In her wonderfully emotional and captivating memoir/hero’s guide, The Anatomy of a Calling, author and doctor Lissa Rankin describes something called “the space between stories.” In her words, it is “when one story has collapsed and a new one has not yet been born… you feel lost, ungrounded, dislocated, as if your roots have been pulled up and you’re not quite sure where to land.”
That is where I find myself now.
My dream of nursing school has gone away and I haven’t yet cemented the next educational goal. The newness has worn off from my job and I feel more stuck than fulfilled. My husband is deployed and all of our family lives far away. Right now it feels as if my existence here is only for the sake of existence. I’m only in this space to get from the last thing to the next.
But it isn’t all bad.
This space may be full of uncertainty, but it is also full of hope.
It may be full of restriction, but it holds so much potential.
It is both terrifying and intriguing, and still some days can be quite boring.
The extra time within my days holds both a blessing and a curse. I have the opportunity to fill that time with things that truly renew my soul: writing, volunteering, reading with my kids.
The cursed part comes when I choose inactivity instead, and I end up feeling that “lost, ungrounded, dislocated.”
When I’m not busy, I feel this need to change the world, but have no guidance on where to start; and the sadness becomes more heavy, the burden becomes more great, the realization that this world we live in is not the kind I want to leave for my children becomes a burning desire to take responsibility and just change it already!
With what energy?
With what resources?
With what army?
I find comfort in Dr. Rankin’s words, “the space between stories is more about Being and less about Doing. There will come a time for the Doing, but it is not right now. Remember, something new is being born inside of you. You can’t rush gestation.”
Perhaps that’s just it.
The longing to Do rather than just Be is the gestation of something powerful growing inside of me.
I’ll know when the time is right to give witness to its birth.
Until then, I will love this space for what it is: a space to grow, a space to transform.