The Depth Year – Midway Update

So, somehow it’s already the end of June and I find myself halfway through my self-appointed Depth Year. My intent was to blog more as a part of this deep dive and so far it’s been crickets and a lot of “Work in Progress” Word documents scattering my desktop –good thing I still have 6 months remaining in 2019 to rectify that issue. (Side note: I’m thinking of doing a mini travelogue series, so if that’s something you’d like to see send me a note in the comments please!).

So, what have I been doing this whole time if I haven’t been diligently writing about it? I’m so glad you asked!

What I Let Go Of

Photo by Bryan Minear on Unsplash
Photo by Bryan Minear on Unsplash

I am continuing my ongoing work of decluttering (three years of work), gradually letting go of physical possessions that I’ve carried with me through at least three moves. We hold on to things for various reasons, as reminders of the person we used to be, hope for the person we want to be, clothes that don’t fit because we’re still desperately hoping we can go back to being the size we were when we were 21, etc.

I’m guilty of all of it, frightened that if I don’t keep my high school softball jersey the four years I played and the skills I honed in that time will disappear. The a-line skirt I love but can’t zip up is a continual reminder of the shame and embarrassment I feel about what my body looks like and what I wish it looked like instead. Keeping that skirt wasn’t helping me move forward and it deserved to be in the closet of someone who will wear it and love it the way I did when I bought it four years ago. So I let it go. I kept the jersey… I’m working on it.

I let go of the knitting needles and yarn I collected over the years, when I thought that knitting was a hobby suited for me. Turns out, my left-handedness meant that I learned how to knit pretty inefficiently and never advanced beyond the basic knit stitch. The summer I got out of the hospital I took a course to learn how to knit better, bought MORE needles and wool and then promptly got frustrated counting the stitches and unraveling what was supposed to be a scarf over and over and over. And over. So, I let it go. I used up the beautiful light purple wool and made a decent looking circle scarf and I gave away the rest on VarageSale. The relief was fucking palpable.

Social media – I quit Instagram and I quit Facebook after TWELVE YEARS. I realized that I was no longer getting anything from these platforms, and in fact I seemed to be giving them an inordinate amount of time and effort with minimal return. It was a bit frightening to consider that twelve of the most formative years of my life were lived out very much under the influence of social media and I can’t help but wonder how critical that factor is. I’m hoping to dive deeper into this in another post. All I can say right now is that I don’t for a second miss either platform, and in fact I’ve reconnected with a lot of friends via email and in person in a way that feels 100% more authentic and life affirming.

Woman Diving Underwater
Photo by Jakob Boman on Unsplash

What I’m Exploring in Depth

What I am keeping are the things more intangible than the physical objects I parted ways with over VarageSale. I’m digging deeper into the things that light me up, the things that keep me from the darkness lurking on the perimeter of my mind, the things I’m insatiably curious about.

I chose to invest in equipment for the gym, including sticky tape and grips so that I can push myself and not be limited because the skin on my hands tears at the slightest provocation. I set new goals for my weekly workouts, and ramped up Misha and I’s evening walk to a full 4km.

I chose to continue my Charity of the Month challenge, which I’ve come to look forward to. The process of finding charities doing work I want to support has been really fun and enlightening. I know it’s not much, and is probably just a form of slacktivism, but what I’ve noticed as a result is my growing desire to be involved in my community and I want to push through my introversion to be able to do meaningful work and be as engaged as possible.

What I’m Continuing to Work On

In pushing myself to do my best work at the gym, I noticed early on in the year that a critical component was what I was (or was not) eating and when. I subscribed to a healthy meal prep service for 3 or 4 months which was nothing short of revelatory. I had to stop due to budgetary constraints and environmental impact, but it was eye-opening for a self-described picky eater. I took what I had learned from the service and am working on making my own lunches and snacks from scratch. This allows me to limit the amount of plastic waste I generate and also challenges me to try new things.

I’d still like to take a sewing class, really dedicate some solid time to my photography, and continue to travel. In my next post, I’m also going to be exploring how digging into vulnerability has been a critical part of the Depth Year.

TL;DR: I Dislike Knitting but Now Eat Certain Vegetables and I’m Calling that Growth