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Transitions: The Book Called Life

Word 'change' transitioning to 'chance' by swapping 'g' for 'c'

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

~Maya Angelou

Chapters Of Our Lives

Transitioning moment of the Monarch butterfly from caterpiller, pupae, coocoon, hanging on a branch.

Our lives are stories, consisting of many chapters. Although the number of pages vary, all are filled with happy and sad moments, anticipation, and transitions. 

Are you a reader? I have always been a big reader. I love starting a new book. I love the anticipation of a good story, an adventure, the suspense, and of course, the escape from my reality. But, I have come to realize that life is much like one of those novels I enjoy reading. In fact, I believe it would be fair to say that any of our lives could be a novel. Most of us are just not famous enough to write an autobiography or have a biography about us written and published.

We all have stories, adventures, suspense, and transitions in life. I have also started to understand that in the transitions is when we grow and find the beauty in life.  

A really enjoyable book or story has transitions. It takes us on an emotional roller-coaster. We experience joy and sorrow, excitement and challenge, success and failure. And, there are moments of intense suspense or cliff-hangers. Books move from chapter to chapter. Our life transitions move us from one chapter of life to the next, whether we want the change or not, and whether we are ready or not.  

“Transitions in life can offer opportunities for discovery.”

~Robbie Shell

The transitions in my life have been the times when I developed the most strength and determination. There have been pivotal moments that literally changed my entire direction. I have also come to realize that every change in life has provided me an opportunity to grow in compassion, wisdom and knowledge. And, many of my life changes have provided me tremendous opportunities for adventure and to increase my impact on the lives of others. 

Very few people are comfortable with change. Most of us, including me, get into a comfort zone and are resistant to move out of it. I am learning that it is important to look at life transitions as opportunities. Yes, we have positive natural life transitions, such as moving from childhood into adulthood, getting married, finishing school, and starting new jobs. We also have sorrowful natural transitions such as  the death of loved ones.

Of course, we also experience unexpected changes, such as accidents, or significant health challenges or onset of disability, unexpected loss of loved ones due to break-ups, divorce or death, loss of jobs, and any other significant life change. It is stressful, and the more of a surprise it is, the more stressful it is.

I have had to set aside a book because it was too intense for me to continue. Life can be like that too. I know when I go through significant life transitions, I must take time to process it. I need to ponder my emotional reaction to the change, and then develop a plan of how I will move forward. I know that I have also been forced into some of the transitions or changes I have experienced, most of which have resulted in positive outcomes. But, I had to sit with the change for a while and ponder and reflect, and learn, and then move forward. 

“Today was a difficult day,” said Pooh. There was a pause. “Do you want to talk about it?, asked Piglet. “No,” said Pooh after a bit.  

~Winnie The Pooh

In Difficult Times

Close up of a leaf branch with first autumn colored reddish/orangs leaf in the forest.

I want to emphasize that we cannot just move forward without processing, nor can we expect others to do so. And, we all manage change in different ways and on our own individual timelines. I know that I am a fairly resilient person, probably because I have gone through so many challenges. But, I have also gone through things that have really shaken me to the core and which took me longer to figure out and move forward from. I also have losses that I still grieve and will probably always have to take time occasionally to just be still and think about.

I am certain we have all heard from well-meaning loved ones who have said things like, “It was for the best..”, “When one door closes, another opens.”, “There are other fish in the sea.”, “You have to move on.” Or those who tell you it could have been worse or you will get over it soon. Try to remember they do not know what to say and they are just trying to make you feel better.

One of my cousins, who is also a dear friend, says something I love and that I have incorporated into my vocabulary. “I am sorry you are going through that.” Or “I wish you were not going through this difficult time.” These words of care and concern are so comforting. Transitions and change are hard… and take time to get through. But, we must always decide to move forward… to turn the page to the next chapter on our life journey.

“Life is a journey to be experienced, not a problem to be solved.”

~Winnie the Pooh

There are life transitions I experienced that I certainly have not enjoyed, and that honestly I would rather have skipped, or at least postponed. We want to skip the current story-line of our journey. However, without the character development happening in each chapter of life, we will not be ready for what is going to happen in the next chapter.

Coming Out On The Other Side

I have literally been forced into a few of my life transitions, most of which have eventually had very positive outcomes. Some of these were a result of other people’s bad decisions, but I have realized that if I maintain a positive attitude and act in integrity, it all works out for me. We have all heard the saying that when one door closes another door, or maybe just a window opens. We have to make the decision of which door or window to go through. We often have to step into the unknown, but life is much more enjoyable when we have a positive and prepared attitude to step into or even leap into our next adventure. 

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new”


I celebrate my birthday in August. And, I am just shocked how the years are passing so quickly. Birthdays for me, and most people, often serve as transitions. I spend time on my birthday considering my life journey, my relationships, my successes, and yes even my challenges.

I am learning that I need to make sure I am assessing myself against the right values and standards. I will keep on moving forward and allowing God to continue creating me. I am currently in a big transition period… and I am anticipating what amazing thing is next, but it took me a minute or two to get to that feeling of expectation.  

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.”

~Henri Bergson

Life transitions will happen, but we have the ability to decide how we will respond to them. I challenge you to be positive, introspective about what you can learn in each transition, and how you can use each transition to catapult you to a new level of authenticity, love, and joy. Change is necessary to develop the beauty of a butterfly in our lives.

By Sylvia Stinson-Perez

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Connecting With Sylvia

Author Bio

Sylvia wearing a blue dress with a lighthouse behind her as the sun goes down.
Sylvia Stinson-Perez

Sylvia Stinson-Perez is an experienced and well-recognized and regarded professional in the blindness field. She has served as the Executive Director/CEO of a non-profit agency, as the project director for major federal grants at a university, and as senior leader at a national blindness organization.

Sylvia has also been actively involved in local, state, and national boards and advocacy groups. As a person with lived experience, she has dedicated her career to making a positive impact in the lives of others who are blind and low vision. When not engaged in work or volunteer activities, Sylvia enjoys travelling, crocheting, reading, and cooking.   

Image Descriptions:

  • Word ‘change’ transitioning to ‘chance’ by swapping ‘g’ for ‘c’
  • Close up of a leaf branch with first autumn colored reddish/orangs leaf in the forest.
  • Transitioning moment of the Monarch butterfly from caterpiller, pupae, coocoon, hanging on a branch.
  • Sylvia is wearing a blue dress with a lighthouse behind her as the sun goes down.

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