People undervalue vulnerability. And part of that means they don’t authentically share what’s happening in their lives as it’s happening. They wait until something shiny comes along, slap on an Instagram filter, and present a polished version of what’s happening.
I’m not saying don’t share the great things that happen to you, I’m just asking why we can’t also appreciate the messy things. The stuff that gets swept under the rug because we don’t want to look like we don’t have it all together. Trust me, I do it, too. If you were to go in my head now, it would look something like these dogs:
and a little like this girl:
So, for Day 1 of #100DaysBlogging (thanks to Emily Levenson for the challenge), I’m sharing where I am, right now, in all of it’s authentic vulnerability.
One of my biggest insecurities is that I feel like I’m playing dress-up and just make believing that I’m an adult with a real job and real responsibilities and at any moment, someone will come along and say, “You’re not an adult yet! You don’t have x, y, and z, so you’re not really there, you don’t know what it’s like to be ‘an adult.'”
Then I get to thinking: That’s right! I rely on my stepfather to pay the Verizon bill. I’m not really a “real adult.” And while I’m at it..Why should someone care about what I’m writing? What difference does it make? What do I know about x, y, z? Who else knows that I’m really not strong and capable and just pretending to get it all together? What will happen when they find out I’m not as good as they thought I was?
My mind. It can run amok sometimes.
Call it imposter syndrome or playing pretend. Call it whatever you want.
But sometimes you have to roll around in what’s real for you in the moment and get really comfortable being messy for a while.
I have been protecting myself from those thoughts. But trying to shield yourself from getting hurt, from discomfort and awkward situations, dulls you to the outside world. Vulnerability is a crucial part of the creative process. Hell, to the living process. And that means getting really comfortable admitting that those voices are valid, but they aren’t driving the car.
So if we never allow ourselves the opportunity to be vulnerable, we never allow ourselves to experience everything on a scale from -10 to 10. We stay firmly in the -3 to 4 range. That’s a small window of opportunity.
It’s like Andy Warhol said, “I never fall apart because I never fall together.” And that guy knew something about experimentation and being open to new opportunities.
Embrace where you are right now. Share what’s real without the rosy Instagram filter making everything look flawless. Sit in the dirt and get comfortable with vulnerability. It’ll open some interesting doors if you let it.
I’m off to take a big dose of my own medicine.