Betwixt and Between

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How do you get from where you are to where you want to be?

I’ve written a lot on this blog about the need for women to build new businesses – different kinds of businesses – if we hope to achieve a better balance in our workplaces and in our lives. But how does that happen? How do you live well in the world you have, even as you work to make a better one?

You live betwixt and between.

That’s what I’ve been doing. I spend my days moving between two worlds. First is what I have begun to call my “old world” – working independently to provide supply-chain management and large-program management consulting services, the way I’ve earned my living for a long time. Second is my “new world” – that of building Morf3D, a company of the type I’ve proposed women build in my GirlAuthentic blogs.

I’m spending 24-40 hours a week providing supply-chain and ERP implementation work, supporting a wonderful client I have worked with multiple times. I am also traveling and meeting with potential new partners and clients to help build Morf3D. It’s a common story you hear about many others who have started a new business: You use the current work to keep paying the bills and help fund the new business, “burning the candle at both ends.”

Living in both worlds leaves me feeling I’m not doing either very well. I am constantly working on one area while being asked to do something for the other, or thinking about the other. Some days it is exciting; other days it is exhausting.

And I’ve come to a conclusion: I just have to get comfortable with being in transition.

I know this will be part of the “story” of building Morf3D that I can share in the future with other women and men who I hope will also make the leap to build the kinds of companies we want to work in – companies that are involved in changing the world, in making our workplaces places we all want to be. But I also I have a feeling the anxiety, stress, and excitement of building Morf3D is going to be around for a while.  So, I better figure out ways to be with it.

And that’s not easy! Prior to this level of activity with Morf3D, I felt I was pretty good at quieting my mind, being still, relaxing. Now, I realize I have a lot more to learn about how to do this. Stillness has been a struggle – at a time when I need it the most.

But I realize something else too: Building Morf3D feels right. This is our chance to build what we have said we wanted to see in this world in terms of the opportunities we want to create and the type of company we want to give people a chance to work for. This is just the beginning of this journey.

It might be a lifetime journey. Does anyone who is involved in building something new ever feel “done”? Or do they just get comfortable continually building, knowing they are never done? Are we here only for the finish line – or is “betwixt and between” exactly where we ought to be?

What do you think?

Michelle Meyer

2 Comments

  1. Anne Brennand May 23, 2015 Reply

    Hi Michelle. I am so grateful to be able to read and respond to your blog post. I know you most through our work together learning to play the cello, and watching your daughter grow and achieve via violin lessons.

    Your statement here made me think: “It might be a lifetime journey. Does anyone who is involved in building something new ever feel “done”? Or do they just get comfortable continually building, knowing they are never done? Are we here only for the finish line – or is “betwixt and between” exactly where we ought to be?”

    As a professional musician and string instrument teacher, I of course relate to that above quotation! Learning to play a musical instrument is very much a life time journey. We are never “done”. Visual artists get to declare an end point by decision, putting a painting or photo in a frame. Musicians can make a CD and dancers or actors can make a video, but we have the knowledge that each expressive performance can continue to evolve.

    In terms of my own career, that has put me in a tricky place. I decided not to pursue the route my family took, positioning into careers as principal players in symphony orchestras. I saw how hard that was for them, their jobs having such high skill level demands, but no say in how that skill is implemented or interpreted created so much stress. Instead I chose a freelance teaching and playing career. I was satisfied with that for a long time, as I found meeting people (like you, Michelle) so gratifying , while living in Boulder, CO, of all places!

    On the other hand, I want desperately to know I have found my life path, I am forging ahead in the right way best for me, and those close to me. I struggle with financial burden, aging parents, my own security concerns. I find the arts in Colorado, with it’s scenic splendor, are not as valued as they are in coastal cities or European locations. As I age and continue to live at the threshold for federal standards of poverty, I of course feel great pressure to thrive and succeed. Betwixt and between my life’s desire and direction and how to achieve financial or self realized success , ,

    As the music or any arts profession leaves so much to chance, and so little to security, I am perhaps not the best suited person to be writing on your blog.

    On the other hand, the arts leave so much up to spiritual and personal development and satisfaction. After years of trying to find a way to support myself, so that I could continue my passion, through trade or business security, I have realized my mistake. One cannot and must not leave one’s passion subsidiary to supporting oneself. They are and must be the same. I can now say that, after much life experience and suffering the alternate paths, with qualified assurance. I do still watch finances carefully, taking odd jobs as needed to fulfill check book quotas. However, these positions always bite back when I forget they are not primary, but rather subsidiary, to my life’s work (I know, that that thing called one’s passion is not always clear, but there, almost in spite of oneself – ).

    The important question seems to me to be: How do we find that core of ourselves apart from life’s doing, demands, “in sickness or in health” reality? For myself, that has been an inward journey, and surprisingly accessible aspect of myself. Any exploration through physical skills such as yoga, or mental foray such as in contemplative meditation practice, or emotional expressive path as through the arts, I emphatically encourage, promote, endorse. I look forward to more blog posts that will shed light on this issue in other and alternate ways. Thanks, Michelle! – Anne

    • Michelle Meyer Author
      Michelle Meyer October 20, 2015 Reply

      Dear Anne — thank you for such a thoughtful, and thought provoking post. They say the artists and the healers have the most advanced souls. You are one of those souls Anne. The inward journey being the most important. I’m not sure any of us feel the security you seek unless we have done the inner work. I think anything that appears to be providing the security from the outside is an illusion.

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