Before Being Before

Years ago, I was chatting with a coworker about a software bug. Out of it came an unusual, intriguing phrase—before being before.


it's happened before, too (before being before I started working here)


Before Being Before would be a great book title

Those three mundane words together suggest something curious and hard to describe. There's a powerful sense of potential wrapped up inside them, like a recipe of ordinary ingredients that produce a delicious result when combined in just the right way. Before being before is, for me, the space between.

It's the space between an idea and its expression, between learning that you're expecting a child and the day they're born. The space between starting your senior project and presenting it. The space between deciding to change your career and your first day in a new role, sending off your manuscript and receiving replies from publishers.

Sometimes there's a lot of work to be done in the space between, but other times, there's nothing to do but wait. The seed has been planted, but what happens next is out of your hands. Perfecting the art of patience and letting go of the end result is the hardest part.

Between what something is and what it will be lies uncertainty and tension for some, while others revel in the mystery and anticipation. Each of us navigates these transitions in our own way and hopefully gains wisdom for next time.

I remember the months leading up to launching Uncommon, the conversations, excitement, and doubts. It was the before being before.