Depending on Yourself in the Uncertain, In-Between Space

“To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.” ~Unknown

Life has been strange the past few days.

All summer there was a trip or an event to count down to the final move—my brother’s wedding in Sedona, Captiva Island with my boyfriend’s family, Thailand with a girlfriend and, finally, a week in Atlanta.

I have nine days left before the movers come, and I feel as though I’m existing in a space without anything to hold on to.

My world here in Florida will soon be a memory, and I have no way of knowing what my life in North Carolina will look like. I fantasize about it, but it’s all conjecture.

The summer getaways provided a distraction for me, obscuring the view of the unknown that was swiftly approaching. My former relationship acted as a life preserver that I knew would be with me no matter where I floated. Now, both have dissolved into the past.

Very few people in this world feel an obligation or a desire to plan their lives around you.

Although I have been gifted with amazing and loyal girlfriends, they have their own lives. It’s my parents and significant others that I have counted on for the heavy labor, when the help I need is neither sexy or fun.

Although my ex-boyfriend would help me move with kindness in his heart, I don’t want to depend on him for this. It seems like I would be carrying on the illusion that I still have the security of our partnership. And what about my parents? Isn’t that always a loaded question…

At 29, I am confused about my parents’ role in my life.

While they offer to do whatever is in their power to make difficult times easier for me, their assistance comes with some strings attached. As I move toward making decisions in my life with less input from them, I am also electing to forgo their help in many ways.

People with long-time partners or even those who still have a cozy and safe place with their parents can say, “What’ the big deal? You’re a grown woman; you can move by yourself.”

I definitely can, and I will. But the whole process, the anxiety of feeling very alone, got me thinking: how many people fight with every bone in their body to avoid this scary place?

I can’t help but wonder if it’s the impetus for so many half-baked marriage proposals and acceptances, the reason behind many planned but thoughtless pregnancies.

These lifelong commitments create the illusion that someone is obligated to you; someone has to help you with the challenges of life because he or she is your partner or your child. As one with a broken engagement in my past and a newly developed longing for a child, I understand these grasping choices.

But, as it turns out, my destiny, and maybe yours, is to walk the path alone for a while longer. And I’ve found myself in this space of in-between.

I’m not able to lean on the family I was born into as I did as when I was younger, but I have not yet created my own clan.

I have to tell myself that there is a purpose behind this time of feeling completely untethered. It is an opportunity to live in the groundlessness of life, without the temporary comforts that distract us from this truth.

Parents will pass on and partnerships will end for myriad reason. There is no telling when the complete lack of security in which we all live will demand our attention with a swift kick in the behind.

I have been given the opportunity to practice living in this space, consciously and with courage. You may have been given this chance as well. It is scary and feels cruel at times, but it is a gift.

If, out of fear, we grasp for people and things that we know aren’t meant for us, we reject the gift. We will never know its treasures. Alternatively, we can accept this groundless time, and do something we have never done—wait patiently and let our true homes find us.

This time, I will do my best not to grasp. This time, I accept the gift. Do you?

Photo by thephotographymuse

About Daria Brave

Daria is a soon-to-be clinical psychologist who strives to discover spiritual truths through meditation and mindfulness-based classes and literature. She lives in North Carolina with her favorite guru—her dog.

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  • e.speranza

    this is beyond beautiful! thank you so much for i am in exactly that space right now and this has helped tremendously.

  • HaleyMia

    I often read the comments about how a post comes at, “the perfect time,” n almost don’t believe it because it’s so common here it seems. However, this post has literally come at the perfect time! I’m so desperate for love, security, n the thought of building my own family that I too find it difficult to be in an, “in-between,” period. Also, I’m a control-freak so that doesn’t help lolz But, I just went to a palm reader this past weekend who told me I WILL get married, n have children, but she implored me to not do these things with the wrong man. It may be somewhat silly, but I’m choosing to believe. N so I’m choosing to let go of the wrong man, n just be in-between. Finally…

  • Emily

    This post came at a very interesting time for me. I’m a 31-year-old struggling with my parent’s place in my life at a time when there’s a golden opportunity to take a chance and try living… or stay near them to make sure they are safe, strong and as good as they can be. It’s an odd time; they aren’t old yet, but they’re bordering on ‘not well,’ and aren’t exactly in the best life circumstance.

    More than anything, I’ve come to realize in the last year that there are no right answers and, in the grand scheme of the universe, our actions resonate, but cannot change some circumstances, no matter how much we want them to. Every opportunity should be cherished.

    Most importantly, I’ve learned that we aren’t alone. And when you think that you are the only person in the universe who feels a certain way, you aren’t. And your parents will always be a part of your life, even after they aren’t physically there anymore. They have given you more than anyone else, and you are an embodiment of their strength, love and commitment. Don’t rely on them. Be there for them as much as they are there for you. Love them and appreciate them. But grow wings, soar, and be as independent and strong as you can. You’ll keep that with you forever.

  • FumingSalmon

    a very thought provoking post and I am sure many people especially we women can relate to it. God has made us all very fragile and it is in our chemistry to seek love, give love and care, nurture everyone around us…but the in between phase you have talked about is very very crucial. i know of n number of women who grasped at the very next opportunity of love just to realize that the compromised made then are unbearable later. But at the end of the day it is destiny..yes i hate to admit that but this is what I have learnt from my life till now…I envy the women who are so independent and financial strong that they don’t need a man in their life or they dont carry the moral obligation on keeping everyone around happy…

  • lala12

    love it love it love it. I too, am untethered, just moved to a new city, maybe one or two friends here. I left my communities, family and friends back home to create something new. Let me tell you, it’s the void. I’m in the gray space/void and it is weird. Some days I want to have a panic attack and other days I’m grounded. My relationship with my parents has changed greatly this year and I’m sort of energetically free from them. I know they love me and support me, yet I want to find my own family.
    What has helped is doing things which raise my vibration. Going hiking, being in nature, and volunteering. Gets me out of my head and into the community. Good luck with the void! It’s a great place with tons of potential!

  • lv2terp

    Beautiful message!!! Thank you for this post…I love how you said this “…wait patiently and let our true homes find us.”, that made me smile…:)

  • DannySCR

    Beautiful post. I am currently in the process of moving into my own apartment instead of spending my sophomore year in a college dorm. I often find myself thinking about what Im going to do and how I will have to live on my own as well as find my own group of people I can relate to and live with. As a whole I appreciate this post and I am glad that I read it!

  • Dee

    This articles explains my life….

    Expecting too much of parents and the EX…

    Whilst reading this, I did not want it to end as it clearly highlighted how I was selfishly seeking answers from the people I loved most but could not provide them which created some resentment in me….I know it sucks..

    I hope I can remember the several realizations I received from reading this wonderful article whilst building enough courage, self esteem and confidence to leave the past way back there and learn how to rely solely on myself but not forgeting to build an adequate support stucture for those difficult times..

    Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, I am eternally grateful.

    Please do keep up the good work

  • shughesnerys

    Lovely message. I am in my mid-forties and am just about to adopt one or two children. The lesson I have learned is to wait and your true gift will come to you in your true home! Thank you for your wonderful website!

  • I definitely needed to read this…I am in a period of transformation and this definitely was a breath of fresh air to read…knowing that I am not alone.

  • Single again

    Wow! What a message. I too am in this in between space, as I wait for a marriage of 5 years, relationship of 8 years to be officially over- when a divorce is final. I honestly thought I could settle for someone who was alright, but that little voice in my head that said “feeling special from time to time…will never be enough.” Letting go and staying in this in between, often alone, with my thoughts and feelings IS the hardest thing I have ever done. But also the most telling and insightful for my personal dreams & desires. What has become crystal clear is my longing for a family, but that I knew, deep down, that I never wanted one with him. Thanks for this post.

  • i.s.

    thank you! i really needed to read this today!

  • Hanna Meiners

    Daria, thanks so much for this honest post…I can relate so very well to all these feelings as I´m going through a period of transition myself. I just recently returned to Germany after many years in Finland where I studied and nearly 2 years of travelling and living in India. By now most of my friends in Europe are settled…they have partners, homes, children, careers…And I seem to be puzzled about all of that…not even having a clue whether this is the right place to be for me. No job, no place to stay yet…not even a clue where I will live next week. And as things are seemingly not moving at all there is a feeling of frustration. And that scary feeling: Is this it? Is this the reality? Can I escape from this? Where is all this going to lead?

    As a child or even as a student there was still the feeling that there is lots of time, and trust that things will all just fall into place and once we are “adults” we know how to do things. I guess as a teenager I admired my cousin who was 20 thinking she would already know it all..not to mention people who reached the age of 30. They were REALLY grown-ups to me!

    Now I am 30 and I don´t have a clue. Well, learned many things on the way, but there is no security. no safe future that is just waiting for me…no guarantee that things will work out in a certain way.

    There are many great people around…a global network of friends that are there in spirit, whom I feel connected to in my heart…still there are so many moments of lonelyness and that feeling of somehow being alien in the midst of people.

    Deep inside I know we are not alone. There IS a purpose…

    It´s a everyday-process to stay focused and to keep up.

    Thanks a lot for sharing,
    love and light

  • Liz

    Like other’s who have commented, I’m in very similar circumstances. For me though, I couldn’t put my finger on exactly I felt, until I read what you wrote about being ‘in-between’. That’s exactly where I am, and perhaps exactly where I need to be at this point in my life. Thank you for the perspective!

  • Susan

    Yes this is also my time to have some alone time, its something I never looked forward to and yet Ive grown so much in such a short time, and you soon discover your never actually ‘alone’ Ive realized just how connected to everything and everyone I actually am. Its a great space to get to know yourself in.

  • Matthew

    There’s a song called “Try To Believe” by Oingo Boingo that I think really relates to this:

    “If I found a door that I’ve never been through
    Would I have the courage to go in without you?

    And if time ran short, would I recognize
    The things I couldn’t see?

    If I try to believe

    It’s so hard to find an answer
    It’s so hard to stand alone
    It’s so hard to find a feeling that was buried long ago
    It’s so hard to trust another when it’s easier to hide
    It’s so hard to believe unless we try, baby, try”

  • Wow the Uni-verse loves me, this is so where I am right now! I guess it’s so we can learn to support ourselves, to trust ourselves and the Uni-verse to take care of us; thanks for sharing, thanks so much :’)

  • Rebecca

    I am also in the “in between”. Not only am I in between in the sense of this article, but I am also in between as I switch careers. At first, it was very trying, wishing I could speed up this in between time, get to my new career, find a relationship and start building a partnership and life, become more settled and tethered. Then I realized that after I am invested in a new career, after I am married, after I have children, and when my parents become older and reliant on me, I will never have this freedom again; it’s a bigger freedom than I had in my twenties (I’m 31) because I know myself so much better now and do not worry about what others think of my life choices. I do not want to look back at this time in my life and regret wasting it by being unhappy and impatient, longing to get on with my life. I want to look back and know I lived every moment being true to myself and enjoying my circumstances.

  • A temporary state

    A sweet and perceptive piece.
    I am in my mid 50’s with the burden of my wife of 25 years ‘needing space’
    That meant ‘leave the family home’ I did a year ago and we will be divorced in the new year. So sad and hurtful. But, a new me is slowly developing. This piece is helping me be ‘in between’
    Bless you!

  • TheTruth519

    Love it

  • Daria Brave

    I wish you luck on your journey, and I am hopeful for the “new you”. I am happy you could relate to my story. With love,

  • Daria Brave

    I have had those thoughts too! When will we ever get such freedom again? Probably not until retirement – will we wish it away then too? 🙂

  • Daria Brave

    Thanks for your comment Aurora! We are in this together!

  • Daria Brave

    Love this! Enjoying the 80’s flashback as I go through and respond to all these wonderful comments. Thanks for the youtube link! Music always gets to the point (and the soul) much more succinctly than words can do alone.

  • Daria Brave

    We’re pretty lucky, aren’t we? And yes, all connected.

  • Daria Brave

    I’m glad that my post could help you put this phase of life into perspective. And I’m happy to know I have company in this period of growth. With love

  • Daria Brave

    I related very much to your response. I definitely thought I would have it all figured out by now, and it’s hard not to compare to others who seem to have found their answer. Faith is key and I’m working on that. Thanks for commenting and I wish you happiness! With love

  • Daria Brave

    You’re welcome! And thank YOU! I really needed to read THIS 🙂

  • Daria Brave

    What a tough realization to allow yourself to see. This time is the hardest, but looking back, probably will be the most valuable. I read a fantastic book after I broke of my engagement, about healing from a Buddhist perspective. It’s called “The Wisdom of a Broken Heart” by Susan Piver I hope you never settle. With love

  • Daria Brave

    No you are not, my kindred! With love

  • Daria Brave

    Your response truly made my heart grow. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I enjoyed your honesty and wish you the best on your journey. With love

  • Daria Brave

    I am glad that you are choosing to embrace your freedom courageously! It will all happen in due time. With love

  • Daria Brave

    And this made me smile 🙂 With love

  • Daria Brave

    I am doing many of the same things as you are to “raise my vibration”. I love that phrase! Thank you. With love

  • Daria Brave

    Words of wisdom… Thank you for your response. With love

  • Daria Brave

    Good for you Haley! This might discredit me but who cares? 🙂 I have visited my fair share of fortune tellers and somehow, just hearing it gives you hope, and strength sometimes. With love

  • Daria Brave

    I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the post! I wish you the best. With love

  • Daria Brave

    As a woman and a therapist, I hear what you say loud and clear. And I believe in destiny too. I wish you strength on our journey! With Love

  • Good for you for leaning into the fear and living an honest life. I don’t know where you are moving to in NC, but I LOVE western NC. Good luck on your new adventure!

  • a_distorted_reality

    What a wonderful post. What an amazing person. Your surnames is certainly apt! You’re exactly where you need to be right now, and instead of fighting it you’re embracing it. And who knows where this path will lead, but I’m guessing it’s to a beautiful place that’s just right for you! Go well, Daria.

  • N A

    Thank you, that was beautiful. I have and am accepting the gift. Going through a divorce is scary and there’s such uncertainty, but I am learning to be with myself and grow from all of life’s wonderful opportunities. When one door closes, three more open. <3

  • N A

    Thank you, that was beautiful. I have and am accepting the gift. Going through a divorce is scary and there’s such uncertainty, but I am learning to be with myself and grow from all of life’s wonderful opportunities. When one door closes, three more open. <3

  • Sam

    Amazing and inspirational, at I time when I need so desperatly to grasp at something this gave me the strength to go on alone. Thank you.

  • H

    Omg Daria, you hit the nail on the head. I have bouts of feeling scared and victimised (by fate) but you’re right. It is a gift. And to deny its status as such means rejecting it, when I could better spend that time enjoying being untethered. Thank you for speaking directly to my heart.

  • Admiting and accepting these feelings will make you an infinitly better listener and psychologist. Good luck to you and your self.

  • Olga

    Reading this could not have come at a better time for me. I’ve been struggling with loneliness and never-ending doubts for the past few months and reading this now assures me I am not alone with these feelings. There are people who go through similar situations and it helps me to know that they are able to keep the faith. Hopefully I can continue and appreciate this time and not feel lost but grateful for it! I really want to see it as a gift. Thank you for writing this, from the bottom of my heart.

  • Shine

    This really helps! I felt so torn during my last couple moves and. Could not understand the feelings! For ten years I moved frOm place to place nomadic and at peace!
    For 2 and 1/2 years I have settled in (though still nomadic) and grown deep roots sand it has been intense to move all that!
    I feel food and in a soul level really trust this move. As a human I manifested a cold, releasing more and opening more space for all the goodness to flood in!
    It feels good! Thank you for sharing!

  • Nina Queiroz

    This was so beautiful and helped me so much. I am on the same path, and agree with everything in this text. It is good reading it though, it makes my beliefs stronger. Thank you for your inspiration, thats a text I am going to read again as many times as I need.

  • AH

    Hi Daria! I just stumbled across your article and I’m so glad I did. You were talking about me…very literally. I’m 28, just moved from FL to NC, I’m still with my boyfriend but I too am trying to navigate around parents who I feel help with strings attached! I’m trying to figure out my footing in life and what my passions are! It is always eye opening and comforting knowing there is someone out there going through very similar things!