Tuesday, April 27, 2010

In-between

Without exception, every woman in this world who ever wanted to grow out her short hair landed in this particular situation, one that is truly problematic and discouraging; one that, sadly, can never be entirely avoided: this situation is none other than the detestable moment her hair reaches the mid-length level, only timidly touching her shoulders. At this point, it is neither amusing nor very practical to style: the hair is not short anymore but it is positively not long enough either. Being stuck in-between; the woman sighs, and comes to realize that she will spend the next couple of months facing quite an unpleasant music.

Dealing with it becomes a daily fight: she tries to come up with tricks that will put that flyaway hair into some sort of order. She seeks advice from hairstylists and also searches for “How to” articles in order to find even the slightest satisfactory solution. How she would just love to put that hair in a small ponytail at all times, but having a little tree hanging from the bottom of her head does not always look as cute as it sounds. How does she handle it? How does she get to the next level without the urge of pulling her hair out before? Unless she decides to liberate her anger towards that hair by getting some extensions – which does not necessarily appeal to all women – there is no other solution than to wait for this annoying thing to just grow. She attempts to remain calm and patient… and looks forward to the day she will finally look like a decent, neat human being with long hair again.

In life, we face a lot of situations that are similar to growing out a crop. Being stuck in an in an ugly period of transition equals to times of desperation, times of torture. Undoubtedly, this is definitely not about those in-between times that we consider as well-deserved breaks, for instance like that summer or sabbatical year between High School and University. What is insinuated looks more into those moments we feel a little more restless: being in-between jobs or in-between homes are good portrayals of messy times we are sometimes confronted to. Evidently, in-between circumstances are caused by different factors, whether we provoked them or not. Nevertheless, no matter what we leave behind, let it be good or tragic; and no matter what we are opting for, of course it is a situation that screams ‘for the better’; being in limbo is never a nice place to be: it often just leaves us anxious and frustrated.

Losing a job – and not knowing when exactly we will find another one – is one of the toughest standpoints we must deal with, especially nowadays. Many might find work as soon as they quit the last one, but others collect job ads or accumulate interviews in vain. Looking for a flat during housing crisis is equally exhausting; especially if the one we have ‘in the mean time’ does not come close to what a home should feel like. Like looking at one’s awful mid-length hair in the mirror, waking up clueless to what will happen in the (near) future slowly becomes an unbearable feeling. Then, we tend to hold on to the past – a past that might not have been great, but it was at least stable and safe. Indeed, periods of transition demand more patience and words of encouragement; and we can only pray for the next best thing to happen . How can we deal with it in a more efficient way? How can we get to the next phase without the urge of pulling our hair out before?

One thing that positive (such as holidays) and negative transition phases have in common is that we are well aware of the fact that they are momentary. There is a reason why a break has an expiration date. We are not satisfied with the actual in-between situation and we want to move up to the next level quickly. The only problem we have is that – as it is the same with growing out medium-length hair – we are too impatient to reach that specific goal. This is the reason why ‘now’ makes us cross and makes us curse at the exact same time.

So, instead of moaning and hoping for the next best thing to happen fast, we could learn to use this in-between situation in our favor. It is relevant to keep in mind that life is not a race: things will eventually turn around. And when it is that time at last, we will get into it with loaded guns. There are a lot of ways to make ugly transition phases quite fruitful: we can get another diploma, we can improve our language skills (or even learn a new one), we should be tourists in our own city again, we can take a short (or longer) trip somewhere, we can take dance lessons, and we can start networking more. Indeed, there are endless solutions to make time both pass and worthwhile.

It is said that the richest ornament of a woman is her hair. In hindsight, time is the richest ornament we have in our possession. Thinking about all the different phases we get to live in a lifetime, I have learned that no time is ever wasted – even times we spend in ugly transition. We sigh, we wait. Sadly, we cannot escape from them. But the thing is: it might not fly by, but it will go by. Meanwhile, as stated above, we should make every bit enjoyable. Let us simply look around, and remember how much society and our beautiful earth have to offer.  Now, don’t we have all the time in the world to explore?

3 comments:

  1. I agree. My partner is "between" jobs and I'm finding the adjustment very hard, but really it should be used as a time to do other things that need doing, and spending some well deserved time together, because this time won't last forever. Although at the moment it seems as if it is!

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  2. Hello Joe,

    thanks a million for passing by my page and commenting on this piece. I know exactly what you mean... instead of doing/feeling those things, it is quite hard to adjust and you have the impression that bad 'in between' lasts forever. All i wish for you and your partner is to be strong and hope your situation gets better soon! Cheers!

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