Will I always be in a liminal space?

STEEPED BY SAMIA #14 | 12.29.22
A rainy morning, a wallower, & an interior monologue on in-betweenness.

I wake up before my family and start making chai. Oatly full fat oat milk. Wagh Bakri black tea. Water. A splash of Kirkland evaporated milk. A scuffed metal pot, an old strainer, our designated chai spoon.

I wait for it to double-boil and sip some warm water. I’ve been trying to pinpoint the right language to describe the scent of our morning chai. It’s probably my favorite smell: familiar, warm, invigorating. The way that the oat and evaporated milk add such a milky sweetness to the robustly-scented black tea. Even this description doesn’t feel satisfying; I would insert a scratch & sniff sticker here if I could.

In the 12 minutes that the chai simmers: I make my bed (trying not wake up a sleeping Naru cat). I open the blinds in the kitchen and the curtains in the living room. I scoop the cat litter. I slather lotion on my Raynaud’s toes and cover them with thick socks.

The word “liminal space” pops up in my head.

— which is “the place a person is in (physical, emotional, or metaphorical) during a transitional period.”

Last night, I finished reading Wild Words by Nicole Gulotta. In one chapter, she speaks about writing and creativity in a liminal season. She writes:

“Finally having a name for this murky experience softened me completely. Even saying the name out loud, liminal space, the m forcing my lips open slightly to push out a breath, felt comforting, knowing there was some order in the chaos. Or if not order, at least a dim light ahead.”

Wild Words: Rituals, Routines, & Rhythms for Braving the Writer’s Path by Nicole Gulotta

Order in the chaos.

I love that Gulotta later points out that the few days leading up to New Year’s (right now!) is a liminal space. There is such a stillness to this time. You can do the planning, the preparation, and the goal-setting. Or you can slow down, pay attention, and be present for the quiet magic of time moving forward.

My cat Zayn starts to meow around the house, so I pick him up.

I pat his butt (he’s such a cat, lol), and we watch the rain pittering down from the backyard sliding door, coating the cement in a green-ish, yellow-ish brown.

I think about High School Samia; rushing to school around this time, her mind would be preoccupied by ASB and the math class she is going to get a C+ in (lol). I think about College Samia; who would take in the rain with a tepid cup of tea, her laptop open to a dense Women’s Studies reading.

I’m a recovering overachiever — I was always doing too many things and avoiding the process of actually figuring out my life. And for what?

Zayn squirms away. The chai alarm goes off.

I make breakfast: multigrain toast slathered with cream cheese and delicious pear marmalade that our family-friend made us. The “pear” written in chalk on the glass jar label is starting to fade. Jam pairs so well with a toasted English muffin, scraped with butter — but I ran out of English muffins a couple of days ago.

My brows furrow. Will I always be in a liminal space?

And yet, I have a strong feeling that Future Samia will look back at this time of life — and at this blog post — fondly. Wallowing, tending to my inner child, letting life take shape, surrendering to aram (ease). My November Steeped post on being back at Square One can give you more context on what liminality looks like for me right now.

The day before, I bought two of my all-time favorite movies on Google Play: Knives Out (2019) and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). Perfect for a sprawling, gloomy day. I watched Knives Out with my parents last night (my dad and I agree that we like it more than Glass Onion!), and I plan to watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s today.

A thought occurs to me, a recurring thought: Liminal or not, aren’t I just living life? Even if I am at The Next Thing, it can still ~feel liminal~. So, why not enjoy the in-betweenness while I can?

I feel a flutter in my chest. Perhaps it’s a readiness (or a courage?) to take on Life. Fingers crossed. —S.A.

Steep On This (2022 favorites editions):  

It was hard to choose but I based it off of things that really stuck with me or that I remember passionately recommending to people!

Catch Up:  

12.26.22 | They don’t really know what to talk about

STEEPED BY SAMIA #13: On the growing pain of being perceived & when ‘idle conversation’ is not just idle.

About This Blog:

Steeped by Samia is a space where I can simmer on thoughts & curiosities in the scope of digital culture, creativity, life, & more. Far too often, my writing ideas fizzle out in energy; I never get to see them to their full potential. While building my rhythm with writing, I want to share these ideas with you. 

Stay Up-To-Date on my blog by clicking the ‘follow’ button at the bottom of the page, and you will receive an email every time I post. I aim to post a new installment at least once or twice a month. Thank you for supporting my storytelling! 🧡


  1. looks.by.ren says:

    so much love for this gentleness toward existing in the mesh of unknown and transition


    1. samiaabbasi says:

      I adore youuu, Renuka!


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