There are three different points in our lives when big changes occur, and where we are along the spectrum of these points can alter the way we live significantly.
The what was Before; before you turned 31, before you got that job, before you lost her, before you made all the mistakes you made.
The what comes After; you learn from your mistakes, find new purpose, strive to be better than your past self, grow and grow until you reach that light you have been searching for for years.
The In-Between is what gets you every time; where all that was before haunts you, and all that comes After is still in front of you but seemingly out of reach, no matter how many days and weeks pass, you can see the After but cannot grasp it.
You’re stuck in the In-Between. It hurts here, not like Before, when all that pain and suffering was fresh. No, it hurts like a stubbed toe, the knowing you should have and could have avoided all those mistakes if you had just been better, paid more attention, not been such a klutz, such a failure, but you didn’t and now you’re stuck here, in this place you don’t want to be, with all this regret.
It’s embarrassing, but you’re lost and confused and no matter how much you know that you should walk towards the After you know is right there around the corner, you’re so damn exhausted and the ground looks so soft and inviting that you may as well lie down and rest, you deserve to rest after all because the Before was so bad.
But you don’t deserve it, far from it, and you know it but rest anyway and you hate yourself and are disgusted. And now the In-Between is all there is, it is who you are, just a failure.
Until one day, for no reason you can pinpoint too, or a multitude of reasons, you wake up and realize that Before was just a part of life and you maybe made a lot of mistakes but it isn’t over because After is just right there around that stupid corner.
And there you are. Around the corner, in the After.
Life isn’t perfect here, but there is a sense of possibility, of good things, of hope.
All it took was a bit of time to get here, but you made it. Congratulations.