One day or Day One. You decide.

There is, so much I want to say about the in-between.

How we, we take to Facebook to post updates and “love” statuses for those living the dream.

Graduations, diamond rings, wedding bells, and baby things: we live to share the highlights, or so our posts would seem.

Yet here I am—still here, I am—prone to the in-between.

When I left my career two years ago, I knew I was taking a risk. Walking away when you’re on top, with offers to soar even higher… who would ever do such a thing?

And yet, I couldn’t escape this gnawing feeling, my feet weighed down twenty pounds, spending each night on the ground, sobbing.

So I left, with no plan. Just to go.

And go, I went.

It’s been two years since I paused my career, and one since I returned from a trip around the world to help, and love, humanity. This trip—it changed me for good. And it never would’ve happened, had I not taken the leap.

I was so, so confident I would leave for six months and come back better than before, driven to connect as a Creative for the best agency in town. That fire I caught connecting to young women, men, and young children—it would launch me like a firework, so I couldn’t be ignored.

But there are no resolutions, no congratulations to share. There are no job updates gathering “likes” on Facebook; no mass texts sent out to share good news to good friends.

This past year has been one of my most trying yet. With no steady job, I’ve faced closed door after closed door, each one more hurtful than the last—which made no sense, then, when I stuck a toe into the open doors, only to flee… they weren’t for me.

I’ve pinched pennies peering off for my next paycheck, submitting to government, and parental, help to thrive. A miracle rescinded as a third scan, yet, revealed the mass came back to my uterus—non-cancerous, but threatening of the future family I had just started hoping for.

Certainly not how I saw myself at 30, after the adventure of a lifetime.

And yet.

And yet.

And yet, this past year has granted me more freedom than my whole life striving for the next big thing.

And yet, I’ve hugged my nieces; held my newborn nephew; cheered them on onstage; talked them through their last school days. I’ve held them when they cried in pain, more than I could before.

I’ve woken up to love, my parents doubled over in laughter; next second, huddled, in prayer—every morning, faithfully.

I’ve floated through top coffee spots, befriending all the baristas, picking their brains on their side jobs or drive to brew SD’s best cup.

I’ve sat at tables sipping lattes reading pages greeting strangers meeting friends and crying as we sat in patience, quiet, then bursting to cheer on one another—no way we could do this without one another.

I write this on the familiar side of yet another slammed door. The last straw I was hoping for, to tell me my future.

But the future is in all of our hands, just waiting to be written. And the dreams we have, when we advocate for ourselves to join a team, to join their dream… sometimes they’re meant to be pioneered down new paths.

And so, this is me. I’m in the in-between. But I’m not trying to push down any more paths; it’s time to create my own.

And I know just where I’ll go.

dsc_0064Hey there! I’m Cheryl Elizaga, but you can call me “Ché”. I’m living in the in-between but choosing joy each day. This post kicks off my #100DaysofWriting Challenge, because words are my weapon but consistency, my Achilles’ heel. So join me on this bumpy ride; let’s laugh, let’s talk, and maybe cry… thank you for sticking with me. 

Header image courtesy of Louiemark Ambata. Model: Gabriela Masuda


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