A quivering vulnerable mess

Several weeks ago I wrote a post that I thought long and hard about publishing.  It was about the difficulties I was unexpectedly having with a transition I’d made quite a while ago.  The reason I hesitated to publish it was I laid myself pretty bare, exposing a vulnerable side I usually lock away in a deep dark secret place where no one can see it.  I sat on the post for quite a while wondering what to do.  That of itself is unusual because once I write something, I’m pretty sure about what I’ve written.  I just proofread it, miss all the spelling, punctuation and syntax errors, hit publish and never think about it again.  Until someone points out all the spelling, punctuation and syntax errors.

This time was different.  I was really shaken by the whole insurance thing and the anxiety it had brought on me.  I didn’t know if I wanted to let the world know how I’d been affected.  But once I stopped making it all about me and how I felt (never any easy thing to do because deep in my recesses I think it should always be about me) I realized that I may not be the only one going through an experience like mine.  There might be others out  there who were feeling the same way I did and having the same anxieties.

So I hit publish.  And waited nervously for my 4 readers to comment on what they saw.  A wonderful thing happened, I got only encouragement and support for the post.   It was very heartwarming to say the least.  I’m glad I took a chance and shined (wrong tense I know…shined?, showned, sheened?) a little light on the quivering mass of fear that is my vulnerability.  People can be pretty wonderful if you just let them.

 

Putting yourself out there

Ah, vulnerability.  The word just sounds nerve wracking.  Webster defines it as capable of being physically or emotionally wounded.  For the most part I think of it in the emotional sense.  Going out on a date with a new guy, plunging into a crowd not knowing anyone, submitting to a new agent, joining a group.  I’m pretty good at the initial stuff, the meeting and greeting.  Years of working in sales provided me with that skill.  It’s when you get past the first blush, the shiny new feeling, that it gets nerve wracking.  First dates (and I mean that in the broadest sense, not just the for real dating sense but that applies too) are pretty easy, it’s all about where you grew up, your family, college, experiences, recent travel.  The second date, if it gets to that, is where the hard part begins.  You’ve learned the surface info but don’t know the other person well enough to let down your guard.  You know you are still being evaluated, after all you are evaluating as well.  But the fact that someone is looking at you and scrutinizing you has a higher priority than what you are doing simultaneously.  You are laying it all out there hoping the other person will say “hey I like you, come join me for …”  Your emotions, weaknesses and frailties are on display for all to see.  And boy is it a palpable feeling of fear.  What if they don’t like what they see, what if the reaction is “meh”, what if I like them more than they like me?  What if?  That fear of rejection never goes away, we just get more capable of managing it.  We realize that if we give into that fear, we’ll miss out on some pretty amazing people and experiences.  Our lives then become a series of “what ifs” not incredible memories and great stories.  And we forget that no matter who the other person is, what success they’ve achieved in life, how confident they appear, they suffer from the same fear of being rejected and discarded.

Oh that sound you hear?  It’s my knees knocking and my heart pounding.  You too?