Between expectation (the inhale, the before) and reality (the exhale, the after), there's this beautiful moment of uncertainty. You hold your breath and everything in your body floods with oxygen. Your heart beats and your lungs inflate and blood and adrenaline and possibility flood through you, follicles standing on end and toes throbbing and every whorl on your fingertips alive to it. And the brain fires with hope and possibility and optimism just as the bloodstream fires with oxygen, leaping and knitting a web of so much dense, entangled connection it could trap you.
Sometimes I think it would be nice to hold my breath and stay in that place, the space of fullness and vitality when anything could happen, the next step is undefined. It's why every basic bitch in the world expounds the virtue of "living in the now," why Pinterest brims with pretty typography and Hallmark platitudes. You can't hold your breath forever, though. There is no way to suspend yourself in the in-between. Expectation and reality exist as inexorable ends of the polarity of any given moment, and all we do is vacillate between them. Eventually, holding your breath too long makes your heart beat overtime and leaves you seeing spots, gasping when you stop.
Every inhale is a possibility. You could gasp, you could choke, or you could simply exhale, surrender to the after, and say goodbye to the death of the last expectation before inhaling and seeking the next...just breathing.