I was afraid to let people in. I was afraid of being judged. In all honesty, I still fight this battle of being closed off versus forcing myself to be open and vulnerable with the world.
Vulnerability to me has always meant discomfort. I didn’t want to be rejected for being different. I didn’t want to be rejected for sharing my opinion or telling someone how I felt.
But now vulnerability provides authenticity and closeness—stronger bonds and shared interests through deeper discussions.
In the past year, for the first time I put myself out there and told a guy I was casually seeing that I was developing feelings for him (not like me!) I am always closed off. It was killing me living in this limbo, not sure how he felt.
I was opening myself up to rejection–and guess what I got? Rejected. Not in a mean way. It was actually just what I needed. Having that clarity allowed me to move on, and presumably allowed him to move on as well (or rather back off/ghost me so that I could have the space I needed to not develop any stronger feelings haha)
It was slightly uncomfortable at the time, but in hindsight, I was really proud of myself for stepping in and expressing myself instead of running away from being vulnerable like I normally do.
I am trying to give with my whole heart, and tell my story however painful it may be for me to share versus listen sometimes. (I am often perfectly content being the introvert observing everyone from afar).
Put yourself out there. It may not always turn out perfectly, but you will never know if you don’t take the risk and express yourself. I find that knowledge beats the stories your mind comes up with every time!
(For those who don’t know… I am doing “30 days to 30” and sharing life lessons and stories in order to celebrate my birthday—hoping to break stigmas and stereotypes about what 30 means and looks like)