Vulnerability is hard

      3 Comments on Vulnerability is hard

water lilies and reflection in pond

So, dear Pink Typewriter Friends, maybe you’re wondering where I’ve been. It’s been — gasp — months since I’ve posted anything and a couple of days longer than that since I’ve posted anything that I was happy with.

My last real post bared my soul on the not-having-kids front, and to be honest, I’ve needed some time to recover from the vulnerability. I did manage to toss out an inch-deep post the next week about being a packrat, but even as i wrote the post, I realized I was saying “Here, look at this. Let’s talk about this.” I did that because it wasn’t a topic that hurt when I wrote about it. I shed nary a tear writing it, and I’m guessing it didn’t make you as readers feel much either.

Well, tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of when we launched this blog and invited you to join us here in our Pink Typewriter World. Dana and I sort of wandered around a bit, trying to figure out how the PTWP fit into our worlds and our writing efforts. We started it with this vision of being a positive voice in a negative world. And this year has brought lots of negativity and darkness. We’ve both suffered great losses (Dana of her precious Bolshoi and me of my Daddy); we’ve talked about frivolous things and written posts that we weren’t particularly proud of because we envisioned so much more. Hopefully we’ve done some good along the way as well.

A few months ago, I started reading books by vulnerability researcher Brene Brown. I strongly recommend her TED Talk on The Power of Vulnerability. Her research is fascinating as it examines the close relationship between vulnerability, shame, courage, and authenticity.

Authenticity is one of those things we’re really striving for here in the Pink Typewriter Project World, but to be authentic is to be vulnerable. And vulnerability hurts.

I had a college friend who studied sea urchins. These tiny little porcupines of the sea are cute (at least my friend claimed they were!), but when they’re threatened, they wrap themselves into a tiny ball so that only the prickly spines on their backs can be touched. I’ve felt a lot like a sea urchin. I hurt myself with vulnerability and so I stopped sharing here in this venue. I’ve continued writing in my #366Day Challenge, but somehow the thought of having something positive to say or some thought that might help others has just seemed beyond my grasp.

So, today, almost one year from when we started, I’m showing up. We’ve said all along that we didn’t have the answers, and I’ve done a fine job of proving that over these past few months. But what we have is friendship and gratitude for all of you who have joined our Pink Typewriter family and a promise that we’ll be here as often as we can. And we hope our words will speak truth and positivity in some small way.

3 thoughts on “Vulnerability is hard

  1. Dana Thompson

    Great post Dawn! I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since we started this endeavor and we have followed through with many of our good intentions and some, not so much. But I know we have touched lives and we will continue to try to reach more people as we begin our second year with compassion towards others and ourselves.

    I love your analogy of the sea urchin and how we tend to curl up and protect ourselves when vulnerability becomes difficult. I’ve learned this year that I’m awfully hard on myself and I don’t allow much room for vulnerability. It took someone else to point it out to me, but with some introspection I’ve come to know that she is absolutely right. I bet we all practice a lot more negative self talk in a day than we care to admit. We wouldn’t put down our friends like we often put down ourselves. When I became conscious of it I realized how often these thoughts are flitting in and out of my mind.

    My hope for this year is that we can write some posts that will help others to look inward, give themselves a break, and realize that sometimes just making it through the day is an accomplishment to warrant a pat on the back! We need a kinder world and it needs to start with our own thoughts before we can begin to bring our blessings to the world.

    1. Dawn Tolbert Post author

      Dana, you’re so right that we need to be kinder to ourselves and realize that nobody but us is putting pressure on us. I am incredibly hard on myself, but I’m learning to be kinder along the way and to be patient with myself. Hopefully it’s a lesson I can remember.

  2. Judy irwin

    So sorry to you both on your losses. Time will give you a new lease on life. I’ve enjoyed your previous blogs and look forward to more as each of you get back to your pink typewriters!


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