The In-Between Phase is a gift. {Don’t wish it away.}

Today I’m thrilled to introduce Steph from The Vibrant Living Project. Steph is a health coach, yoga lover, and artist. Her heart-felt, thought provoking posts have been comforting to me, especially lately. I’ll let her take it from here…

quieter you become

When I graduated from college, all I could think was “what now?” I didn’t have a job, I was moving back home and I was slightly panicked. I wanted to be independent, and get started with my ‘real life’ I just didn’t know how to begin.

I was lost because I had graduated with honors, majoring in a field that wasn’t even slightly interesting to me. I felt the pressure of expectations–my own and other’s–and wasn’t sure how to handle it. I had thoughts like: shouldn’t I be ready to take on the world? I had made all of the right moves, but still wasn’t ready to move forward.

So instead of jumping into the rat race, I took the summer off. It was a slacker move, but I loved every minute of it. I rented a beach house with some friends from college (okay it was really a trailer without wheels) and we crammed 5 girls into 2 bedrooms. We all got jobs as cocktail waitresses at a popular spot and had the time of our lives–I gained 10 pounds to prove it.

My days were filled with beach time, rehashing the previous night over fried egg sandwiches and afternoon naps. Each night of drink slinging was more fun than the next. It was the perfect way to extend my college experience: simple and fun.

Looking back, I realize why I felt so stuck after graduating college: I needed to pause before transitioning to the next step. I needed to learn how to let go of my old life, and catch my breath so I could grab hold of a new one.

Late night heart-to-hearts with my friends made me realize I wasn’t alone in my confusion; they, too, felt overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. We were all stuck in the in-between. This phase was a process of learning how to become who we were meant to be.

The ironic part is that in the stillness, we learn to move forward. It’s where we transition from who we are to who we are becoming: student to adult, being solo to a being a part of a couple, single to married, career woman to mother. Our subconscious speaks to us and tells us what we need to remember in order to move ahead.

This transitional phase at the beach house was an amazing gift–among the late nights, deep talks and beer parties, I stood still long enough to dream about the life I really wanted, not just the one that I was expected to live. Conversations with friends and connecting through our fear inspired me to push through and get moving.

Now when I encounter an in-between time, I remind myself that the in-between is a phase of it’s own that ushers us along. Beautiful creatures don’t often arrive with their dazzling traits; the butterfly and the bird struggle in their own in-between, to strengthen the wings that carry them to their next destination. It reminds me that I am often finding my wings, too.

Nadine here – Isn’t she a phenomenal writer? Are you ready to get started? Don’t forget to visit Steph at The Vibrant Living Project.

  • I love this post! I felt the same after graduating and wish I really did just relax, instead of job hunting

    Thanks for sharing! xoxo

  • Such a beautiful way of describing a wonderful and difficult time.

  • Love this post! I laughed out loud when you mentioned that your beach house was a trailer without wheels. When you said ‘rented a beach house’, I had this grand waterfront home painted in my head. I know that this wasn’t the purpose of the post but I loved it.

    • You should have seen it Megan–truly hysterical. But we had a blast in it!

  • I loved this post so much! I’m going to be graduating from college in about a month, and am completely terrified. This post helped me realize that I’m not the only one, and that this part of my life isn’t going to be so bad. I’m definitely going to be following!

    <3 Kiersten

    • Kiersten, congratulations on getting your degree! Glad this gave you a little relief–enjoy the ride 🙂

  • I probably really needed to hear this today… My husband (of seven months) is ready for babies. we’re looking for a house (unsuccessfully)… and I’m just trying to adjust and keep up. Thanks for sharing… and reminding me to slow it down… it doesn’t all have to happen TODAY.

    • So true, Sara. If we can just take things a step at a time, it’s a lot easier. Be gentle with yourself!

  • So beautifully written – really and truly spoke to me!

    • So glad you enjoyed it, Caroline. Thanks for reading!

  • Erin

    Oh man did I need to read this today. My husband and I just moved back to the USA and we are in total transition mode and it’s tough. Beautiful post. Thanks for making my day brighter

    • Glad you enjoyed it, Erin and welcome back!

  • I have never graduated from anything ever so I don’t know how I would feel if I did graduate but hell high five to you and thanks for making me laugh

    • Hi five back! Glad I could make you laugh, Jo-anne.

  • Love this post about transitioning and leaving “comfort zones.” We may sometimes feel stuck in these transitions or embrace them as opportunities to reinvent ourselves! Love your courageous honesty

    • Thanks Toni! We all have spaces of discomfort, but the trick is to stay long enough in those spaces to understand why we’re there.

  • I had a similar experiences after college – everything felt at a stand-still, yet I was like a boat floating away. Those moments when we let ourselves pause have such a golden spot in our memories. I’m sure that summer you spent will always feel like a little piece of magic.

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