02 February 2011 in

Dear Vulnerability: Are You Really Worth It?

FEBRUARY 2, 2011

Vulnerability, quite frankly I didn’t’ even like the word and used it so seldom that I had to look up the spelling of it. People who preach vulnerability make some pretty big promises; I’m just not entirely sure vulnerability delivers. We have been told that if we’re open about, and to everything, all the time lovely things will come to us.

That theory, specifically in my world was refuted by my first serious boyfriend. Now I’m not talking about the first boyfriend I went to the movies and made out with. I’m talking about the first one that really messed me up. Most of us have had that person whether you’re a dude or a chick, if you haven’t my hat tips off to you, you lucky “closed off to the world” emotionless individual.

Now back to my early 20’s. I would definitely say that I was vulnerable then, and so what that my vulnerability stemmed from being so damn na├»ve. I was vulnerable nonetheless. The boyfriend, he was, well basically a jerk. So, I, with my little analytical mind started my very own list of “I will never (insert event here) again” and voila I started fighting with vulnerability. Psychology might refer to this as building up walls or something, minor detail.

I am now almost 30 and my weariness of vulnerability continues. Let me put things in perspective. I will willingly roll up my sleeve for a stranger to poke me with a sharp object in order to administer a vaccine for some terrible disease, say hepatitis without even batting an eyelash (even though the disease is actually being put in my body). However I will freak out at the thought of a first date, because someone might actually get to know me. GASP! I’d say the scales are just a tad bit skewed there. In my defense I never claimed I was perfect. But really, opening up to someone is pretty scary!

It is important for me to make a distinction here. I’m not talking about the kind of opening up that you’ve done with person after person where you just recount your life experiences. Meaning, you have the SAME conversation with different people and you can basically write a screen play, seeing as you’ve repeated yourself a thousand times. That’s your front! I’m talking about the feelings talk; I’m talking about an honest answer when someone asks you what you’re thinking; I’m talking about really opening up. I don’t know about you but that scares the shit out of me!

However as with most things I analyze over and over and still have no answer to, vulnerability is no different. I think I might be onto something though, something that will help me explain it in my own brain; hopefully you’ll follow and I’m not totally out to lunch. Darwin pointed out this little thing we call survival of the fittest, when one applies that theory to vulnerability it makes the vulnerability preachers gain some traction. Simply put, if you are not open to change, love, hurt, happiness or whatever else vulnerability throws at you how can you possibly adapt to it and in the end survive it? You can’t! As I get older I realize that if you can’t laugh at yourself, if you can’t love, if you can’t trust, if you can’t fuck up, if you can’t open up then you are as dead as Windows 95.

This is the way I see it now, vulnerability allows for someone to walk into my life and stir things up, MAKE me see myself for who I am, MAKE me change, MAKE me better. Because of that I’m starting to make peace with vulnerability. I see that vulnerability evokes change and staying stagnant is a waste of my time. Therefore dear vulnerability, you really are worth it.

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