I push myself to do things, especially new things.  Sometimes too hard.

There are shallow waters in this world, you can see directly to the bottom and pick out the plants and life that live in a watery world.  Sometimes murky, not able to see, others times clear and telling.  Shallow waters are like shallow people. And beyond that there are shallow pools, shallow breathing, shallow frying pans, shallow graves and a shallow world.

In religions, people listen to a God that tells them to rid themselves of shallow things, everything shallow.  In life we label people as shallow if they do things that seem moronic to us.  So how do I connect all my dots without coming across shallow or moronic to those around me?  Is there a way to be not too shallow and not too deep?  Can my waters run at 5 foot, allowing sight beyond the current situation and providing depth to draw from?

True, we sold our business, and true that we did not become wealthy from selling it.  Period and end of story.  My husband and I did not retire and we are not living a life of travel and leisure.  We still work, we still struggle, we still have to save and try to budget like everyone else.  Money.  One of those shallow things.

Shallow is not how I would describe The Surviving Project.  This is where I give from the depths of everything I have got inside me.  Often drowning in the murkiness of emotion and uncertainty.  I use the project to aid in my own healing but not in a self-serving sort of way, not to gain any type of notoriety or fame….plain and simple I want to help.

It is usually hard to find something to talk about with a shallow person, especially if you do not share the same shallow priorities.  You can usually talk about money, or people’s butts, or how simply wonderful they are at everything they do.  People seem shallow when you are in grief.  They talk about things in life that seem trite and unimportant.  But honestly, I was sitting in that seat, often in my life.  Talking of my quest for the perfect tennis shoe or how frustrating a friend was being or how work was sucking the life out of me.  I was there.  My crisis list was a bit shallow in comparison to my new perception of depth.  I wanted so many things and stressed over the silliest of problems.  I absolutely had my shallow moments.

But, really shallowness is a perception.  I may think Joe is shallow and you may think he is the deepest person you have ever met.  I may think the pool is way too deep for me but you being the fish that you are may think it is too shallow.  It’s perception, all in the experience you carry.

My shallow moments in life have deep cliffs that drop straight down into nothingness.  I carry large bags filled with worry, contempt, and pain that drag me to the edge frequently.  Opposite of the parent that drags a child away from the edge of the street….my large purse of crap drags me over to the “drop off” to smack me out of my selfishness.  Both equal attempts at safety and both attempts to save a life.  People think I am shallow about my hair, or about my intelligence.  I have heard it all my life.  Could be, I don’t know.  People think I am a snob.  Then the same can turn around and think I am too nice to certain people.  Blah.  There is just no pleasing anyone.

I operate in the moment.  I enjoy people until they become exhausting from walking on their surface and looking for depth.  I give up on friendships too easily.  I give up on people who have the slightest moment of strangeness or awkwardness to me.  That is extremely shallow of me and it is a realization that I came to just recently.  In my grief this has only gotten worse.  It’s like a “Life Inspector” came by..told me to build a fence around the deep pools of pain…so I did and I locked the gate and threw away the key.  It is hard for people to “get in” and stay in.  I am too careful with my heart, my mind, and my emotions.  If you are in, you are locked in.  If you are outside the gate, well, good luck.

I actually don’t want to be shallow.  Ever.  It is something I have to work on.  I have to find balance in my grief and I have to find balance in my life as a whole.  I want to be a well-rounded, well read, and an interesting person to those around me.  I want to be a friend that is good to have.

In my career I was a go to person for information and resources, skills, getting shit done.  I am that way in my everyday life with the people inside my gated pool.  I am a person that has well-rounded skills that can just get things done.  Usually.  I have set limits on how far I will go in a friendship which represents one long string on a package, tied in a knot.  I want to cut that string.  The second string holding the package closed would be self-confidence/self-esteem.  I never want to look stupid or fail.  That string needs to be snipped also.  The third string is the string connected to my heart.  It is a long and thick burlap, the final string holding the large box closed.  I don’t want to be hurt.

Today’s focus continues on balance.  Grief, happiness, work, play, family, friends, wife, mother.  Balance in finding a place where I fit and what is the appropriate and comfortable way for me to operate.  Balancing my “ok moments” with my complete meltdowns.  Continuing to live while carrying my bags through life…teetering on the cliff….walking the length of the gate around the pool.  The strings are unraveling on their own…from wear and tear.  Age has weakened their power.

The day will come.  All string, laying on the table, falling over the sides.  Cut.  The final string severed.  The flaps and sides of the box fallen open.  The contents exposed.

Inside it is a shiny gold key to the gate.  Oh, how I hope you will be in my life.  Here to swim, to live, to experience.  And to my friends,  and to my family.  Don’t give up on me, not just yet.

~Leslie Beery, The Surviving Project