Liminal | The space between the present self and the future self

Tiffany Teng
2 min readDec 13, 2021

“Liminal” adjective TECHNICAL

  1. relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.

2. occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.

Liminal comes from the word limen, meaning “threshold”. I love being able to name this in-between space and I find this image helpful —

When we face a new beginning (or an ending), we metaphorically stand in the doorway between two realities: the one you currently live in and a future reality that doesn’t exist yet — except that you hope for more.

You are on the precipice of change between the self you are today and the future self you want to be.

As the end of the year approaches, a time when you may be examining the past year and thinking about the next, I wanted to share a series of essays I wrote in reaction to the process of contemplating and making a really big life change (quitting my Fortune 50 corporate job) and what it feels like to navigate the uncertainty of the in-between; that liminal space between who you are and who you want to be.

As I’ve made big and small decisions in my life, I’ve often struggled: Am I making the right decision? How do I manage my own expectations? How do I manage the expectations of others?

Every Sunday til the end of the year, I’ll publish an essay, starting with the last question and working my way inwards.

Part 1: How to tell your Asian parents anything in 3 simple steps

My hope is that these essays accompany you on your own journey, helping you find the courage and conviction to make changes in your own life.

Subscribe here on Medium, follow me on LinkedIn and feel free to email me at if you have any questions or reactions!



Tiffany Teng

Former East Coast, now West Coast. Lover of books, baking and all things beautiful. Writing & reading about identity, growth, and leadership. Stanford ’07, ‘19.