I'm witnessing my own life transition, both privately and professionally, for the third time before my eyes now. By transition I mean a period in which I make a conscious effort to seek or even initiate a fundamental change in life. The following is a timetable of all the life transitions as well as its ups and downs I've experienced so far after the age of 18, when I started living alone away from my parents:
- 18-22 years old (4 years): Up (BA student in Japan)
- 22-25 years old (3 years): Transition (MA and PhD student in Japan)
- 25-30 years old (5 years): Up (PhD student in Israel)
- 30-41 years old (11 years): Down (part time lecturer in Israel)
- 41-46 years old (5 years): Up (full time lecturer in Israel)
- 46-50 years old (4 years): Down (tenured senior lecturer in Israel; deterioration of mental health)
- 50-52 years old (2 years): Transition (tenured senior lecturer in Israel; treatment of mental health)
- 52-54 years old (2 years): Up (tenured senior lecturer in Israel; improvement of mental health; long distance relationship and marriage)
- 54 years old (now): Transition (tenured senior lecturer in Israel; redeterioration and retreatment of mental health)
I've prepared this timetable to see if there is any regularity. These three transitions, including this third one, are not necessarily preceded by downs, but the first two are followed by ups. And this is what I expect to experience after this third transition though I don't know how long it will take me to get out of it.
One thing I know, however, is that this third life transition is different from the first two not only quantitatively but also qualitatively. Quantitatively I'm far more confused this time, and qualitatively I'm questioning the very life values I've have since my early twenties with no doubt. At least professionally, I feel an instinctive urge to get out of a comfort zone on the one hand, but on the other hand I also have an instinctive fear for uncertainty.