Interim Time: now what?

Transition. It’s supposed to be a word that is exciting, full of newness and opportunity. But more often, it’s just scary.

For the past eighteen months, I’ve had my head down, writing Not Just Me, my new book about anxiety and depression. It’s been a wonderful experience and is incredibly meaningful to me.

But the book that has been the center of my universe is pretty much done.

I feel like I just got fired.

Now that I’ve lifted my head from the page and I’m looking around, I’m asking myself that question that is full of possibility and uncertainty.

Now what?

Of course, there will still be blog writing and yoga teaching and speaking events.  There will be tea dates with friends and Friday Night Lights marathons with my husband. But The Book that has been the center of my days is no longer. I have to let it out into the world to be liked or hated or ignored. That part is none of my business. I need to let go and move on to….something else.

It’s unsettling.

At a time when I find the world to be particularly chaotic and confusing, I feel even more need to be intentional with my own life. I’m coming back to the questions I asked myself when I left Los Angeles and quit being an actor. What do I want my life to be about? What do I want it all to mean?  I asked those questions when I was 22 years old, and I find myself annoyed that I need to ask again at age 38. But I’m realizing that this an essential part of being awake – circling back to the essential questions. Revisiting them and being open to new answers.

My dear friend Susan sent me this poem and it soothed my soul.

(It’s a longer poem, but these are the sections that got me.)

Interim Time ~ John O’Donohue,

The path you took to get here has washed out;
The way forward is still concealed from you.

You cannot lay claim to anything;
In this place of dusk,
Your eyes are blurred;
And there is no mirror.

The more faithfully you can endure here,
The more refined your heart will become
For your arrival in the new dawn.

So I’m doing my best to love the questions and accept the uncertainty. I’m filled with gratitude that I have options at all and I understand that having an existential crisis is a great privilege. I get it.

And I also think that getting intentional about our lives–not operating on auto-pilot–is how we act as a benefit to the world. We all want our lives to mean something, we all want to contribute in a meaningful way. That looks different for everyone and it’s worth spending some time on.

If your way forward is concealed right now, you are not alone. I have faith that there is a new dawn for all of us — and our strong, beautifully refined hearts.

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14 Replies to “Interim Time: now what?”

  1. I really needed to read this today. Thank you. Wishing you peace and light as your move into a new phase of life. (Also, very excited to read your new book!)

  2. You are a gift and a wonder. Part of being awake (or waking up) is indeed asking the essential questions over and over. As our lives evolve and our priorities shift, as the needs of the world present themselves, we get to reevaluate our response. Hanging out in the “no longer and not yet” time is edgy but powerful. Well done.

  3. Beautiful. I can definitely – change and the unknown can be terrifying. But I love your last line here – “there is a new dawn for all of us.” Very inspirational and something I needed to hear right now. Thank you for the reminder 🙂 wish you all the best – speak766

    1. I loved the poem and the post. I’m facing my own unknown after my husband has decided we cannot have any more children and I realize I’m just a few years from having a lot of time on my hands. The question is: what comes next?

  4. Thank you, Lisa. This comes at a perfect time for me too! Reading it was like a breath of fresh air 🙂

  5. I’m so excited for your next book to come out! Will you be doing a press tour?

    I haven’t finished my own book yet, but I find myself feeling the same way during transitions. The poem is a perfect–and beautiful–reminder to keep at it.

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