Erin Schaden
3 min readSep 23, 2023


I like the thought that life is a series of rooms you enter, long corridors of events, people, places, all inviting you in with an open door and a threshold that just begs to be crossed. This image just works for me.

Putting life on some sort of homey continuum. A long hallway with many offshoots, too many to actually investigate with any depth. Because you know that once you walk over and into, some rooms retain you for longer than you planned or like.

Recently I have endured a growth spurt. I say endured because it has been an endurance type of thing. Decades of my life, acting out in certain ways, seeing, at least momentarily, the errors of my ways but fuck if I couldn’t get lost in the next room that was pretty much exactly like the one I got lost in last time.

And with each errant room and seeming life detour, I always felt like “well, I am glad that is over, never go into a room like that again!”

And with all the panache of someone who is really only kidding herself, would walk immediately into another room, just as violative as the last, perhaps in different ways, most likely not.

But sometimes, if you are really lucky, you feel the door close behind you in a way that assures you that your time in rooms like that has ended. There is no allure anymore. You aren’t interested in the exploration because you have done it so much that you just know that any foray into such an expedition is simply folly.

Sometimes these types of doors slam shut. But most often they close with a quiet sweeping noise, taking with it all the emotional debris that litters the ground as you exit, like fall foliage grounded. And as you stand on the other side of that room, that room that you entered so willingly and then spent decades attempting to get out of, a room that seems to repopulate itself, all too frequently in your life, is suddenly and forever closed.

Not because you can’t go back in, but because you won’t. You have so altered who you are, that it just doesn’t interest you anymore. The turning of the knob in your hand, is a motion you just aren’t able to do anymore…

And as you stand hallway side to a room that held your interest, heart, longing, desire for what feels like forever, you realize that the you that remains isn’t interested in rooms like that anymore. And you find yourself excited, actually thrilled to see what other kinds of rooms are out there. What kind of rooms have you been missing all these years because you spent so much time in rooms like that one?

And you find yourself excited, the kind of excited one gets when one realizes that you have been eating vanilla ice cream your whole life, and while you have come to love it, you realize that there are like a million other flavors, and you want to try them all. Not all at once, but over time. The long hallways stretching out in front of you, like a dare, a challenge or perhaps a mission.

And instead of being exhausted by all that time you spent in the damp, darkened rooms that never seemed to get you anywhere good, you are enlivened, perhaps maybe even emboldened to proceed as you never have before down the corridor of your amazing life. Ready, at last to bypass all those rooms that look like something you have never encountered before, but this time with the knowledge and gut instinct in tact to just sail on past those types of rooms in the future…and begin, finally, exploring all those rooms that never interested you before, or were too daunting in their beckoning, or perhaps too terrifying to walk into alone.

And just like that a certain type of door closes, forever. And you are released onto the awaiting hallway, free to roam, free to inspect, free to experience so much of what you never could before. And so you begin…



Erin Schaden

Who am I? I am all that I write, all that I learn, share and grow. Read and find out? Check out for more.