Hi my name is Karlie, though we have met several times in passing, I have never formally introduced myself and sat down to chat. I am a 35 year old single mother, my daughter is a carbon copy of myself, which poses its own sets of issues. I own and run a horse barn, along with working a 40 hour a week job. All of this has led me to having an unhealthy addiction to coffee, which is a story for another day. If you have a quick second, Vulnerability, we need to chat. I want to talk about my first impression of you, because to be honest, I thought you were a bit of a bully at first. Now I see that I owe you an apology for all the times I ignored your impact on my life.
Yall, I still remember the first time I felt the crushing weight of vulnerability creep into my adult life. It was right behind the statement "congratulations, its a girl!" This was the very beginning of a new journey in my life, and the newness scared and overwhelmed me at the same time. Gah!! I remember thinking; I can never be weak of mind, body or spirit again, because this little girl needs me. This was the start of a new phase in my life. During this phase I can not be frail, I must give of myself completely, and I can not let my daughter see me fail.
WOW! That was a huge bucket of lies that I told myself because I was afraid of feeling Vulnerability. Unfortunately I didn't realize that the lies I was telling myself were costing me greatly in my own since of self worth. You see, I thought that happiness, success, and self worth were exclusive. I was so naive at the time, to think that to feel vulnerability was to fail. Fail at exhibiting a strong female figure for my daughter to aspire to be, fail at being a successful daughter to my own mother, fail at running a business and yall I didn't want to fail at all.
Lets be honest, I still struggle with all of those emotions. The dark nights were and still are difficult to be in, and I played "what if" a lot, and the tears are easy to let fall when I am alone. Now as I look back on that time through the lens of ten years of experience, I realize that vulnerability and bravery are feelings that are not mutually exclusive. Bravery shows up right on time to say, "its okay," and "lets try again!" So, vulnerability I want to apologize for the times that I ignored you. When my daughter has seen me sit in my vulnerability emotions, it has honestly drawn us closer together. You have allowed us to have real conversations about some pretty hard topics. Those times when I thought I was loosing my grip on making financial ends meet, keeping my daughter happy, and keeping those around me happy; you were there to remind me that bravery is on the way, hold on a little longer. So I want to say thank you for that.
As a society we seem to be moving collectively into a new phase in our lives. There seems to be a lot of changes happening from the "before Covid" to the "after Covid" way of life. As the mother of a pre teen, I am hoping that when she reads about this pandemic in the history books, she will do so with a fondness of remembering extra time at home with her mom and not how much she missed her friends. I am sincerely hoping that the changes in how we greet friends and family do not affect her in the long run and I hope that she soon will return to dancing through life as if nobody is watching.
So, Vulnerability this is where you come in. I want to invite you to come and have a seat at my table, as we move through this changing season. Lets have real conversations about feelings, expectations and hope. However please remember to bring your sister feeling, Bravery. Yall are both going to be needed during these seasons of change.