It’s hard to keep up with life sometimes. It changes quicker than you can adapt, and takes you on a ride you are not quite sure you wanted to go on. A human is always inertial, but certain choices and circumstances force him to come out of the inertia and adapt. And just like a world dominating species, he does. And survives.
This account though generally only talks of two states — the initial state, where the entity was comfortable, experienced enough to deal with it, and the final state, where the entity has evolved to find comfort in the new state and thrive. Most biographical accounts, especially when summarized (think LinkedIn profiles and speaker introductions), follow this structure, skipping from one stable state to the next, outlining the entity’s choices and accomplishments along the way. I say ‘entity’ because I don’t want to restrict your imagination to a person — our discussion here could correspond just as well to a team, a business, or even a country.
But this sort of an account is not where the fun lies. It’s like reading who took office as the Indian Prime Minister over the years since the independence of the country, and what major milestones their respective governments achieved. Or the business milestones of a tech company in the Silicon Valley. (did I just give away too much about what comes after this?) These are interesting pieces of information to read and assimilate in their own right, but are also an incomplete picture of the underlying story. They skip over the struggles, the tensions, the dilemmas, and prompt the reader to quickly skim through.
They are tables in an excel sheet, bullet points in a PowerPoint, but certainly not paragraphs in a word document that create empathy or steer the subconscious in a particular direction.
And that’s why they are incomplete, like organ after organ of the body without a connecting fluid, like point after point on a resume, leaving it to the reader’s imagination to create a context linking all of them.
So what about the transition, you ask. What is so captivating about the process of transition to me that I am spending so many words to establish its importance?
As a reader of stories (and occasionally a writer), I like seeing how one thing morphs into the other to create a coherent structure supporting a sequence of events. The mind tries to find the connections linking up the facts if not already provided, because it (probably) makes it easier for it to store information and retrieve it with a trigger at a later instance. My own experience is, that it generally is easier to remember a story than a series of facts for which you create a story yourself to remember them (or worse still, none at all).
So, weaving a story helps you create a more complete picture in the mind of the reader when she is reading it, and also make it stick for longer. And there is no story without transitions.
This marks the beginning of a short series of posts that would detail some of the experiences during one such transitional phase of my life, one in which I am neither here nor there. I am somewhere in between, just hanging there (and writing). Please feel free to add your feedback on the writing or what it made you feel in the comments or highlights or in any other convenient way.