A place in between

The words you’re reading now has been dispatched from a strange place. It is a place of in-between. Not just a place between the innerworld and outerworld like the blurb I wrote for this newsletter that you signed up for, but it is a place between the now and the new. If you are starting to feel like this is not the place you want to be at, be careful as you follow the lights to the exit.

The last time I wrote, the changes were getting started and since then, it has been weeks of preparation of the new place and the packing up of the now place. Now, most of my belongings are packed away leaving me feeling detached from the current apartment while not yet connected with the future one. I feel unmoored. As though the things in the house were the weight that kept me grounded to this shell of an apartment.

Between a house which is a construction site and a house that has been packed away, nowhere feels right. In the day, I walk amongst the dust and debris while imagining in my head what the apartment might be in the future. At the end of the day, I rest my body amongst the towers of cardboard boxes and bubble wrap while considering the life in this apartment of the past. The placemaker (me) is displaced from his house for the moment, and home is just a place in his head.

Even so, the new awaits with possibilities. While I’ld rather the circumstances surrounding it was different, the light of hope that I have been tending to inside me is starting to glow just a flicker brighter lately. 

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In a moment of serendipity or grand coincidence, the people behind ELEVEN magazine, a student-run publication produced by Nanyang Technological University Muslim Society (NTUMS), dropped me a DM a couple of weeks ago to ask if I had words about the theme of ‘Possibilities’ for them. I reached down inside and typed some that read something like this:

As you stand at the doorway of these two places (between now and new), you can’t help but wonder what lies behind it. Through the gap underneath the door, you get a glimpse of what lies beyond. It sounds like peace, and it smells like joy. It seems greener on that other side, like a vast expanse with an abundance of all that you have been seeking. You know that it has its own version of bullshit that is fertilising the land, but it still seems better than the now.  

I have no way of telling you what lies behind that door, but it is probably not what you are expecting. It is also probably going to warm your heart and break it at some point, but that’s okay because that is what being human is all about. All we can do is to be graceful and grateful in not knowing what is behind it.

At the threshold between these two places, you may have questions like I did. Am I stepping into a good thing, or am I stepping out of it? Am I coming back to myself or am I going away to discover a new part of myself? Is this starting over or is this the next chapter? As I discovered later, there are no wrong answers because there were always other doors in the new place for me. Doors that would lead me to places that I would never have seen if I didn’t walk through that first one. Doors that would lead me to the people I never knew I needed to meet. And doors that would lead me to lessons that I needed to unlock the next one.

Take it from this strange man with calluses and scars that you need to be careful with what and who you bring along on this journey. Be full, but be light. Know the difference between a weight that will keep you grounded and the weight that prevents you from soaring. Know what gives you strength or takes it away. Explore the contours between moving forward and leaving things behind. Decide what to keep and how to keep it.

You can read the full version here


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Thank you for reading this far. You have been so generous with your time and attention to me and I really appreciate it. The next dispatch that I send will be written from an old desk in a new place and who knows what the words will be like then. Till that moment arrives, write back to me if you wish or don’t, but always be kind to yourself.
 

-A