because lately I have found myself grappling to come to terms with, and get through, several transition periods.
“Power through the transition” was the advice I needed to hear because I am tired of all the waiting, uncertainty, frustration, lack of control, and negativity. I feel like it’s time to start muscling my way from Point A to Point B instead of being so analytical—and hesitant—about everything.
A week after John’s message, I powered through one transition. I agreed to a long-term role as an independent contractor in project management. In addition to providing financial stability, I hope it will lead to new skills and career opportunities moving forward.
One transition I need to power through is creating a living situation that works better for me and my partner. I have yet to find a satisfying answer to the question “Where is home?” After purchasing a condo in San Diego last March, I have struggled to see the space as anything other than temporary.
But, more importantly and as I wrote about here, California feels like it’s squeezing us out. It’s too crowded and expensive and bound by its own red tape. We are becoming so uncomfortable on so many levels that it appears inevitable that we will eventually move somewhere else.
While I am at peace with that, it’s not always peaceful to sit in the limbo zone as the unknown sits there with you too, constantly pulling your attention with questions like “What are you going to do?” and “When are you going to do it?” and “Should you have done what you did?”
I have to get better at addressing those questions when appropriate, but let them float on by when I know more contemplation won’t bring new insight. Not every thought needs our undivided attention, as meditation teaches us. And not every problem needs an immediate solution, as patience teaches us.
We have the present only, and we must be present for it.
With all of us going through a strange societal transition from Covid shutdowns to a less encumbered way of life that nonetheless feels, in my opinion, disjointed and dehumanizing, I think we could all use a little motivational pep talk.
Perhaps a good place to start is powering through the transition from the awkward dissatisfaction of 2022 to a more liberating state of life that we can create collectively in the near future.
Note: I decided to take John’s surfing advice to power through the transition of using a shorter board, as shown in the leading photo in this post, but more importantly I took his inadvertent life advice.