Why Vulnerability is the Worst
If you were to creepily find your way into most millennial female's homes, dig through their backpack, bed-side table, kindle, or bookcase you would very likely find a copy of one of Brene Brown's books. This fantastic woman had written powerfully about authenticity, vulnerability, and the power of the two. She has a few TEDtalks, which millions of people have watched (including myself). She bravely writes and speaks; and I truly respect her for who she is. Serious BB fangirl right here.
The thing about reading books and watching TEDtalks is that no matter how educational and moving they are, they will never replace or prepare you for the real thing. For some of us, experiencing vulnerability can be likened to sitting uncomfortably on hot concrete with a ridiculous amount of sand in your swimsuit bottoms. That is NOT what I had in mind when I committed to being vulnerable; mostly I thought it would look like me relaxing with a cup of tea in a deep leather couch, talking to an engaging figure who also read The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown.
Being vulnerable is uncomfortable and frustrating. Every time I get the feeling that I should be vulnerable with someone I shrink to the words described in that previous sentence. Most of the time I want to run far, far away from engaging in that uncomfortable, sandy existence. It is painful to be in that awkward place, and most of the time the person you are talking to probably wants to hear from you, but they are flawed humans as well and struggle with drawing you out. Goodbye, soft and cozy couch; hello to two figures staring at each other from the inside of their hermit shells.
Luckily, we have people like Brene Brown who are willing to teach us to appreciate the pain of sharing what's on our hearts. So even when it sucks, you have some sort of light at the end of the tunnel to fix your eyes upon. Her books and speaking make it seem more possible to achieve intimacy and deep friendship, you just have to do a lot of practicing to get there. Vulnerability is the worst because it is absolutely necessary and often painful. But if I can manage a sandy-bottomed existence, you probably can as well.
Happy Monday, friends.
p.s. If you don't want to practice and want to keep watching TED talks, here is her talk....