Spaces in between

Rabbit Island

You know how after you’ve been on a boat or in the ocean, you can still feel yourself swaying to the waves even after you’ve planted your feet on solid ground? It’s like your body holds on to that semblance of a moment – that sensation – as it tries to find a new equilibrium?

That moment can be uncomfortable and frankly can make you feel nauseous sometimes.

I kind of feel like I’ve been living in that space lately – not quite drifting off to sea but not quite on solid ground either. Maybe it’s the after-effects of unplugging for a month, the uncomfortable feelings and lessons still wiggling its way into the spaces in between and trying to settle somewhere. I’m still trying to figure out how to maintain a sense of connection and a lighter load without filling up the “holes” in my life with busyness.

You see, I’m a bit on the cusp of starting something new – something that I’m really excited about and really scared of at the same time. Is it possible for those two emotions to co-exist?

Hawaiian ocean

If it isn’t abundantly clear, I’m very much a Type A person. I like things planned out. I like clear direction. I don’t deal well with fuzzy and murky and striking out on my own path. The first time that I stepped away from my “chosen” path, I had just graduated from college. I was pre-med and had every intention of going to medical school because that’s what I studied and I had good MCAT scores. How could I waste good MCAT scores?

But I found my way to an internet start-up and then to public policy school because I wanted to get back to the work that I loved in the nonprofit and public sector. For the past 10 years, I’ve had a good career working for nonprofits and have been able to build a life that meets my needs and my family’s needs.

Over the past year, I decided to take another step away from my consulting work and a step towards writing and something in the health and fitness field. The thing is, this move towards something that I’m more passionate about? It’s not safe or secure. It also conflicts with the notion of what’s an acceptable career that has been firmly ingrained in my head. I mean, it’s not in the field of medicine, law or business – the three professions that are deemed acceptable by most Asian parents (or maybe just mine?).

Hawaii ocean

Next week, I start a 200-hour yoga teacher training program. OMG.

I’m excited to move forward yet I find myself being pulled back towards the need to be secure, to work and to earn money.

I have no idea what my new equilibrium will look like or how the other pieces in my life will fall into place. I’m trying hard not to rush through these uncomfortable moments and to try to just figure everything out. It’s in those spaces in between that you get a glimpse of something brilliant. At least that’s what I’m trying to tell myself right now.

Eventually, the swaying settles. You find your legs right underneath you and they are holding you up.

Do you embrace the spaces in between?



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    • says

      Thank you Karen! I keep coming back to these words especially now that training has started and I definitely want to rush the uncomfortable! I’m trying not to and trying to be patient because you’re right – brilliance is in there.
      Christine Yu recently posted..Running to Give BackMy Profile

  1. says

    So excited for you! Yoga teacher training is something I’ve always wanted to do but like you said, it’s something out of the ordinary. There’s no real “security” in it as far as money. I’ve always taken the safe path career wise too – go to college, get a traditional job so you’ll have a retirement fund, paid days off, etc. I’m scared to step out of my comfort zone and go non-traditional…one day!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Wanted: A Running BuddyMy Profile

  2. says

    This is fantastic news! What better way to help ground yourself then with a solid yoga practice that will bloom into teaching? I’m also Type A and do not enjoy the space between but this is a beautiful space for you and I’m sure you will fill it up with greatness. Namaste my friend! Let the journey begin…
    Allie recently posted..Catching Up to 2008My Profile

  3. says

    I know what you mean about needing to plan, to know where you’ll land next. So I applaud you for taking this big leap! It’s so exciting, and I’m thrilled for you.
    Alison recently posted..BigMy Profile

  4. says

    Spaces in between are incredibly scary. I’m not completely type A, but I like control of the things in my life. In order to get some control I’ve been working like a madman, and am so absent minded (filled my car with supreme gas, left my money on the ATM). Your post made me think about how I’m handling the “in between.” I’m afraid… not very well or with any sort of enlightenment. I need to slow down and have some faith.
    Martha recently posted..Claire Roberts Style: Changing More than Just a ClosetMy Profile

  5. says

    What an exciting time in your life Christine! I applaud you for stepping outside of your comfort zone and pursuing this new path because it’s something you truly believe in and not something you feel you have to do to make money. I have no doubt you will be successful! I also like to have a plan, but I’m starting to learn & appreciate that sometimes the best plans are the ones we don’t even know about until we’re in the midst of them. Life starts outside of our comfort zone!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..The Greatest Mountain: Part IMy Profile

  6. says

    That in between space is an uncomfortable space, to be sure! I’m very happy you are stepping out and moving forward, though. I think you are tapping into just what you need.

    My nearly 80-yr. old father still says that he doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up, and I think that’s about right–we probably all go through phases in life where one type of career or another fits, and then we move on. If we’re lucky and determined enough to make it happen!
    misszippy recently posted..Leaving on a jet planeMy Profile

  7. says

    WooHoo – so exciting for you – congratulations on your new path!!!
    Your comment about being really excited and really scared struck a chord with me – that is how I spent most of the summer and even the past few weeks while adjusting (trying to adjust!) to being a business owner. Those emotions can totally coexist!!!!
    You are going to be a phenomenal yoga instructor!!!
    Kim recently posted..WordsMy Profile

  8. says

    Christine I am so excited for this big change in your life. I know you have wanted to do this for a while. While it can be scary (and yes that emotion frequently co-exists with excitement), it is so wonderful that you are following your dream, even if it is something different that you (or your parents) ever thought it would be. Good luck!
    Debbie @ Live from La Quinta recently posted..(Almost) Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  9. says

    How exciting! Yoga teacher training is something I am only dreaming about this point in my life. I think you;ll be a great yoga instructor. :) Going outside the comfort zone is extremely scary and I applaud you for taking the step to going towards something you love! Very happy for you. good luck!
    Sonia the Mexigarian recently posted..Marathon Training Week 5My Profile

  10. says

    I also feel that way after an elevator.
    And yes, I’m often excited and scared at the same time. It’s a weird mix.
    So excited to hear about your big deal training! My sister is doing the same and I love watching the journey unfold. I always think I get growing pains when something like this happens. So I have the swaying/motion sick feeling because it’s almost like I’m growing physically – like Alice in Wonderland after she eats those cakes.
    Whatever it is, it’s all quite a ride – trying to find a settled place between comfort and excitement.
    Tamara recently posted..You Can Be A Hot Mess In The Game Of Life!My Profile

  11. says

    I am not necessarily GOOD at embracing the spaces in between, but I do think they are good for you. I feel like I’ve been in a “space” since I had Evan and things are slowly falling back into place. A new to me place that isn’t feeling AS challenging! If anything, being in the space gives you different perspective. Things that seemed harder are now easier, things that seemed impossible are now doable.

    Good luck with your training!! How exciting!
    Michelle @ Crazy Running Legs recently posted..A Day In My LifeMy Profile

  12. Natasha says

    I read something recently that said something like, ´if something excites and scares you at the same time, you should probably do it´ (sorry, wish I could remember where I read that!) Good luck in this new exciting/scary phase!
    PS – who says yoga isn´t about law, medicine or business? You learn yogic principles and philosophies (law), how to treat and accommodate both physical and mental conditions (medicine) and also how to make a living out of something you love (business). It´s all about how you look at it! :)

    • says

      Thank you Natasha. I so so very much appreciate your words! You are absolutely right – it is about perspective and how I choose to look at this new venture. And that quote? It’s funny because a few people have mentioned similar words to me in the past few days.
      Christine Yu recently posted..Spaces in betweenMy Profile

  13. says

    WHat fantastic news! I am type A too so I applaud you for doing this – it takes a lot of courage but it will be so rewarding I am sure! The best kind of growth often happens in the “spaces”!
    Leah recently posted..Watching Them GrowMy Profile

  14. says

    I definitely don’t embrace the in between spaces. I wish I did. I feel very in transition at moment. Like I’m need to make another move in my journey as a writer. I’d like to get more disciplined about finding time to really work on my WIP. Hopefully, when things settle down at home, I’ll make the leap and feel like I’m on solid ground again. At least for a while. (And the yoga class sounds like a big commitment, but awesome.)
    Jamie@SouthMainMuse recently posted..Heart of Glass. Or things blondes say.My Profile

  15. says

    I’m crazy excited for you, you know. And I too am embarking on a new career path not at all socially acceptable within the culture I grew up in. Let’s be rebels together. xxo
    Ilene recently posted..Modern FamilyMy Profile


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