Our friends Russ and Linda came over for dinner a couple weeks’ ago – he’s a spiritual director, she’s a therapist. Need I point out that they are certifiably the most positively lethal pair ever to grace this good earth?
Indeed, we’ve known each other for a few years now, and the HBH and I then had the honor of having them as a mentor couple in the months before we married. And of course, when and if you choose to step into a mentoring situation, and – of course – when and if you choose to step into a mentoring situation with the aforementioned Russ and Linda combination, the stars will forever be in alignment for you, of that I’m sure.
So here we were a couple Saturdays ago, simultaneously sipping our sparkling water and pinot noir, shoving fistfuls of chicken potpie and persimmon salad into our mouths, when, collectively, they asked how the transition in leaving my job has been for me.
Where to even begin…
Because it’s been good-hard. Making the decision to care for our baby and pursue my dream of writing and speaking is nothing short of a heart-palpitating miracle – but the loneliness can be overwhelming, and my desire to just be known and understood (and have book deals and speaking engagements, like yesterday), in this new vocational adventure creeps in all too easily, and I continue to realize, day in, day out, how easily I fall into believing that my identity is my job, or lack thereof.
“It sounds like you’re in a liminal place,” Russ said.
Images of unknown subliminal messages by major marketing corporations (Coca Cola is better than Pepsi, Coca Cola is God’s gift to soft drinks, Drink Coca Cola NOW…) covertly swept across my mind, and I wondered how and why Russ the Spiritual Director used this particular word to make his point.
But, of course, that wasn’t it at all. Liminal is that in-between space. Liminal is when we find ourselves in transition, in that messy, hard time of processing where we’ve come from and where we’re going. And I’ve been in a liminal place for good chunk of the past year.
Then Linda chimed in with this quote that hangs on her wall:
When she said it, she paused for what seemed like minutes after the first half of the phrase – and my cynical self began its internal screaming, hands over my ears, at what sounded like another attempt of a Jesus-accolade. But then she added the hallway bit. And yes – it can be hell in the liminal-hallway. I get it. I understand.
So while I can’t necessarily give you Russ and Linda, I can give you their perfect, sage words. Because are you in the hallway right now? Have you ever felt stuck in that in-between place?
I get it and I understand – and friendlies, we’re in this together.
What about you? Have you ever found yourself in a liminal, hallway of a space? And, more importantly, how jealous are you that I can call this lethal pair FRIEND?