Monday, June 1, 2020

Out Of My Depth by Victoria Lynn Hall



“If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”

 David Bowie


I don't think this last week/month/year or so has been spectacular for very many people but in the grand scheme of things I know that I am very blessed and fortunate. However, that doesn't mean I don't have my personal struggles. We all do, right? And yet I somehow have a talent for being hard on myself for that.

Taking inventory of my recent conversations and thoughts while journaling yesterday, I realized I had called myself a mess, said I was never ready, lamented that I lacked confidence in certain tasks and felt unreasonably compelled to point out my flaws and mistakes. However, my aha moment came when I found myself writing the words: I feel out of my depth. 

And I smiled to myself as I remembered a video clip of David Bowie implying that "a little out of your depth," is exactly where a creative person should aspire to be.

Grasping this I was finally able to really hear the other side of those conversations: 

"The world is a mess." A friend had replied when I called myself a mess. 

It was small comfort then but now I was ready to hear the meaning behind her words. Who wouldn't be a mess right now? Perhaps someone not engaged with the world? And would that be something to be proud of? 

"Maybe my own personal standards for readiness are a lot lower than yours." Another friend had said when I compared my level of readiness to his. 

I hadn't believed him at the time but now I clearly saw how unrealistic standards were in fact the reason I didn't feel "ready".

And yes, I lacked confidence in certain tasks because they were new to me and for that same reason, flaws and mistakes were to be expected. Hell, flaws and mistakes are always to be expected. I guess that's why no one really cared when I pointed them out. 

And yet I think it is time I stopped doing that. I am perfectly capable of working around my flaws and correcting my mistakes and while I may not be confident in the new tasks and subjects I have taken on, I am confident in my ability to learn and grow into those duties. Furthermore, not being ready to do something perfectly is not the same as not being ready to do my best.

And yes this world and I are... maybe not a mess... but in a state of chaos as we seek to evolve and create something new and better. As an artist I know there is no creativity without chaos. 

"Always go a little further into the water than you feel you're capable of being in", Bowie said, "Go a little out of your depth."

Humanity seems to be getting pummeled by waves now and longing to go back to the solidity of the shore. But what if the answer is to move beyond these shallow waters and past the breakers where we can actually have deeper, richer lives?

"When you don't feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom," Bowie continued, "you're just about in the right place to do something exciting." 

Imaginably, if we could all stop searching for the shore and instead bravely head toward the horizon, we can get to that right place.



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Out Of My Depth by Victoria Lynn Hall

“If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you fe...