Transitions: Moving Forward

Living changes us. We cannot go back.

The Moon Landing

The moon landing only felt like a victory because the astronauts were returned safely to earth. They came home, but not again. They arrived back on a home world changed by their journey, and they landed as changed men who had visited outer space. The hardest part is not launching humans into the vast unknown; the hardest part is navigating this new space safely while embracing the vulnerability and growing from the challenge.

We are Always in Transition

I am always in a transition between different states of being. Moving towards my next adventure while still retaining my identity, feelings, habits, and routines from the place I was before.

Sometimes I want that comfortable feeling of having arrived at the summit of the mountain, with its gorgeous view of the world where the people below look like ants and the rivers make patterns I can see and understand. I want the feeling of relief that I made it, that the challenges and sacrifices are worth it.

But that is just that moment. It is important to celebrate it but it is also important to continue the journey to the next place. I don’t believe I can ever go back because when I arrive at the place I was before — home or the metaphorical (or literal) base camp — I am changed. I am a different version of myself integrating the new experiences and knowledge.

We cannot go back. We cannot be the same again. We can be a new great — a glorious, uncertain, unknown version of ourselves.

And I don’t want to go back. We’ve outgrown the past and to try would be uncomfortable.

The Window Seat

When I fly I always like to choose the window seat. I like to see the world as I travel above the clouds in between the earth and sky. To see the sun or stars as I fly across time zones and weather and bodies of water. The flight is a literal state of transition between my origin and my destination, between the person I was and the person I will be when I land. It is a feat of engineering and physics, an inherent risk, and always includes the most complicated variable in life — a collection of people and the huge range of stories and lives they carry with them.

These are the things I think about on planes.

Rachel is a writer, podcaster, and self-employed designer and visual facilitator. She lives in NC with her dog, Devin. Learn more at

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