To Err is Human, so is Vulnerability

– I am long-winded, I know this about myself and I apologize. I rarely edit myself, I just don’t feel right if I do. So this is a very long post about admitting a mistake and correcting a wrong.

Remember all that fancy talk yesterday about ” I make myself vulnerable quite often, it doesn’t scare me the same way it does others..” Yeah well not long after I submitted that post life came around and knocked me back down a peg.

I have said before how when I make a mistake I own it, yesterday I made a mistake and today I would like to own it. Who was I kidding, “it doesn’t scare me the same way it does others”?? This is when blogging is tricky. Had I had this initial conversation about vulnerability with Todd rather than posting my feelings and thoughts straight to my blog I would have had immediate feedback. I would have had someone to scoff at me and say ” No dear, you are a scaredy cat just like the rest of us”. Instead life stepped in and scoffed at me and showed me I am every bit as afraid of my vulnerability as everyone else. In this, like everything else, I am not unique.

So, how did life play this trick on me you ask? Well, yesterday after I posted to my blog I got up and went about my day. Later in the afternoon I had some downtime, I was piddling around on the internet, reading postsecret, playing on Pinterest and reading a few of the blogs I follow. I also clicked over to my stats to see what my traffic was like and found it was a bit higher than normal. Nothing crazy for a small timer like me but out of the norm enough to make me curious. I scrolled down to see one of the referrers to my blog was Twitter. I was befuddled. I don’t have a Twitter account, how would I get any traffic from Twitter? Further research showed that my blog posting about vulnerability ended up on a Oprah Fan Club Twitter page that boasts of 13,000 followers. I suddenly felt ill.

How ironic that the very posting about my comfort in being vulnerable suddenly made me feel so uncomfortable. I felt… vulnerable. After taking a moment to process this I had to laugh at myself, that’s what I get.

Allow me to explain my reasons for the initial feeling of discomfort..

When I started this blog over a year ago I had an expectation, as so many people do when starting up something like this. The idea of a blog was posed to me by a girlfriend I worked with at the hospital. After I gave my notice she and I were chatting one day at my desk and she mentioned that her cousin (I think it was a cousin) was going to be spending some time in Europe and started a blog for the people back home to follow her journeys. She suggested this idea of starting a blog as a returning student 10 years later to record my experiences for my friends and family to read. I had this idealistic vision of being able to look back at this blog after finishing my degree and having all my memories right there in front of me. So that is where this all started, just a conversation between friends.

So my expectations were low in the beginning. I sent my blog link to my friends and family and posted to my FB account (I was still a member at the time) and to my Pinterest account. I was in no way trying to hide what I was doing but I never for a moment thought that anyone other than those close to me would be interested in anything I have to say, and I wasnt even sure those close to me would care much. So in truth, with almost zero expectations I started writing for myself.

I have really enjoyed it. I have always loved to write and this gives me a platform to formulate ideas, a place to vent, it has been a release. I am sure people like Todd have appreciated my having an outlet as well because otherwise everything I write about it would be nonsense filling his ears on a daily basis. Not to say that I don’t talk to him about most of what I write about, I do, some of it I leave on here though.

As time went on I started picking up a few followers. I remember feeling flattered but surprised at first because I genuinely with my whole heart felt that no one would be interested in what I have to say other than my own family. In my recent talks with Todd he agrees that my initial expectations were reasonable but I should have known that there is always a possibility of others reading your ramblings, after all I am putting it on the internet! “Right, right. I should have thought of that. I just never entertained the idea because I just didn’t think I needed to.” I appreciate those who read my blog and those who follow me, it is always nice to feel understood, to feel related to, to feel that sense of camaraderie.. “Hey this guy gets me”.. You know? I assume that those who take the time to read, my often long-winded, ramblings do so because they share common ground with me on something, even just one thing.

So my discomfort does not come from knowing strangers are reading my blog but knowing that suddenly 13,000 people have access to your thoughts by just clicking a link.. Yeah, my initial reaction is terror. Self doubt starts to creep in, fear of judgement, fear of inadequacy. I am not a blogger, I feel like there are all these rules you have to follow to do this right and I don’t. I just get on and let the thoughts flow out of me. That’s it. I am just one nobody with some ideas.

I talked to Todd about all of this and he was able to ground me, as he always does. He is the rational thinker in our duo. I stand by what I said in that I do make myself vulnerable quite often. I don’t edit myself, I put it all out there. Not just in this blog, in life. What I take back is my statement about not being as scared of vulnerability as others. I am every bit as afraid of my vulnerability as everyone else. I am terrified of it really. Guess I am not so tough. As I said before though, this is how I approach everyday life, that is not changing. I just wanted to go back and acknowledge how wrong I was about vulnerability. It is a wonderful but very scary thing and I am humbled by it.


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