The In-Between

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Spring is turning to summer in just about every part in the United States. I'm heading back to school in the fall. I haven't really gone into my personal life in quite a while because I've been working towards things and not actually "doing" things, if you know what I mean. There was a turning point in my job search after I returned from Taiwan when I decided to let it take a back seat and work on getting my ducks in a row for graduate school applications. Since I am switching into a new industry/career, I took a lot of time off to build up experience I could present to the schools. Just before application season went into full swing, I moved. (Again?)

And now that I've heard back from all of the schools and gone through the tough decision-making process of which school to go to, I feel sort of in an in-between stage. The first week after having handed in my last application was such a weird time for me. It was the first time since early 2013, maybe even arguably late 2009 (when I first started tinkling with the idea of going back to school, and studying for the GRE), that I felt I was free of this "project" and that finally, maybe, the fruits of my labor were finally going to go somewhere.

This "in-between" stage or idea has fascinated me for some time now. I grew up going to schools that had small, tight-knit classes or grades. I was in a special program from first through sixth grade and more or less had the same 33 classmates the entire time. High school was the same, another six years (seventh through twelfth) with the same 180 students in an entirely neighborhood. But by the time I was 17, I knew that there was a world out there that I didn't know, and I was met with really mixed feelings about leaving New York City and my "family" of six years. The summer after senior year was probably one of the oddest times in my life, one of the most "in-between" times ever. It's that feeling of sitting next to someone, but not being able to touch them or talk to them. We were all here, but few of us were "here" anymore.

But "in-between" stages, at least for me, have brought a lot of joy and new experiences, too. It's during those periods when I tend to branch out beyond what I've known. In the last eight months of my six years in high school, I grew closer to people I'd only been acquaintances or classmates of before. The same goes for the last semester of college -- I found people I really, really connected to, and I brooded over why it'd taken so long for me to find them.

So here I am, finding myself at another "in-between" stage, except this time I'm on my own with it, so there are few joyful moments, and only a handful of quiet, new revelations about myself. I'm ready to start "doing," but of course, not without a helping of trepidation. My neighbor recently told me that the "not knowing" is one of the worst feelings -- oftentimes it's better to get a straight "yes" or "no" (or, in this case, a "stop" or "go"). I hope he's right.

Songs that come to mind that describe the "in-between" feeling (though some are decidedly not about the in-betweens of Life), including one of my all-time favorite songs, "Living In Twilight" by The Weepies:

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