Past the shallows | On taking risks
Out past the shallows, past the sandy-bottom bays, comes the dark water. Black and cold and roaring. Past the Shallows- Favel Parrett
I mostly stick to the shallows.
The shallows, a safe place. A place of comfort and security, is where I spend most of my time. Venturing out of that zone means taking risks and coming face to face with the unknown; A land I avoid at all costs. Travelling to Sydney as a volunteer delegate for the English Teachers Association Annual Conference meant, for me, going way past the shallows. Here, I was faced with places, people and situations that were completely foreign to me and quite frankly, terrifying. Karen Yager said, we need to create a safe space for students to feel comfortable to take risks. And while she was explicitly referring to creative writing (Which seemed to be a main theme of the conference, in addition to multi-modal texts), what she said can be applied to almost any life situation. I am more likely to take risks in my personal and professional life if I feel like I have a support system to back me up, provide encouragement and be there to give me a pat on the back if things don't go quite to plan.
But despite having this safe place, going out past the shallows can be daunting. I almost missed my bus, got off at the wrong stop, narrowly made the train with one minute to spare and did all of this half asleep only to spend almost four hours travelling. When I got home, back to my shallows, I had almost forgotten about the deep waters I had been swimming in. I think it's like that with taking risks; the more you do it, the easier it becomes. So does that mean I am prepared to venture into this dark water anytime soon? who knows...but at least I figured out that when thrown in the deep end, I can swim.