It is not just the pace of change that leaves us disoriented. Many Americans have lost faith that the transitions they are going through are really getting somewhere. To feel as though everything is “up in the air,” as one so often does during times of personal transition, is endurable if it means something – if it is part of a movement toward a desired end. But if it is not related to some larger and beneficial pattern, it simply becomes distressing.
It is as if we launched out from a riverside dock to cross to a landing on the opposite shore – only to discover in midstream that the landing was no longer there. (And when we looked back at the other shore, we saw that the dock we had left from had broken loose and was heading downstream. Stuck in transition between situations, relationships, and identities that are also in transition, many Americans are caught in a semipremanent condition of transitionality.
William Bridges, Transitions