A Word

It’s the new year, and I don’t give a flying fig about resolutions. Resolving to eat better, work out better, or spend less was always something I’ve been conscious of doing. I didn’t need a new calendar year to remind me.

I jumped on the ‘choose your word’ bandwagon a few years ago. Rather than resolutions, I pick a word — more specifically, an intention — to follow for the next year. It’s my touchstone that helps guide me when I feel a bit lost or need to make a choice.

The year after I got divorced? My word was inspire. 2017’s word… resilience. This year’s word didn’t take long at all to figure out, because I’ve struggled with the notion of it for a while: vulnerability.

vul·ner·a·ble
adjective
susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.

I recognize the irony of having spent an entire year dealing with being or feeling attacked — and then choosing to open myself up to the idea of it for a full year.

Bear with me…

I am a fcuking CHAMP at putting up walls to protect myself. If it were an Olympic sport, I’m pretty sure I would have medaled in it. I’ll spare the psychology of why, but I put up the walls because I was scared to let people see the real me.

Most people cite character traits about me like this:
Erin is so…….’kick-ass’ or ‘fun’ or ‘goofy’ or ‘bad-ass’ or even, my favorite, ‘strong’

Those descriptors are always lovely to hear and they’re all are versions of me that I want most people to see because they make me entertaining to be around.

But the real me has a hell of a lot more scared and a bit of lonely in her than I’ve been comfortable letting the world know. The real me is so petrified of rejection, that I’ve all but stopped putting myself out there completely.

Comment on a controversial Facebook post? Nah, I’ll just hide behind the funny memes.

Cry in public? Only if I’m in intense physical pain.

Tell a crappy friend they’re feeling toxic? I’d rather just delete their texts and not interact

Date? While I’m fun and I’m flirty, the thought of telling a man I’m interested in him romantically makes my stomach flip flop out of sheer terror he’ll tell me I’m not his type.

I’ve become so scared of people knowing what’s really on my mind, that I just smile and nod and pretend that life is perfect.

Clearly, life isn’t perfect. For every peak, there’s a valley and a whole lot of vistas in between. I’ve spent so many moments of the last few years embroiled in drama, that having very little of it now seems…..boring. But it’s a good kind of boring; the kind that gets you thinking about self-improvement and how to make the world a better place.

Resurrecting a blog and writing this blog post is an example of how I’m wanting to improve myself — I’m trying to be more vulernable….more open, to let the walls down a bit.

I often hear that the Erin most people meet is the complete opposite of the Erin they know.

Acquaintance Erin has a Zero Fcuks Given attitude, comes across tough, and uninterested
Real Erin cares a great deal, is really sensitive, and is very invested in her loyal friends

So I’m choosing to open myself up in 2018 and let people see the real(er) me. I’m taking the good with the bad, imagining that I’ll stumble and fall quite often and others will be around to watch it, but at least I’m letting people in, because the alternative is a lonely place.

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