• Malialani Dullanty

In-Between Living

Right now, my children are "secretly" taking all the pillows in our house into their room. This is so they can leap from the window sill onto their mattress, which is on the floor. And for 600sqft, we have a lot of pillows. This is because I have not been able to bring myself to purchase furniture or anything other than pillows for our apartment, because it wasn't permanent. It isn't permanent. We weren't going to be staying here. We aren't going to stay here.

One quarter of our pillows being utilized for landing purposes

Our walls are mostly bare, with the exception of occasional map and super hero drawing done by one of Rory's heroes, Jack Lyons. Our furniture consists of two rocking chairs, plastic bins, and an industrial kitchen storage rack. It would take me several hours to pack our entire life up. Most of that would be figuring out how to pack all our pillows.

As we approach one year of having been back in Washington, I am finding myself wanting to nest, to create my own space more and more - but it seems more and more impossible. Financially it seems impossible, because despite the fact that we can be robbed by rent prices, approval for a home loan that would have a similar or smaller amount for a mortgage is not possible. We also can't seem to find what we are looking for physically in a home. I don't know when a 3000sqft house with no yard became the norm, but really, why? We have a month left before we move out (to an unknown destination) and I am wrapping my head around the idea that we will most likely not be moving into a more permanent space.

Our apartment has served us. Kind of. It has these beautiful South facing windows with a view of Mount Rainier, which will soon all be obstructed by a 12 story office building. The construction of which shakes our apartment, puts cracks in our walls, and has literally made the sidewalk come away from the building. Everything is shoddily put together and cheap, but described as "luxury" - which kind of makes me reconsider the meaning of the word.

Our furniture

So we are living in-between. In-between a permanent and vagabond existence, in-between a stable and unstable existence, in-between what we want and what we have to settle for. In-Between. And it carries over from physical space into emotional and spiritual space, as things do. We feel in-between about so much in our lives.

I would really love to sum up with a neat cliche about it being okay or a great learning opportunity, which I am sure it is. But all I have is that we are living in-between. Nothing else. When you tell a story after you have achieved something, every moment seems so pivotal: you learned so much, you gained so much perspective, there was so much struggle for gain, etc. But when you're in it? You're just in it. Some moments are good, some are bad, but mostly everything is in-between. Somewhere in the middle. And that's where we are.

Plastic bin furniture is all the rage in the Dullanty home

I am experiencing calm and exasperation over all of this - again, so in-between. But I am hoping, praying, working at moving out of the grey and into something else. A season with a little more stability, a little more peace. It seems so boring, but I would appreciate a season of boring. For now, it's the in-between for us.

What about you? Have you found yourself living in-between? What took you into or out of it?

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