Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The safety of between

There's a bin full of unsold prints in my living room, and this one happened to be in front yesterday evening. It caught my eye as I sat at the dining room table, sharing dinner with (and sending calming vibes to) my daughter, who had two dreams come true yesterday: her visa for Australia came through (she's leaving in January to attend her cousin's wedding, and hopes to travel around the country for a few months) and she and her friends were approved to rent a darling bungalow in a community just outside Seattle: they'll hand in their rent checks and sign their lease tomorrow.

She is thrilled and frantic all at the same time, and it's all about leaving home, living on her own, being a grown-up... all stuff she's been moving toward for years, but still: when it finally happens... It's like when you try for months or years to get pregnant, or to get a job, or to buy a house, and then suddenly realize you've succeeded. That's that moment when you realize that you wanted it so much you lost sight of all the scary changes it would entail.

That's the moment when your past -- the wanting -- suddenly becomes your future, and the intensity, the present voltage of that, can be incredibly difficult to channel. When it happens around big purchases, there's even a name for it: buyer's remorse -- that instantaneous regret you feel when that thing you wanted beyond imagining is finally yours.


Been there, done that... I can't tell you how many sleepless nights I've spent in just-purchased houses, wondering what the heck I'd gotten myself into. So I understand it. And, empath that I am, I can't help but feel it. Which means now I'm calming myself as well as my daughter, because of course these are big shifts for us as well.

I'm pretty sure that's why this image caught my eye. It's because the craziness of it -- the bright colors of anticipation, the words that leap into your brain to say you've just done something incredibly foolish, the welling up of dark spirits at the bottom -- perfectly capture the sort of crazy moodiness of the moment.  And there's really nothing you can do but just go with the flow, catch the wave and ride with it.

... all of which is both exciting and exhausting.  Funny, isn't it: we hate that liminal between phase, the waiting, the space between what used to be and what's to come.  But once the end of that's in sight, it's curious to note how strong the longing is to return to the relative safety of between...

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