At the start of this year, I wrote that I wanted to experiment with vulnerability, personally and professionally. 9 months in, where has that got me? What opportunities have knocked at my door?
I’ve met some unique people in some unusual places I otherwise would have been closed off to. I said yes to meditating holding hands with a stranger, yes to a coffee with someone from the internet that became a best friend, yes a long walk at night with a kiwi while we looked for our cars, yes to writing more, yes to hard conversations, yes to short hair, yes to putting my big girl boots on, yes to moving around Australia for a couple of months, yes to a date that turned into a little bit of love. Yes to letting someone in. Yes to letting go.
I put some art out into the world and I said yes to long phone calls with something that was far away that I thought I could get close to. I thought wrong. I tried to think less and be more present. I spent more time alone than I ever have but also spent more time around people than I ever have. I tried to communicate better with people around me, with myself, with my family and I tried to show love when I felt a lack of it. I’m still learning how to repair, that the only sorry that’s too late is the one not said and that shame can’t survive empathy.
I chose to give more of my time to more people who need it, or just wanted it. Babysitting friends kids, helping people with the work, going for coffees, being a soundboard, dropping that thing off or picking that thing up for that person. Sometimes I gave a little too much and realised that I needed to leave love for me too. That filling my own cup needs to come first, that there needs to be overspill for others to drink from so I’m not left empty.
I’ve delved into some corners of myself and tried to face some parts of me that will keep causing me havoc if I don’t. I’ve asked myself why something hurt and if it needed to, or if I got this now. I’ve recognised some sensations in my body that previously would have consumed my mind. I’ve held little versions of myself at the bottom of a dark well and remembered to feed the cat.
I also got pretty stuck in my head. I’m not sure that’s something I’ll ever be able to get out of but I’m learning that it’s not such a bad place to be. That there are important questions floating around in there, ones worth asking and ones worth listening to.
Who am I? Where am I headed? Why am I here if I know I will always end up over there? Is my world only as big as I make it and why do I always seem to make it small, and then bust it open right when it feels good? Why does everyone keep telling me they want to see what I do next, why can’t I just be here now – doing this? Why do I care what people think? Why does it hurt me when people ask if I’m going to be here for a while, or if I’ll be around to pick their kids up from school when they grow up? Why do I feel like I should stay just because I got love here even though I think I’d love to be there?
For every question, I’ve realised, there are many answers, more questions and ultimately decisions. That there are no wrong choices and that in the end every path leads to happiness anyway. That all these opportunities are invitations to experiment with vulnerability and to grow, or sometimes digress. That sometimes it’s ok to go backwards to go forwards, and sometimes you just need to sit.
I’ve realised my cup is pretty full, my path is pretty happy, and I’m doing alright.Return to issues