This week I noticed a theme in conversations that surrounded me. The topic of vulnerability came up not only as the subject of a classroom discussion, but also within the confines of a conversation I was having with a friend. While we both agreed and discussed how scary it can be to take that chance to open up to someone in that way, I surprised myself by also adding something else:
“I also think, it’s kind of empowering,” I texted hesitatingly, and ironically for the same fear we were just previously discussing.
I wasn’t sure how I would explain myself, and re- recording probably 5 different voice memos (don’t you love modern technology), I finally got something right. To quote it exactly, this is what I said:
“Being vulnerable is terrifying…but at the same time I feel as if I have surrounded myself with people in college who weren’t as afraid of it as I was. So being able to be vulnerable with someone now feels more of a testament to myself, than a testament to whether or not I can trust that person…”
And even after saying this to my friend, it had me thinking about how true that was. I was never the type who liked to be vulnerable emotionally with someone, friends, family, and even in relationships. But as I have gotten older, each piece of information I have divulged about myself, whether it was received well or not (and trust me, there have been times where they were not), I have always looked back on that moment and was glad that I did it. Almost as if I’m watching myself in the act and going “Whoo hoo girl! You go! You did that!”
But don’t get me wrong, like I’ve said, I have had some terrible experiences with being trusting and vulnerable with the wrong people, but it honestly took all those experiences to realize that that’s just it: They, were the wrong people, not you.
And as if I felt my resolution couldn’t be any more true, while stopping by at my best friends tabling event (“Pulled Back to Move Forward – Words of Encouragement and Power to Help You Heal From Loss”) I found this quote in the booklets she was giving out:
“Vulnerability makes me whole
And human, not weak.”
– By Alex Elle
(One of my favorites as you might already know)
And so as I am sitting here encouraging you not to be afraid of being vulnerable, although if you are, you are most definitely not alone, I decided that I would try and combat some of my fears when it comes to the vulnerability I feel in expressing my writing. I have always loved journaling. I have always love reading, and writing poetry, but I have always been extremely hesitant to share any of it. I was afraid they weren’t any good. I was afraid no one would understand it, I was afraid people would know who it’s about it…and I still am afraid of all these things. But I also know that if I don’t give it a shot, I always will be afraid.
So while I won’t be publishing a book, or performing at open mic nights, anytime soon. I do look forward to the summer, and having the time to recreate and continue my own personal blog with my own public pieces.
What goals are on the other side of your fear? Reach for them.
Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.
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