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Going through big changes blog

Life is changing all the time…

We grow, situations change and life moves on from one day to the next. Occassionally though something happens which changes life in a big way. It may be a change of job, the start of a new relationship, or the end of an old one, the death of a loved one or the birth of a child. Often we are expecting this change, but it doesn’t necessarily make that change easier to deal with. 

Life is constantly changing.

This time of year brings many changes too. The weather changes, the leaves on the trees will soon be changing and children are starting school, changing class and even leaving home to start new chapters at boarding school or university.

As an ex-teacher I am particularly in tune with the changes that happen in the Autumn. I would have been adding the finishing touches to my new classroom and preparing for my new class at this time of year. I still get the urge to buy new stationery and a new school bag, and I still use an academic diary. This time of year still feels like new year more than January 1st to me, I suppose because I spent so many years in education. 

This year I am gearing up for one of the biggest changes of my adult life; my daughter going to university.

I have been trying to mentally and physically prepare for this change ever since she changed her mind about wanting to go, about two years ago. I am slowly realising though that it doesn’t matter how much pasta I have bought for her to take with her, I have still not processed the fact that in two short weeks she will be moving 120 miles away. Not only that, she will only be 4 miles from my best friend, my sister Jen, and I will still be 120 miles away from both of them!

I have, of course, been journaling about this imminent change, but I have realised that I am not fully able to process it. Why? Because it hasn’t happened yet. I was talking to my sister about it recently, her eldest is starting high school this week, that is a big change for their family too. She commented that she didn’t think she could process it fully because she doesn’t know how she is going to feel.

It’s true isn’t it?

We can’t know how we are going to feel about something that hasn’t happened yet. 

Autumn changes

Journaling is a powerful tool and one I would recommend to anyone, but it is a tool for processing events and emotions we have already experienced. I can journal about the wonderful memories we have created this summer, but what I cannot do is process my daughter leaving home, because it hasn’t happened yet. 

Similarly, if we are unhappy in our relationship, we can journal about the emotions we are feeling, but we can’t write about the end of that relationship until it has actually ended.

There are times when journaling can be used to project what we want to happen in the our lives. We may write a letter to our future self or journal about business goals we have, we may even discover ambitions we were unaware of while we journal, but this is a different form of journaling and a subject for another blog. When we use journaling to heal emotionally, we have to have already experienced those emotions. 

Autumn changes 2

We want to start processing those big emotions before the time is right, because we know they may be overwhelming if we wait until we are in the eye of the storm. It may be possible to start processing how we feel about these big changes, but we can’t possibly know exactly how we will feel until they are here, with us, and we are immersed fully. 

We want to start healing before we have suffered the injury, as though that will make it all easier.

Unfortunately life isn’t like that, is it? 

I am acutely aware that I am going to need to do a lot of journaling and processing of my emotions when my daughter moves to University. I already cry at the thought of it some days. I know that this is the best thing for her though. I know she is ready and she needs that freedom to grown and spread her wings. This is what I have been wanting for her since she was born. What I hadn’t taken into account though is the fact that for her to fly high and live her life, she has to leave me on the ground waiting to see when she will land in my life again. 

I do know one thing for sure though. I have a beautiful new journal waiting to absorb all the tears and the heartache, emotions that I will undoubtedly feel at times. I also have a deep and beautiful knowledge that she is following her dream to be a writer. A dream she has had since she was able to understand what it meant to be an author. I am filled with pride and joy that she is able to follow her heart and have this life changing experience.

It is so often the case that big changes come with a cocktail of emotions, and they aren’t always the ones that you were expecting.

If you have big changes ahead in your life, you can talk to trusted loved ones, you can write about how you are feeling right now, you can do everything in your power to be organised for that change. What you can’t do though, is to begin to process how think you will feel when the change happens, and that is ok. That’s how life should be. You might surprise yourself and deal with it brilliantly. You might experience emotions you weren’t expecting. Whatever happens though, you will get through it and writing it out can be a powerful tool to help you do that.


If you would like to learn more about the power of journaling, why not join my journaling group; A little word told me…


Find out more about journaling through change:

Are you going through big changes? 

Benefits of journaling


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