Revolution of the Kind People

One Hundred Days Into The Unknown

100 days ago, I worked the last day at my job. I liked it there, but I felt that I was ready for a next step. What that would look like? I had no idea.

I felt that I needed time and freedom to explore my options. Until then, I’d tried to find something new while working two jobs and following a course. Something didn’t feel right. I was afraid that my lack of energy and attention would lead me to make a rushed decision. I really wanted a job where I would feel more comfortable and at easy. But how would I find it when I felt so overloaded?

It’s typical. I wished for something external, that I could already find internal. I developed the idea that only a new job could give me peace. But really, I needed to give myself a break.

That’s why I quit. It was really scary. How could I quit without a plan? Was it going to work out financially? For weeks, I still couldn’t relax because of all the anxiety. This wasn’t working as well. It helped me discover why it had always been so hard for me to relax. In my mind, I either had to keep going, or stress about the consequences of relaxing. Those are the only two realities of the survival mode.

Boldy stated, the basic belief of this survival mode is: Relaxing = dying. And don’t forget, when you’re really surviving, this is true! The younger you have learned to get into this mode, the harder it is to break through. But it’s possible. Within safe surroundings and with sufficient help.

On my last working day, I set a timer. “Days in the Unknown”. I wanted to consciously experience how long I could stay within this period of not knowing, of the in-between, until the next phase would approach me. And now, I reached one hundred days!

It was not without struggle. I lied awake, many nights, terrified. I cried many times. I tried to come up with many new plans, which all didn’t work out. Life was telling me: it will come, but first, trust and wait.

After one hundred days, it’s getting better. I’m discovering the beauty of the in-between. There is (surprisingly) a certain comfort in not knowing. On the one hand, it can be scary. But on the other hand, it’s also full of exciting potential. It helps me to focus on curiosity instead of anxiety. And trust that this isn’t happening to destroy me. It’s happening to heal me.

It also helps me to think about the story of Sleeping Beauty. She had to sleep for a hundred years. Some Jungian Analysts relate this period of deep sleep to unconscious transformation – after waking up, everything is different. It also helps me to realize that Sleep Beauty was innocent. It wasn’t her fault that the story happened. She didn’t do anything wrong. She wasn’t broken or bad at life. She carried within her a potential for transformation. Not only for her, but for the whole household. The story had to happen, for change was inevitable.

Now I wonder, what happened when she woke up?

Liminality is funny

Have you ever felt like you’re nowhere? Not here, not there. Not this, not that. Not before, not after. Life seems to be changing, but nothing’s clear yet. 

Lately, I have been fascinated – once again by – liminal spaces. According to google, liminal means: occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.

This space is, honestly, so mind blowing. There is something unreal about this place. Our minds can’t grasp it. Or, I should rephrase; our minds cannot define it. We can grasp it, because grasping itself seems to be, a liminal activity. 

If you look at a coastline; where does the ocean stop, and the shore start? We can “grasp” the concept of a coastline, but we cannot define its exact location. Or at least, I can’t. Some people make an attempt, I assume. Which is amazing! But I love the idea of liminal spaces as it is. It actually gives me a calming feeling; at some point, we’re allowed to stop defining.

And then, what happens then? Ooof. What happens within a liminal space? Do you remember that age when you weren’t old enough to be an adult, and not young enough to be seen as a child? Exactly; ✨confusion.✨

But confusion is good for our brains. It gives us perspective and makes us humble. We don’t always understand anything, and we can’t! I felt that these liminal periods can be extremely fertile. They can be scary as well. But as long as you have sufficient trust that it will all lead to something, letting go can be an amazing experience.

Easier said than done, eh? It can be an interesting exercise to try to find liminal spaces around you. They’re everywhere. And once you’ve recognized a few, you’ll get the hang of it. How do these moments make you feel? How do you respond to them? Can you be in them? All these realizations teach you something about how well you respond to vagueness and transitions. 

Me inside a liminal space

Spaces like this often gave me a creepy feeling and made me almost a bit desperate for certainty. It was mostly the nothingness about these places that scared the shit out of me. 

I’ve learned to view liminality as a force of potential instead of an empty void. I’ve learned to “not understand” as well. Now, I tend to laugh when I find another liminal space. My partner and I make many jokes about them. This leads me to shape this whole story into a funny “zen” statement:

Liminality is funny. 

ps. Have you ever had a look at the Hanopes website? It’s fully liminal. Here is a poem, specifically about the experience of liminality as a space: On the edge.