I am not sure what transition in my life is worth writing about, because there have been a few. I imagine that, in my line of work, that the transition from dependent to independent is the most important transition in life.
I became truly independent at the age of 23. I had returned from living in London, UK, for 6 months. I was totally depressed and wanting for something more exciting than rural Pennsylvania. While my original plan had been to move to NYC and earn a teaching certificate, I was stagnant in movement and could not separate from working for my sister, in Bridgewater, NJ; while I learned a lot about computers I was spoiled as an employee, with my expensed lunches with friends and my non-existent work schedule. I got paid the same no matter what hours I worked, or didn’t work.
After a short span of monotony, I accepted a friend’s invitation to drive across country and visit Las Vegas, Nevada (pronounced nuh-vaaeh-dah). His parents had recently moved there and he wanted to audition for a Strip show at MGM. I tagged along; I joined the gym and took jazz classes. I had my headshots done and attended the formal audition at the MGM showroom, with David Cassidy. I tripped and got cut in the first round of auditions. Already, Nevada was a city of broken dreams, for me.
Then I met my future husband.
Not that life became perfect, but it did come into focus for me. I worked to straighten my act out and become a girl with ambitions. My ambitions led me to Graduate school at UNLV and a teaching certification. Then I was let loose in the classroom. Feeling helpless, I longed for the opportunity to make a more positive difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities.
Like individuals with disabilities, who must transition from a supported lifestyle to a more independent lifestyle, I suddenly became someone who had some information to share. I felt valuable for once in my life. I had been trained to assist individuals with disabilities to live better lives, and I was so ready to do my job. After a few years of struggle with the educational system, I left teaching Special Education behind, to advocate for all of the students in special education.
I am currently fulfilling a dream, to help individuals – of all ages – dealing with cognitive disabilities, to live the best possible lives that they can live.
I’m not sure when this transition began, or completed, but it also involved the birth of my own two children and all the life changes that are associated with parenthood. Care is what is most important. Care can come at any age, at any time; regardless, care is a crucial factor in the development of the individual. Once care is involved, transition is possible.
Transition means a lot of different things to different people, but to me, transition is a goal that many people work towards every day. Please pray that they achieve their goals!