“You are revealing a lot about yourself on your blog Amy.”
“Yeah, I know that.”
“How do you do that? How are you okay with it?”
“Well, how do you do what you do everyday?”
“Hmmm, well, I couldn’t, wouldn’t.”
And then “Aren’t you afraid that a future employer might read this and not hire you?”
“No, I wouldn’t want to work for someone who wouldn’t hire me based on what I write.”
And so it is. I do what I do. You do what you do. That’s what we do.
And then the small shameful part of myself wells up and says, you know what? She’s right. Why are you doing this? And I don’t have an answer other than it’s what I do, at least for now.
Believe me, I judge people all the time for things I THINK are inappropriate and when I get over judging them – I remind myself – well, that’s what they need to do right now, that’s where they need to be.
I also believe we need more vulnerability in the world, more honesty, more authenticity. Maybe this is my way of starting that process for myself.
Sometimes when I say my dog Wonder died, people say “Was she old?” That’s the brush off, people don’t want to be vulnerable. It’s too hard. It’s too much to understand the aching. “She had a good long life” is another one. Yes, she did, but when anyone dies, just because they lived and lived well and lived a good long time, doesn’t make their absence any less. It’s easy to say she lived a good long life, but to look into my eyes and say you must be heartbroken. To be vulnerable, to understand that we’re all having these times together – that’s what I hope for – to see each other. To hear each other – not with our own ears but someone else’s.
Vulnerability isn’t a bad thing, it’s not about holding onto the past, it’s not about pushing the past down to get to the future, it’s understanding that our experiences drive who we are and how we choose to deal with them and share them changes not only ourselves, but each other.
Joseph Campbell says:
Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say, “This is what I need.” It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment – not discouragement – you will find the strength is there. Any disaster that you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow.
Then, when looking back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures followed by wreckage were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You’ll see that this is really true…The crisis throws you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes.–
The strength always comes. The money always comes – or it doesn’t. And that’s exactly right as well. While my backstory might be sad to some, I just see it as my life and I lean in and say yes, that is my life, maybe I reveal too much, or maybe I reveal too little. Some days I want to feel terrible about it all. I understand living is necessary and so are all the great failures and wrongs and rights that happen in it. It’s not the end. It’s always the beginning.
I appreciate the vulnerability of your writing and I know how difficult but necessary it is as a writer. Your most vulnerable pieces have been the ones I’ve enjoyed reading most because they touch a place within the reader that is authentic and in need of being touched. Keep it up.
thanks. More vulnerability. It’s like cutting right to the chase. GO!
Your stories enhance the quality of my life and others that I share them with. Your blog about the cover letter has helped so many of us, especially in the job world.
Thank you Cindy. I’m doing what I know and happy that is helpful to you.
And now for some reason this whole post made me think of the Lyrics to Let’s go Crazy by Prince – we’re gathered here to get through this thing called life.
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