The In Between
by Katie Schnack
Getting old is weird. Especially when you are expected to act, feel, and behave like a “real adult,” but inside you are still pretty convinced you are just a confused youth. Perhaps a youth who is now growing a couple forehead wrinkles but still unsure about this great big world we are expected to function in. This strange period of time starts in your twenties and continues until at least early thirties. Possibly even far beyond, but I can’t really say because I am still in my early thirties and am not very psychic.
Taking a “gap year” has become a popular thing to do. This is where the young humans of the world take a sort of sabbatical before or after college to just, well, enjoy life and think about their next step for a hot minute. It is almost like an Amish rumspringa, without the Amish part and likely not involving a horse and buggy. But what about a gap decade?
Let’s talk about that, because it’s something we all walk through, but not by choice. A gap decade isn’t a cute whim of a decision to take a pause and travel to Italy for a few months. Nah. A gap decade is a cluster of challenging, transitional years that the universe just dumps in your lap. And my lap. And pretty much everyone’s lap. It’s that twilight zone between “young person” and “full-blown adult” that sort of washes in, bringing with it a bit of chaos, growth, and self-discovery. It is a few years of flailing around, trying to figure out what the heck is happening as you move from not old to kinda old. From young adult to adult adult.
This book, The Gap Decade, walks through that season of my life. My own experience with the gap decade. But it isn’t just about my story, folks. This book tackles universal issues and emotions we all face— loneliness, change, grief, laughter, relationships, faith, and more. I hope these words make you feel seen and less alone as you read them. I hope by me sharing (with brutal honesty, even when it’s awkward to do so) about my experiences, you can feel more comfortable about your own. It is as simple as that. Books I’ve read in the past that made me say, “Wow—I thought I was the only one!” have made such an impact on my life. I hope this book does that for you. Or at least just makes you laugh, because humor makes everything a little bit better.