I opened Medium this morning and almost couldn’t believe I had new readers. I’ve always assumed my little corner of sarcasm, vulnerability, and depression wouldn’t “sell”, and I’d get to pour out my soul without waking any of the neighbors. Nevertheless, I’m glad I’ve used a fake name and the third picture that popped up on Google when I searched ‘hipster girl’.
I know opening myself up to other people is an exposure that opens me up to wholeness. Wholeness, despite what the word implies, is not about being complete to me. Rather, wholeness means being completely at peace with the parts of my life that I label as “deficient”, “broken” or perhaps just forgotten altogether. When I was fourteen, I decided I couldn’t believe in God anymore. All of the questions that had been flying around my mind connected like fists against my ribs, and I reasoned if God exists, He should come talk to me directly. It took me three years to give up waiting for Him to respond. This forced me to feel and after feeling nothing for awhile, that was frightening.
There is this devastating belief that I bought into for years that said keeping things to yourself showed how self sufficient I was, how much I only depended on myself. That same deception also claimed that talking openly about my struggles was akin to exposing how weak I really was, or worse, that no one could be trusted enough to witness my brokenness without rejecting me. This has proven to be utterly false.
I’ve lived and experienced the power of revealing my broken places to others. Choosing to let my guard down changed our relationship completely because trust has been at the heart of every true relationship I’ve ever had. Now, disclosure comes with discernment. I certainly wouldn’t advise anyone to start sharing their life story with every person they happen to meet. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that I should be the first person to invest in vulnerability. I shouldn’t be afraid to fight for it when things get tense. I may have had a fortress of defense to keep out, living in isolation birthed out of fear, but admitting that to another person was the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever made. Being vulnerable is a risk worthy of the undertaking.
Besides, if you really want to talk with me, talk to me at 3 am. I will introduce you to my demons, and we can sit and smoke a cigarette together. Talking to them will help you understand why.
They will tell you of the time I skinned my knee in Chicago when I was eight, and I am convinced that the city gravel I slid into got into my body and never got out.
They will tell you about the lock I keep on the door and the amount of times I’ve re-watched Buffy.
They will tell you I entertain them almost every day at 3 in the morning.
Let me introduce you.
I wish people didn’t always mistake vulnerability for weakness. I don’t need to be weak to be vulnerable. I don’t need to be weak to listen to slow songs or hide under my covers. I only need to be searching for a break,searching for the pause button on life.
There’s space and room in my bed and extra mugs in the cupboard if anyone ever cares to join.
Someday, I’ll even give you my actual name to hold in your mouth and slowly exhale.
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