We have to let go of the old thing before we can pick up the new one- not just outwardly, but inwardly, where we keep our connections to people and places that act as definitions of who we are. There we are, living in a new town, but our heads are full of all the old trivia: where the Chinese restaurant was (and when it opened in the evening), what Bob’s phone number was, what shoe store stocked the children’s sizes..
We usually fail to discover our need for an ending until we have made the most of our necessary external changes. There we are, in the new house or the new job or involved in a new relationship, waking up to find that we have not yet let go of our old ties. Or worse yet, not waking up to that fact, even though we are still moving to the inner rhythm of life back in the old situation. We’re like shell fish that continue to open and close their shells on the tide schedule of their home waters after they have been transplanted to a laboratory tank or at the restaurant kitchen.
William Bridges, Transitions