This is how transition can feel for many. Jumping. Feeling a sense of pressure… a sense of urgency… a sense of fear… anticipation… feeling unprepared… and those few will feel very excited and jump right in – fearless and feeling invincible – as usual.
You are not alone!
Every single service member, at some point, will become a Veteran. They will start their transition from the military into the ‘civilian world’ and for every single individual, the experience will be THEIR OWN.
Of course, we can relate if we’ve already been through transition. We will offer our best advice – our lessons learned – the fastest way to make it through the transition program… But the reality is that every single one of us will experience our own transition journey.
Our emotions will range – sometimes from day to day and sometimes from moment to moment. We may be excited… scared… nervous… anxious… overwhelmed… secure… unsecure… we may even feel all of these emotions simultaneously or independent of one another. There is no ‘RIGHT’ way or ‘wrong’ way… There is your own way.
This experience is even labeled ‘transition’… and it is purposefully so. The word ‘transition’ can be interchangeably used with other words such as “change,” “transformation,” “metamorphosis,” “conversion,” “alteration” and “passage”. These words are no small adjectives – they represent something ‘BIG’ and something of true importance. Think about that for a moment.
And if you’ve been through this metamorphosis, take a second to give yourself DUE credit. Because the reality is – you’ve done something that not many regular people can say they’ve done. Some cannot relate even a little. You transitioned from High School Student or College Student or something of that nature into Soldier. As a Solider you were trained and always ready. And now, you are transitioning into WHO? Yourself? You question that at times… You may even straight-up ask yourself… “Actually, WHO AM I?” You are not alone.
Some of us lose our own personal ‘identity’. We become almost a ‘product’ of the military. Yes, we have a lot to be proud and prideful of – but somewhere along the way, we may have actually self-identified as someone different. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, many of us wouldn’t change it. But some of us can be uncertain of the person who is at the end of the service.
You, my friends, are warriors. You are strong. You are dependable. You are reliable. You get sh*t done. You can make it happen. You are CAPABLE.
Give yourself credit. Transition is no easy ‘thing’. It wouldn’t be called a transformation and a passage if it was meant to be a cake-walk. Think of it as your new mission. In fact, it IS your new mission. And what do you do when you get the mission objective? You battle plan… you accomplish… and you succeed.
Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help along the way. Do not let your own personal doubts and fears stand in your way of success.
Remember always – You are NOT alone and you ARE capable.