As a child of the 80s, I spent many hours under the roof of a place called “Skateland,” celebrating my friends’ birthdays & sometimes my own. This place smelled of old skates, popcorn, & sticky fingers.
Put my chicken legs in a pair of roller skates & my permed locks looked like a blur speeding by as I raced around the rink. I loved skating. There was something about the thrill of negotiating sharp turns on wheels & managing to stay upright.
But as much as I loved the speed, I loved ‘Limbo’ even more.
You know what I’m talking about: the ‘rink rats’ (a term my friend who formerly worked at a skating rink lovingly calls himself!) would gather us all into the middle of the rink & pull out the ‘Limbo’ pole (usually decorated with pink & purple pom-poms for girl parties). They would then blast the “Limbo Rock” by Chubby Checker & those of us little limber people were on our way to winning the prize: free ice cream at the skate bar!
Genetics gave me chicken legs & a skinny frame which, admittedly, worked in my favor for winning ‘Limbo.’ I was pretty bendy & could avoid that pole like a hot potato. I had a knack for doing that insane roller-split move that seems incredibly impossible to my not-so-limber self these days.
In any case, I usually ranked in the Top 3 if I didn’t make it home covered in ice-cream goo from winning the prize.
As much as I love the thrill of negotiating the turns of life these days (while managing to stay upright!), I had a conversation last night where I was jokingly told my career/profession was ‘being in limbo.’ I guffawed at this, but thought ‘Yes, if that was a profession, I’d be the Queen.’ (And I’d probably take the cake, too, but simply because I love cake. Especially birthday cakes. Especially at skating rinks. I digress…)
But seriously. I am the Limbo Queen.
Despite the fact that I grew up in a very stable environment (same house from 2-24 years, parents with an incredible marriage, a family that was fun & hilarious, grandparents who were very involved in my life, friends from childhood to now, etc.), I have spent the past 10 years living in ‘limbo.’
Many of you know that my travel/international living resume includes the following (with stints in the USA dotted in between):
- France -03-’04
- Switzerland – ’05-’08
- South Africa – ’08-’09
- Australia – ’09-’11
- England – ’12-’13
All that to say, I’ve consistently been on the move, pondering what, when, & where is next. Wondering when that pole just might fall on top of me, or when my flexibility will fail me & I’ll come crashing to the ground, wheels spinning & ankles hurting from trying to bend in places that don’t bend anymore.
People talk about seasons of transition like their long-lost relative they haven’t seen in awhile. My seasons of transition are more like my best friend that I see & talk to every single day.
I am in a constant state of transition. I am in a relationship with Limbo.
I am the first to tell people that I ‘thrive in the unknowns of life.’ But lately, the ‘unknowns’ have been smacking me in the face, as if trying to wake me up from some sleepy day-dreamy daze. I’m opening my eyes slowly, one at a time, because too much light, too quick, stings at first.
Because normally for me, the ‘unknown’ comes in a package that is beautifully wrapped with the flag of another country.
The ‘unknown’ for me right now is a place that I actually ‘know’ pretty well. My hometown, where I grew up. Where I spent my foundational years doing just that, living on a foundation of stability.
And yet, it feels very ‘unknown.’ I’m in a season where there are lots of NEW things in my life, lots of uncertainties, lots of choices, lots of paths. And it is all happening in a place, that in some regards, feels more ‘unknown’ to me than any of these other places before.
So, like I said, I am the Queen of Limbo. And I still like it, but sometimes I just wish that the song would finish, the pole would drop & someone would win that free ice-cream already. I really hope it’s me. And I hope it comes with birthday cake.