Leah Farmer

Personal perspectives on faith, literature, and life.

Alone in the Middle Places…

As I mentioned in my post about Wandering…I am obviously in a time of transition. Certain things…namely my responsibilities at work…get firmer every day. While other things…the being alone…feel more fluid and changing. I am in the middle places…and I’m alone in it…even when I have others around me.

I am between my beautiful West Seattle town house with all the windows and my amazing flat in Vasastan with all the windows

I am in between feelings of joyful adventure and complete exhaustion…daily, hourly, sometimes minute by minute

I am happy and filled with joy while also melancholy and longing for anything familiar

I am certain of how good I am at my work and overwhelmed by the sheer expectation of it all

I am a curiosity and a mystery to others yet those taking real time to get to know me are few and far between

I am missing what was in one relationship and eager for what might be in something new

I am all alone in the middle places and yet I know I am not alone. I am reminded that my people are always with me…in my heart, in the energy and prayers they send, in the lightness that comes over me when I see a new text, an IM, or a Marco Polo post. I am reminded that here there are people who want me to feel at home and find my success. And I know…without knowing who or what to call what it is…I know that there is something bigger than me that seeks my ultimate good, loves me, and is on my side. That Spirit is Holy and it joins with all the energy that my community far and wide offers me and reminds me that I am alone and not alone.

I am reminded of David Whyte’s lovely poem Everything is Waiting for You:






  1. Rachelle

    I was 18 when I moved to Germany for my foreign exchange year. I spoke nearly no German. After spending challenging years in high school figuring out who I was and where I fit in, I had reached a place of being comfortable in my skin and my place. Then suddenly, the familiar where was gone and the who was hidden by a language barrier. It was so odd to me to think that people were creating impressions of who I was when I couldn’t really speak to them or join in their conversations. The identity that I’d worked so hard to define was suddenly in the hands of others to define, guess at, estimate.

    My experience (and that of several other exchange students I’ve spoken with) was that it took 6 months to get my feet on the ground, and the first 3 months are the most thrilling but hardest.

  2. Linda

    For me, the first 2 weeks were impossible. By the third week, I was creating patterns, the beginnings of familiar within the overwhelming still unfamiliar. After three months, I only shed the nervousness of always looking over my shoulder (every ex-pat South African will relate). By 6 months or so, I was a fan & all my South African tugs on my heart began to fade.

    The above is just my experience, but like any change she to our bodies, like an insult or trauma such as an operation, we all respond differently and at different timing. And we continue to respond differently, but our souls naturally gravitate to keep the warmth fed to our souls. That warmth can be new things or the familiar or both, whatever we need at that moment. It’s strong birds like us that remain open to from wherever that warmth will come and in whatever form it takes.

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