When do we share depth?
The inspiration for the blog came from a conversation I had with the program director of my masters program.
After meeting me and speaking to me briefly they acknowledged, “You’re an obvious candidate for this cohort, but I’ve got to tell you…I’m worried you think too deeply.”
This interaction has visited me at various times as I’ve sat with its subtext at length.
I recalled a job interview with a clinical director who later reflected back their initial impression. Deep was also their word choice.
I’m coming up on the ten year anniversary of my college graduation, and the ten year anniversary of my sister’s death about six weeks beforehand, and my engagement right after.
Many twists have since kept me from marrying or staying in contact with that partner, or many of my college and childhood friendships. In fact my twenties brought many endings.
is probably my word to describe the last decade.
There’s been little time to search for growth, because growth has just come.
Repeatedly growth has come from putting words to experience, and converting time into something less measurable.
Disclosure is less measurable.
Judgment is less measurable.
Self esteem is less measurable.
Affect, authentication, access.
Brevity, brilliance, boredom.
Candor, compliments, contradictions.
I can’t easily redact what feels too personal to share with the collective, and at earlier times that would be because I was too consumed.
I’m not as consumed, or as self conscious, or as manic as often. I find space to unravel.
But I do…think deeply.
I think deeply about past indicators.
I think deeply about presenting patterns.
I think deeply about my emotional states.
I think deeply about my body’s sensations.
I think deeply about what is passed between us.
I think deeply about how we share, and why.
I think deeply about trust, and not vaguely.
Like — do I trust you? Does my body trust you?
Yes; no; with something defined; with others?
I am not unique in this litany, and I’m not overly vulnerable in writing it.
I check in with my typing fingers and observe every hesitation; each pause between flow.
Memories of the mechanics of long distance relationships — letters, time zones, creative intimacy. Around this time ten years ago I was in a long distance relationship, and I was coping badly. I was coping dishonestly, and visibly. I was years away from writing for an audience.
I was closer to the girl who couldn’t write in a diary because privacy was not trusted. I can trace my idiosyncrasies to their rationales.
And yet interactions like these have helped me pretend not to know myself as well.
They’ve helped me internalize that my intuition burdens others with cluttering observations.
They’ve made me feel that I am difficult to be in relationship with.
They’ve made me feel like a caricature, and more and more avoidant of using my skills.
They’ve also distracted me from noticing when I’m being exploited, or agreeing to partnerships that I can’t trust.
I ask myself more often now — what is making me distrust my experience?
What makes me willing to let my work be reduced?
What makes safety feel like a game of roulette, and a game of roulette somehow tolerable?
Today at the park an adult said, “excuse me” and I immediately apologized and moved out of their way before realizing they were seeking to engage me.
I kept eye contact as they helped a small child in their care ask me and the children I was with if they wanted to play together.
The children looked from their grown ups to each other, and seconds later walked off to explore an adjacent maze together.
With a baby still in my arms and their voices growing more distant, I observed my racing heart. Racing at the memory of so many occasions where supports don’t meet the moment, and how those interactions shape me.
How those interactions are…depth.
What is depth?
The distance characterized by space in between; not something of origin or a nearing edge.
Something that traveled distances created.
I am working on rejecting bad takes on me, starting with the pressure to be understood or easily connected to without trust.
I am working instead on how to invite those I trust to perceive and travel distances with me.
I am working on loving,
and these visits are helping me know why.