Stuck In the Middle With You
This portion of my life is what I have come to call the ‘in between’ phase. I am yet to find a place where I belong, a perfect fit in a world where I feel like the only odd piece of the puzzle. I feel misshaped and a bit rough around the edges, with close to nowhere to call my own, except for within the pages of my soon to be released novel. I feel safest within the walls of the written world, which I have built around myself for a very long time. Within the next three months, these walls will come crumbling down, leaving me bare and cold for the world’s eyes to gaze at. I feel almost like an exotic animal, captured and taken from my natural habitat, in order to be debuted and displayed at a zoo. I am awaiting the moment where the cover that hides me from the rest of the world will lift, and there I will stand, palms open, ready to accept my fate. For now, I wait in this in between phase, where I am not a success or a failure, I just am. ‘Published author’ is not a title I can add to my name until the end of May, and the thought of such a title still scares me. It has been a little over a year since the publishing process began, yet I still find myself shaking in my boots at the thought of my novel being exposed to the world. It’s like my child, and I am in the last moments of nourishing it within my being before it goes out into the world as a separate entity.
This isn’t the only place where I find myself ‘in between’ stages. Though college is on the brain and applications to several universities are scattered around my desk at this very moment, it is not yet something that is ‘mine’ and so it almost feels wrong to talk about it. I have gone about my life ‘backwards’ choosing first to pursue publishing and then get my B.A., though I am experiencing a similar feeling to what I am sure many college seniors feel at this time. I am approaching the ‘final semester’ in the publishing process, and as much as I can talk for hours about how I have everything figured out, I really don’t. I am kind of just floating about my life, hoping that the solution for my ‘inbetweenness’ comes soon and with clarity.
Further more, my status grows as a young, single girl in the Orthodox community. That is where my ‘inbetweenness’ shines the strongest. The feeling of not belonging anywhere becomes all the more prominent when I sit with my newly engaged or married friends, watching how (though at times with difficulty) they find themselves in a settled place. In a sense, I think that is truly all I want. Though I am young and have much of a grand life ahead of me, at the end of the day, I want to know that I have my ‘place’ in this part of the world. This ‘waiting place’ may be the most difficult of the three. In a sense, there is the same feelings of longing and hoping to belong somewhere, but the feelings are all the more prominent here. I can’t exactly place my finger on why this is, but many of my single friends have come to a similar conclusion. I feel as though I cannot properly belong anywhere until I find my ‘place’ with another. A person comes into this world as half, in order to find and reunite with their other. So, until that day, I will continue to walk around being the half a being that I am. Accomplishments and grades aside, I will still feel ‘in between.’
As a writer, I hope to continue to establish a name for myself with many more novels to come. The four years of schooling that I hope to put myself through come this September will enhance my ability to ‘settle’ myself into a work environment, though I realize that a college degree does not guarantee anything these days. Though the road has been tough in both aspects, I have a time frame for when these things will come to play. I have general knowledge in regards to my life as a writer and as a student (and eventually, as a teacher) that will help me get out of this phase. This awful phase, stuck in the middle of childhood and adulthood, between success and failure, between a minimum wage job and a degree, this uncomfortable place where one can only guess and hope for a bright outcome.
So, the true question becomes, who am I? During this in between phase, where I belong neither here or there, who am I? A daughter, a sister, a friend, a writer, an employee, an employer… But, none of these things really sum up who I am. If I allow these titles to define how I see myself, eventually, I may be nothing at all, or I may become too many things and lose my real identity. What I am is a daughter, sister, friend, etc. Who I am is an entirely different story. At the end of the day, the core of who I am is important. I am first and foremost a soul in a physical body, whose goal is to bring light into a world of darkness. How I do that is another story all together. Though it is a difficult task to up hold, it is important to remember who I am, and how ‘what I am’ should reflect it. In every phase, on every journey, staying in tune with my core may help ease the discomfort.
The other questions are yet to be answered, and perhaps they never will. Whatever the case, I am taking this moment to re root myself into the foundation of who I am, not what I am or what I do. Join me if you wish, and perhaps you will be just as surprised with the results as I was.