Liminal time

Middler year is over.

There, I said it. I typed it. I have some work to finish up for certain classes, but otherwise it’s done. Another tradition was celebrated last night, and since we’re now calling the juniors middlers, I guess that means we’re seniors.

I’m not really sure how I’m feeling about everything right now. The cycle of endings and beginnings is about to repeat itself again, but this summer I’m going to watch it more or less from the sidelines.

I love, and hate, liminal times. These moments in between, at the end of one thing and the beginning of another, are emotionally exhausting. They’re scary, stressful, and unsettling. But often during these times I think more clearly than just about any other time. It’s during these times that I struggle to understand what has been and what could be. Long range vision takes shape. God feels easier to find.

Yet I am fearful of the summer ahead. I don’t usually know what to do with so much unscheduled time. I remember this feeling from the early days of life in my first apartment. I would get up, go to work, come home, and… then what? That was the most terrifying thing about living alone – I had no idea how to just be. I had craved alone time for as long as I could remember. Growing up my sister always shared a room with me, and in college I always had at least one, and sometimes two roommates. During senior year in college I lived with 12 other people in a big house. In my mid twenties I got to be really and truly alone for the first time in my life and I hated it. Memories of what that was like come back to me as I contemplate life between now and September.

I won’t really be by myself all summer. My husband has an internship that should take up lots of time, but he’ll be here every night. There’s a group of classmates who have named themselves “the bon-bon club” that will be here doing nothing all summer. I’ve got coffee invites, field ed meetings, friends to visit, etc. Regardless, it’s going to take me a while to get used to the slower pace and the empty Close.

I have plenty to do. I have lots of reading to catch up on. I want to wander aimlessly through this great city. I want to sit at the barbecues and geek out with other church nerds as the sky fades to black. I want to start the work for the Michaelmas term. I’ll sacristan for a summer eucharist now and then. I’m going to organize my GOE materials. I’m going to finally put together a filing system I can actually use. I’m going to think, pray, breathe, finally process some more of CPE, breathe some more.

At least that’s what I hope I’m going to do. All that unscheduled time still makes me pretty nervous.


~ by Sophia on May 10, 2008.

3 Responses to “Liminal time”

  1. I had a “nothing” summer last summer, between middler and senior year. I took the summer off and just spent it hanging out in New York with the kids. Some days we never left the couch – eating popcorn and watching movies all day. Other days we ventured around the city doing cool and fun things. We stayed up late. Hung out on the playground. I spent endless hours by the BBQ pits having geeky conversations with all my church friends. It was one of the most fabulous summers of my life. I just got to be – be me, be a mom, be a church geek, be a friend. I know I’ll never get another summer like that again and I’m so grateful I had it. Enjoy every minute of it.

  2. Dear Heart,God gives us time for a reason! Make the most of it, for your spiritual health! Pay attention to Julie! I know it’s hard to sit still, but take it easy. Frolic with your husband. You have all of NYC available!This may be your last chance to rest for awhile. God has plans for you! REST NOW!Faithfully,Judy

  3. It’s a shocking thought, that we’re rising seniors. It went so quickly. I do envy you the quiet summer – I’ve got an 8-week internship of full-time work at a local parish that is a requirement of my diocese. August, though, will be my Sabbath. Given that I’ve had five days a week of classes and two days a week of Field Ed, I think I’m ready for one. I suspect you’re ready, too. Enjoy the city.

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