The idea of a liminal space, in a nutshell, is that it's a threshold of sorts, an in-between space and time in which we exist temporarily. Our professor equated it to a doorway, I believe. I've felt like this has been my permanent residence for so long now, I can hardly remember what it's like to not live in the in-between time. I've been thinking about this lately.
It seems like we're always in a time and place where we're halfway looking back, and halfway looking forward. I think having young children is especially conducive to that sort of mindset. Being nostalgic for what was, while dreaming about what's coming. Even on a micro-level. It's thinking about bedtime while looking forward to nap, or being hyper aware of what comes next in the day, so you can try to be one step ahead of the kid. As a new parent, it seems you always hear two phrases from more experienced ones: something along the lines of "cherish every single moment, they go so fast" or "oh, just wait until [xyz thing happens]." Both of these tend to rub me the wrong way. The first puts this unattainable pressure on otherwise frazzled, but love-drunk new parents: you should enjoy every single wonderful moment, if you don't, you're sure to miss out on the beauty which is parenthood. When did every single moment become wonderful? Last I checked, there is a lot of crap we wade through (albeit willingly) as parents, and even with recognizing that some moments are pretty shitty, we still understand why time and time again, people put themselves through this experience: overall, it's totally worth it. But to put pressure on "enjoying every moment" is unrealistic and undermines the emotions of the person who is thinking "this sucks right now." The latter "just wait" statement, to me, seems to especially point out the new parent's naivety, but almost in a condescending tone. Like, "you're happy now with your precious offspring, but wait until they stay out past their curfew with their questionable friends - then you'll question why you ever wanted to do this at all." What's the point of that kind of warning? And both these phrases seem to miss out on simply being present, in the moment, good or bad, not looking backward or forward.
Pregnancy makes me feel eternally stuck in this limbo. I'm counting down the days and weeks - they make the end feel so far away, yet I'm acutely aware of how quickly this time has already gone.
Here's my bottom line though: I think allowing us to sink into this kind of thinking gives us an excuse for not fully living presently in the moment. If we're residing in this in-between space with one foot behind us and one foot in front of us, aren't we missing the moment of now? I really hate that realization - knowing how fleeting our time here is, how can I be better at being fully present in all moments? How can I appreciate the past and prepare for the future, while still being fully present (and not resentful) of living in this fleeting moment, which so often carries the uncertainty of what might come?
Working on improving over here, one second at a time....