“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability... To be alive is to be vulnerable.”
― Madeleine L'Engle
Happy Friday All!
First, thanks for the feedback on the dresses yesterday. Never ask a question you don't want the answer to, and I certainly got a lot of varying responses! It is always fascinating to me how people can see the same thing and have such different perspectives on it, which is, I think, what makes life interesting!
But it got me to thinking about the whole act of sharing one's life, even if it is only a sliver of that life, publicly.
Blogging is both a narcissistic and wholly exposed enterprise.
Some bloggers share a lot of personal information - this is the camp in which I fall - others utilize a more op-ed or salon conversational approach to areas that interest them. I think Tabitha over at Bourbon and Pearls falls firmly and brilliantly into this camp. Some blogs are mostly beautiful pictures and images.
Regardless of the type of blog, what having a blog or doing anything public requires of a person is a certain degree of vulnerability.
Not everyone will like what you write on any given subject.
Not everyone will like the look of you or what you wear or what you ate or where you traveled.
Some will think you spend too much money, others may think you are cheap.
You may think you have written something in a very diplomatic way, only to discover that you have hurt someone deeply.
I am thinking of vulnerability again as I recently signed up for part II of Brené Brown's online course The Gifts of Imperfection.
I did the first course last year and loved it, though if truth be told, I suspect you could jump right into part two without any concern about having missed part one, so long as you have read the book by the same name - which, by the way, is required reading for the exercises in the course anyway.
I've posted on Brené before on this blog and admit to being a full blow fan girl because a) she is a social work professor and how many of THEM make it big? b) she is a Texan, a no BS kind of gal, but her no BS involves disabusing people of the notion that everyone else is living a bigger, more exciting, and meaningful life than they are.
Surrounded as we are by Facebook posts of the happiest moments of someone's life, of bloggers who share what two dresses they are thinking of keeping but perhaps don't mention that they need two dresses because the last summer dresses they bought 3 years ago are way too small because they've gained weight, we somehow think that our lives don't measure up.
When I left my job last year and then subsequently wrote that very personal story of my unhappiness and frustrations with the life choices I'd made (and which I proceeded to share with the whole frigging country), I opened myself up to a whole lot of vulnerability. And it was hard, but oh so worth it, because it opened me up to some people that I'd never otherwise know and it also opened me up so that people could see the real me, not the manufactured me.
It also opened me up to some harsh realities about myself. One of the hardest things about writing this blog or writing the piece in the Globe and Mail or trying to get published at all is that you open yourself up to judgement - your own and other people's.
People talk about you behind your back. I know, because I used to be one of them.
I used to judge people all the time. Now I have come to realize that the act of judging others, while human perhaps, is the sign that you are trying to divert yourself and others away from the ugly truths about yourself.
You have to love yourself enough if you really want to love other people. And people often clam to have good self-esteem, but in my experience, we are works in progress and some of us are working through pain, regardless of how we present ourselves to the world.
Now when I start to judge, I stop myself and ask: "why is that bothering me so much? why do I feel the need to judge it?"
Sometimes my judging is born out of jealousy.
Sometimes someone has hurt my feelings.
Sometimes it's born out of that feeling that we are not meeting our own expectations and that somehow, that person is smarter, better looking, more competent than us.
Sometimes it is out of some kind of self-righteous feeling because the person or situation is being mean or self-serving or petty and look at me, I'm none of those things.
But of course we are all of those things, aren't we? Because we are human.
So I'm signing up for part 2 of Brené's online course because I am most definitely a work in progress and I find that every step that I take that enables me to be more vulnerable, more authentic, more me is a step that helps me find my tribe in life.
And that tribe, scattered as they may be around the world (or standing in a snowstorm with me burning effigies!) are the people that I am meant to be with and whom I love.
They know me, they know the whole me (okay, maybe they know most of me!), because I am no longer afraid to share who I am, with the understanding that those who remain milling around after the big reveal are the ones that I'm supposed to be with anyway! The rest are looking for their own tribe and I wish them well in the journey!
And that is a nice thought to end a week with! So thanks Brené Brown and thanks to everyone who shows up here to read about my unglamorous, but real, life!
Ah who I am kidding - here's what really happens:
So thinking of Brené, I think I will make a cocktail today related to Texas!
|- 2 oz tequila|
|- 2 oz rum|
|- 2 oz vodka|
|- 2 oz gin|
|- 2 oz whisky (whiskey,bourbon...)|
|- 2 oz orange liqueur (cointreau, grand marnier...)|
|- 2 oz sweet and sour mix|
|- 2 oz cola (pepsi, coca cola...)|
|Use a "In glass" for Texas Tea drink recipe|
Now that was refreshing. Now I want to go to Texas!
Happy Friday and thanks for reading along! Stay safe out there!
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”
― Brené Brown