Lately my life seems to be all about keeping up appearances. Being involved, but not too involved. Being “in the know”, but certainly not being known. Faking it til I make it but never actually making it anywhere.
I’m living my life wading in the shallows. It’s comfortable here. My hair doesn’t get wet. I don’t have to work to keep my head above water. I can breathe easily. The shore is nearby, so when I tire I can easily retreat. There’s lots of shiny, new things to look at and keep me distracted.
However, it’s also crowded in the shallows. More people hang out here. It can be difficult to get some peace and quiet. Most of the time I can just blend in and be one of the crowd, but other times all eyes seem to be on me and my obvious flaws. And each time the tide comes in and subsequently recedes, my gaze is inexplicably drawn out, past the shallows, into the deep.
It looks peaceful and calm there. Not as crowded or loud. Not as exposing and judgmental. Somewhere in my heart, I long for the deep.
Yet tiny pinpricks of doubt dance around me. Can I survive there? It’s really hard work hanging out in the deep. I’ll have to concentrate and take some risks. The safety of the shore will be gone. What if I fail? I’m so afraid.
Which is why you find me here. A life jacket securely fastened around me but the water lapping around no higher than my knees.
The shallows are both my beloved home and my detested prison.