“So, what have you been up to lately?”
There used to be a time in my life where if you asked me this question, my stomach would drop. I began to DESPISE anyone who ventured onto this dreaded topic. Usually I would stutter and stammer, trying desperately to sound casual, until eventually I would reply with the classic conversation-ending response, “Oh…nothing much.”
It’s not that I hated that people were interested in my life – not at all! I was thankful to have friends and family who actually gave a damn about me and my endeavors. What I hated was how that question made me feel. I hated the fact that I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. It was hard to hide behind that little question. Instead, it just made me realize how disappointed I was with myself and what my life had become.
Does this sound even a teeny-tiny bit familiar?
Looking back on it, I realize that this phase of my life was one of the most CRUCIAL times that I have ever, or will ever experience. Although it felt like nothing was happening and I had no direction, this phase in my life set me up for everything that I would aspire to be in the future. And now I like to refer to this special phase as The In-Between Time .
I have some good news – you couldn’t miss it if you tried!
It will feel like your life is a stormy mess. The wind quickens. The air gets heavy and hot. The water is picking up speed and swirling around you. And you will sense this huge tidal wave swelling behind you, but your eyes are locked straight ahead, you are unable to turn around or run away. You won’t see it or know what it is , but you know that something HUGE is about to barrel into your life.
It will feel uncomfortable, or scary even.
But the point of today’s post is to let you know that IT WILL PASS. And you will be stronger for it.
Plus, after the In-Between Time – you will know EXACTLY how you want to spend your life and what passions fuel your work.
So instead, let’s learn how to use this In-Between Time in the best way possible, so that you will be prepared for your next big dream!
I distinctly remember my In-Between Time. It lasted for about 7 months. I had decided that I no longer wanted to be an actress , and after working at a talent agency, I knew that I didn’t want to be an agent either. I knew that the entertainment industry wasn’t a good fit for me anymore, but I felt like I had no qualifications or experience to do anything else, let alone the energy and passion for another dream!
I knew what I didn’t want, but I had no clue about what I actually wanted.
This was a MAJOR first for me. I’m a go-getter; Unfinished tasks give me the heebie-jeebies. I live for goal-setting and dream-doin’. This was the first time in my life where I had no clue how to move forward.
And I quickly learned that you can’t FORCE a dream. Inspiration is a fickle thing, you know? I wanted nothing more than to schedule “NEXT BIG DREAM” into my carefully, color-coded calendar. But it just doesn’t work that way.
So what options did I have left? I scraped together some work (3 different part-time jobs to pay the bills), and I did something that I had never done before. I waited. There were a lot of tears involved (but if you know me any at all, that won’t come as a surprise! ) Slowly but surely, I began to embrace the In-Between Time.
I know you are like me and you want to move on to your next endeavor. It feels uncomfortable to not have the answers, especially when they pertain to your own life and goals.
But to make the best of this sacred In-Between Time, you need to realize its value AS you are experiencing it.
The In-Between Time is going to make you learn to trust yourself. Not your skills, not what your teachers told you that you were good at, or what your parents wanted you to do. No – it’s going to make you trust in your OWN ability to survive.
Who are you if you ripped away the labels that society, your friends, your family, or even YOURSELF have placed upon your soul? Who is the person that remains?
Make it your goal to answer those questions. They are the only thing that you need to focus on right now. By answering those simple questions, you will be using this phase to re-calibrate into who you really are .
Then take it even another step further. Ask yourself – What is the lesson in all of this? What am I supposed to learn in this downtime?
Maybe you’ll find yourself drawn to an old hobby you used to have, like singing or painting. You know the kind, the ones that you thought you had to give up when you became a big, bad adult, right? Try it!
You can take the time to read a book just for fun.
You can reconnect with old contacts – not because you need a reference, recommendation or favor. Reconnect just because you want to rekindle an old friendship.
You are high energy. That very energy is what has made you such a rockstar at achieving dreams all these years. I’m challenging you to harness that energy in a DIFFERENT WAY. Use it for yourself. Use it for yourself so that you can turn it around and use it to help others. Just promise me that you won’t use it to wallow in your own fears, doubts and worries. That’s a grand misuse of energy. You owe it to yourself and your accomplishments to do better than that.
The Universe knows you. She knows how you love to reach for the stars, how you just love to clinch your dreams and goals so tight and never let them go.
But the Universe knows that you are a stressful wreck when you do that… so that’s where the In-Between Time comes in.
You were given this In-Between Time to do your very best healing. No distractions, no recognition, or rewards. You must take this time to gear up to the next level . It’s your goal to BE in the moment, to let go and allow , and to finally get comfortable with the fact that you don’t HAVE to have a goal or dream for your life to be a beautiful gift that is worth your full attention and care. You have to learn that even if you aren’t pursuing something external, that your life can be a fantastic, fruitful experience.
Are you still in that nasty high school mindset? Where every activity and challenge feels like some AP teacher is grading you, putting a number and letter to your worth? That failure isn’t an option because then you won’t get into college, and you won’t get a good job, and society will spit on you and throw tomatoes at your face? (Hey! It’s very easy to feel this kind of LIFE PRESSURE as early as our teenage years!)
We’ve got it all wrong. We are adults now. We realize that there are so many other factors to success in adult life. We realize that good grades mean NOTHING now. We realize that our worth is so much more than a letter on a report card. It’s time to stop viewing our adult dreams and goals with the same amount of pressure.
The Universe will stop everything in its tracks, JUST to get you to realize this lesson. It’s THAT important.
And once you find yourself being in the moment, being mindful of the inherent gift of life ( without all the once-necessary bells and whistles! ), I encourage you to take a deep breath. Enjoy the calm before the storm, and gather all the courage, self-confidence, and self-love that you can muster. Because before you know it, you are going to need it more than ever! Soon, those floodgates of inspiration and passion are going to burst, and you will finally know what to pursue as your next calling .
After 7 months of rest, . And that very moment was when everything changed. That was the end of my In-Between Time, and the start of an incredible, passion-filled journey.
So take a deep breath now, because soon you will be overflowing with so many ideas and projects to do – that you might just forget!
P.S. – Use this post as a constant reminder for your journey –