That's what gets left out. In stories about fame, success, and glory, we don't get a sense of time. We only learn of the checkpoints in someone's journey, events which may have numbered just a hundred in the story of one person. The meantime are all the long endless seconds in between.
The meantime is eternity. It is time at a pace beyond your control. It is days that never end, constant doubt and questioning, incessant fear and irrational paranoia. It is chores and work and labor and illness and theft and hunger and life. The meantime is when it's easiest for us to give up. It is the time we are off stage, and in it we constantly question our previous performances. The meantime is, by every definition I know, hell.
The meantime is growth. It is navigation. It is when we form new ideas in our minds, or understand something old in a new way. It is growth that cannot be seen or measured. But growth, by its very definition, is agony. Because growth outgrows itself, continuously.
Not everyone makes it through the meantime. In here I've discovered the most ravenous monsters that one can imagine. Fighting them each day fatigues even a warrior. But I've heard stamina is something we have going for us.
How to cope with the meantime? By it's very definition, you can't. The meantime is unavoidable, because whatever merry distraction you summon to hasten an interval of meantime, it is no longer meantime, and the shortened segment now stretches to fill the vacancy — the same mental space is always occupied by the meantime.
The meantime is silent struggle. It is the pain of new memories being formed, of immeasurable growth, and of death. The meantime can not be measured, observed, or written about. It is the invisible shadows that follow us everywhere we go.
The meantime is when it is decided if it will kill you, or make you stronger.