Random Messes, Recovery

The Hallway

We’ve all been on the receiving end of the rather annoying cliche:  “When one door closes, another one is opened.”

Well-meaning friends assure us that once a part of our life is over (usually without our permission) The Universe is just gearing us up for the next awesome thing coming our way. This seemingly trite sentiment typically isn’t terribly comforting, at least in my mind, especially when you feel kicked out of that door by a pair of size 10 military-issue steel-toed boots.

Since the shiny new door never seems to open right away, we’re always left in emotional purgatory wondering what the hell just happened and not quite ready to accept something new – no matter how much “better” this new phase is supposed to be. So where are we when we’re forced to endure that suffocating stagnant pause?

I guess you could say, we’re in The Hallway.


Guys, The Hallway sucks.

The air is so thin it’s hard to breathe. It’s lonely. And the uncertainly of when we can exit is all-consuming. In The Hallway we’re forced to wait, and in this waiting we are washed with regrets from the past and anxieties about the future.

Intellectually, I know there’s learning to be had in The Hallway. It’s here that we’re allowed a certain amount of time to ponder the last phase while preparing for the next. Insights about ourselves and our patterns can be found on the walls and, if we decide to make the most of this time, we can enrich ourselves enough to be ready for the next door. But we don’t always do that.

Sometimes we’re too busy pounding on the old door begging to be let back in.
Sometimes we’re huddled against the wall, afraid to look for new doors.
Sometimes we’re kicking down every new door we see, desperate to get out.

So what exactly are we supposed to do here? 

Well, I’m here now, and I can tell you that there’s not a whole lot of doing to be done. It’s more like… learning to breathe again. It’s that rare moment in our lives when we’re not chasing something, not running from something, not figuring something out. We just have to be, and not everyone is comfortable with that. It’s what I’m struggling with today.

Whether you are between jobs, between relationships, between cities, or just between hairdressers, The Hallway doesn’t have to be as scary as it seems. After all, when was the last time you didn’t have to emotionally do anything?

I’m going to take my time in The Hallway not as punishment, but as opportunity. I can hear you rolling your eyes. Trust me, I couldn’t be more tired of “working on myself.” I’m taking the opportunity to just be – be with everything I’m feeling and everything I’m scared of and everything I wish would happen but won’t. Goddamn it sucks. And the fear is real. So real. But we’re never in here alone. After all, I met him in The Hallway, several years ago. How bad could it be?




  1. Hope you have a pen and plenty of paper in that hallway because, you girl, are a BORN WRITER. Just keep going. Just breathe. And write. And call me if you want to. My number is on my FB. Any time, day or night, no matter what.

  2. Andy Davis

    This is a perfect description of this period. I’m there too right now and really wishing I hadn’t moved from Atlanta now and we could forge our path commiserating together. I’m in a particularly frustrating situation where I know door is next, but there’s a delay in entering. I’m going back to school and it doesn’t start for about 6wks. So it’s like being in that dream where you’re moving towards the door, but never get there. Very difficult.


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