My life needs an English Teacher

by P. Braithwaite

In my life, I may, or may not, be an English instructor. In this pretend position, I may find myself talking about transitions.

In writing, transitions are often overlooked. My beloved students may skip from one idea to the next without transitioning — without leading the reader into the next idea.

“You have to hold the readers hand,” I say, and they get it. Sometimes. They find words and phrases that lead the reader forward.

Additionally! Conversely! Furthermore!

Why isn’t it that simple in life? Why doesn’t anyone want to hold our hand and signal changes to us? Why aren’t there words or phrases that make transitions easier, words like: “I’m here for you,” “I support you,” or “you’re not alone.”

I guess if I’m saying them…they exist.

I wish I could transition from one phase of my life into the next with a simple transition word or phrase. Quite often, I find myself in places without truly knowing how I got there. If my life were an essay, I’d be wandering without a thesis — knee-deep in an idea that has an unclear argument/foundation. I wish I could shed my skin as artfully as my young writers move from one idea to the next. I wish I knew what I was fighting for…

Or maybe it’s all very simple. Maybe, just like for my students, it is noticing the writing on the wall and moving in that direction…maybe it is slowing down enough to realize when we’re switching gears. Maybe the transition words are there, the movement is clear, I just haven’t taken the time to “read” them…

Some days I feel like the architect of my own soul, and other days…life feels like a rough draft in desperate need of an english teacher. 🙂

How do you deal with transition?