Ahhhh, the squirmy discomfort of those awkward in-between times.
I’m right there, friends, because it’s been quite a week. We shared the trailer for our documentary with the world a few days ago, and it’s such a strange feeling– so intimate and yet so public. This project has been such a large part of our lives for the past year, but it’s all been happening behind the scenes. There wasn’t much to share with you, because with a film it isn’t done until it’s done, you know?
Our goal with this project is ultimately to create a movement that embraces and celebrates underrepresented and nontraditional families– because every family is a beautiful family. We have big, big dreams for this– the kind that make our eyes wet. But the very first step was to start by showing our own family’s very personal story of what it’s like to be a big, loving, blended family of seven with a transgender dad and a queer mom. And we did it! Big sigh of relief!!! It’s done!!!
We’re overjoyed, but If you follow my husband Nick, you might have seen that he also got some very hard news yesterday. Talk about the push-pull of celebrating and grieving. We will rest deep this weekend, and I’ll be following my own advice, below.
So now we’re in a strange in-between sort of spot. We’re happy, and we’re sad. Our trailer is out there, but the full film won’t be available online until September 30th. (And yes of course, you’ll be the first to know when it’s up!)
We’re premiering the film at the Calgary International Film Festival next weekend, which has necessitated many a fashion crisis for me– does red carpet mean total glam? or is the kind of red carpet where everyone is too cool to get dressed up??? THESE are the important questions of being a filmmaker, it turns out.
I don’t know about you, but I HATE the in-between seasons. The waiting. The limbo. The vagueness of it. I want to just rip off the bandaid and show you the film, just open up all the raw tender parts of our lives that you’ll see soon…just get it over with….and of course the thought also makes me feel slightly queasy. But also excited. And proud. And squirmy. So many feelings!
So today I’m writing to all of you who are your own in-between state. Maybe you’re waiting for a decision or news something that will change everything. Maybe you’ve gotten big news but you can’t share it with anyone yet. Maybe you’ve had a massive epiphany but you have absolutely no idea what to do about it. Maybe you’re just in one of those seasons when you sort of feel neither here nor there. Or maybe life is moving really, really fast– but right now you’re revving at a stoplight.
Many of the kindred spirits, me included, have wanted to just curl up and hide away from everything the past week or two. It might be the full moon? of Friday night, or the turning of the seasons, or something energetic– but if you just want to be real still in a pool of quiet, you’re not alone. No, life won’t let most of us completely opt out, at least not most of the time, but I hope you’ll find ways to give yourself some of that quiet and comfort if you’re craving that. For me, that’s meant reading my way through the Harry Potter series (again!), sinking into its rich and familiar world like a hot bath each night.
The thing about the uncomfortable in-between times is that you can’t DO a lot. It’s not a time when you can set big things into motion (at least not outwardly), and so it can have a kind of maddening push-pull quality to it. You want to start packing for the big move– but you don’t know yet if it’s official. You want to embark on your new career– but you have two more months at your old job to honor. You want to shout from the rooftops about the THING– but you’re sworn to keep it under wraps.
Rather than fighting it, which is about as useful as stepping on the gas with the emergency brake on, let’s see if we can’t find a spot of refuge in this strange in-between time. Perhaps this can be a season for rest, and refueling, and tidying things up. Most of you (ok me too) try to function at full throttle all the livelong time, and we feel uneasy when we’re paused. But the uneasiness can give way to immense gentleness, if you’ll let it.
Here are some things you can do if you’re in an in-between time:
? Take naps. Scandalous, delicious, deep naps.
? Catch up on the piles that you don’t usually have time to tackle. Recycle old papers, donate clothes that don’t fit, shed furnishings that no longer delight you. Sort through your books and get rid of anything that makes you feel guilty. Clean out your tea drawer.
? Dabble in something you enjoy but you’re not good at– painting, cooking, meditating– how often do you get to just be mediocre at something?!?! (Answer: rarely.) Isn’t it sort of lovely?
? Let your dreams about what is coming bloom big and wild and bloomy. Spend time just daydreaming. Cut out pictures. Make elaborate lists. Concoct unlikely yet exhilarating plans. Let your ideas get bigger than your doubts.
? Make physical placeholders for all the new things you want. Label an empty file folder and put it in your filing cabinet. Create a new doc with your ambitious new idea, title it, and save it even if it’s blank. Make a date to catch up with an old friend in the city you plan to be in this time next year. Hang an empty frame for the diploma you’re working toward. Buy the outfit for the interview of your dreams.
? Set up support systems now so that you’ll have them in place when things pick up speed again (they always do, dearheart). Sign up for the meal delivery service. Hire a regular house cleaner. Book regular massages for six months out. Get yourself a really wonderful coach who will walk you through whatever comes next. Start using that bullet journal or compass you’ve been meaning to set up so that you’re clear and focused and ahead of the game.
I promise, when the light suddenly turns green, and you find yourself going from zero to sixty in about three seconds, you’ll be glad to have those things in place. You’ll be glad that your physical world is streamlined and cozy, that you have a trusted person to navigate the barrage of new decisions, and that your body is rested and replete with sleep and soul vitamins.
And you might find that while you were busy curling up with a book, or going for long walks in the twilight, or making up your bed with fresh new linens, or hanging new art, musing in the in-between times– that things have inexplicably shifted, and you’re looking down an unexpected path. You’ll be ready for it. Strong, steady, filled up, excited.
And you’ll aaaaalways be glad that you have your fourth round of Harry Potter twirling inside you.
P.S. So many of you have written to share your support for our family and what we’re trying to do with this documentary. Thank you!!! I’m several hundred emails underwater, so please be patient with me as I reply!
Many of you have asked how you can help, and here’s the answer!
1. Please share our trailer wherever you hang out online! Here’s the link for an easy copy-and-paste:
Thank you!! You never know what other beautiful family you might be helping by sharing our story.
2. Do you know a journalist who might be interested in doing a story about our family and this documentary? We would REALLY appreciate an introduction! You can email me with questions/details, or just do an email intro– my personal email is firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Do you have a friend who has a podcast, a youtube channel, or any other kind of interview series?!? Do YOU? We’d love to be on it! Hit me up at email@example.com
P.P.S. As always, thank you– THANK YOU– for your love and support. It means the world to us.
P.P.P.S. It doesn’t seem to slow down, does it? Even when we’re in between. So, speaking of lining up support for what comes next– and getting fierce and tender enough for these extraordinary lives we’re living– I’m taking on THREE new private clients this autumn.
Is one of them you?
All details here, or take the plunge and: