Let’s play semantics (yeh, my favourite game) and so be clear that I don’t mean ‘go off the deep end’!
That would be losing control of your emotions, getting angry and irrational – going crazy. I NEVER do that!!
I don’t even mean ‘jump in at the deep end’ – because the act of jumping implies just that little bit of recklessness and a sense that you might need to scramble back up to the surface quickly (of course you could be ‘thrown in at the deep end’ and have to learn to swim fast – or sink – which can be a good thing, and obviously better than being thrown in the shallow end and hitting your head instead of landing on your feet).
What I’m talking about is calmly (even with your heart beating fast) looking into the depths of the water and diving in – knowing that you can’t touch the bottom, that it’s a long way back to the surface, but diving deep anyway.
This is not about drowning, but about really living.
It’s not about being ready to swim, but it is about being brave enough not to play it safe in the shallows.
Ultimately it’s about realizing that while it may be fun to splash about on the surface, it’s never going to be deeply satisfying or deeply meaningful.
Which brings me to the Polo.
I know, my brain is weird like that (remember the below, it’s only 9secs). Yep.
You see I got invited to the Polo, as one does, By The Sea, in fact. A media (ie free) invite. On a day when the following is scheduled: a) Mr Yang is working, b) I’m teaching a morning yoga class – Miss Yin is there to look after Little Yang, c) Miss Yin has her dance eisteddfod rehearsal in the afternoon, d) Oops, almost forgot Little Yang has a 6th birthday party to go to in the afternoon, and e) I also realize that I forgot about his speech therapy appointment, sandwiched between me teaching yoga and taking him to the party. My life is simple like that! (note to self, must work on the simple part of reYINvention).
Now I had been imagining attending the Polo, even with that nasty mean girl voice in my head telling me that I’d be so out of place surrounded by beautiful women groomed to within an inch of their lives, sporting designer this and that and every bloody thing. I do like me a little bit of fashion, but I don’t like the whole luxury brand thing – plus I really need to get my eyebrows done, and what about my nails? Eeek. I could just shave my legs!
But still, even given the necessity of shaving my legs, I was a little bit chuffed (being the posh Polo word for excited) to be possibly going to the Polo. Only clearly (as in a, b, c, d and e) I’m not.
The thing is I think all this luxury designer stuff is pretty shallow – consumerism and indulgence and, well, selfishness. I don’t belong in the Polo set, even if I could at least have a bit of fun and make an impression (of some kind) for an afternoon.
I don’t think the pomp and the brands and the who’s who in the zoo mean much, if anything at all. To me if feels like a life flailing about in the shallows – a slightly fake, superficial, socially conformist existence. Not going deep enough to notice people don’t all live like that, and not diving deep enough to make a difference.
There probably goes any future invite to the Polo (the game itself sounds really exciting and is very skilful). And then there’s the Champagne, sigh.
Meantime I’m going on a yoga retreat next weekend. As you do.
It sounds selfish – but I only do it once a year – even if it does feel indulgent, especially since Mr Yang will be relegated to solo dance eisteddfod dad duties.
I belong in the yoga set. I want to be someone who searches for meaning beyond shallow appearances and social niceties, and certainly beyond consumerism. I want to be someone who has fun, but isn’t afraid to take life seriously. I want to be someone who dives deep (I’m certainly prone to thinking a little too deeply)!
I want to dive deep and make a difference – to understand who I really am when all the outside trappings are stripped away. To see and understand who you really are. This is a vital part of reYINvention, especially in our superficial, busy, competitive world. To go deeper than that – to finding meaning and connection.
I belong in the depths, even when it is scary. I might even shave my legs.
(PS I do shave my legs fairly regularly in summer, but it seems a bit of a waste heading in winter- what when I can hide them in pants, stockings and yoga tights of course)
(PPS – I know Polo is just a game and it’s all a bit of social fun, it’s just the brand snobbery stuff that as HRH the Queen might say, ‘is not one’s cup of tea’.)