These Days of Vulnerability

“We can measure how brave you are by how vulnerable you’re willing to be.”

Brené Brown

I mean how many times have I chosen a “word of the year” thinking it would be so fabulous to step into a new focus with all things glittery, sparkly, smoothing with ease and oh, so delightful? I think I have had this practice for nineteen years. You wold think by now I would understand how it works. Every single time I think it is going to be a fun and easy focus, I get my ass handed to me within a few months. This isn’t the first time I have sat myself down to work on something that I think is going to be really enlightening only to end up to be surprised or even shocked that it is downright HARD.

As you may have recalled I chose the word vulnerability because I wanted to stretch myself to learn to be okay with asking for help, feeling emotionally exposed and stepping outside of my very comfortable comfort zone. I am really good at what may be hard for some like overcoming endless obstacles in my life; raising kids basically by myself, advocating for a special needs kid, overcoming poverty, dealing with chronic pain, building a successful business, and basically creating a damn good life. But, asking for help–hell no. Being a tad bit more open about my feelings? Not likely. Doing something that isn’t in my wheelhouse regardless of the potential for failure? Umm…not.

And then I decide to go and ask the Universe to show me some chances to step into vulnerability.


January: I do not have many classes actually in my studio much.since I am more community based, however every single studio class except one this month was cancelled due to horrible snow storms. That means that my income (which in my world equates to safety), was down a bunch. Plus since we have had frequent snow storms commuting to my community based gigs has been really inconsistent. The end result meant I needed to be emotionally okay with not saving as much money as I usually do, AND having to loosen my self-subsrcibed standards that I put on myself. Feeling uncomfortable with myself is never an easy thing. But, in the end I was able to see logically that I am still okay despite a very slow month and that at the end of the day, I am more than okay regardless of how much money I save.

February: After having a total hip replacement scheduled for seven months as the days grew closer I was finding myself more and more apprehensive. My body was struggling to accept the impending surgery and I was nothing but stress. I did something I have never done in my life. I got multiple opinions on the same darn hip all with the same ambiguous answer. Uncertainty. Every doctor I saw was not too sure that replacing a perfectly health joint would in fact reduce my pain. Just a week before my surgery I did another thing I have never done before. I cancelled a medical procedure because I was tuning into my body because she was screaming alarms. The relief that overcame me when I finished the call with my super compassionate surgeon was sudden. Keeping my emotions in check and contained is how I tend to cope and overcome with my daily “stuff”, so adding this to the mix caused a slight crack in the seam. I leaked out an emotional response to the stress that shocked me. I actually cried. Yep, this stone cold faced girl shed a tear. Within an hour of cancelling the surgery, a friend of mine who I haven’t spoken to in over a year randomly texted me that she had two tickets to see Bruce Springsteen in Tulsa Oklahoma. Tulsa? Sure! He is after all the man of my dreams and so what if there would happen to be a few other people there? Bruce and I were going to connect once again. The weeks leading up to the show was a series of back and forth messages that might embarrass even the lamest of middle schoolgirls. And then, two days before the show she had a family emergency and had to cancel. This left me with two choices–not go, or go alone. Going alone meant a 24 hour period of solitude amongst crazy fellow fans in a strange city, plus a winter storm brewing that would cause me to have to make some quick adjustments to my travel plans late in the game. All while doing this alone. I will say that it was indeed the best 24 hours of my adult life and I truly had the time of my life. Alone. Sure, I had to overcome asking for help many many times, changing flights (twice), getting dropped off at the wrong Hyatt hotel, and sitting at the bar alone with many fun, yet strange people. Have I mentioned alone?

March: The days following when I was riding the Bruce concert waves of joy I got a text from my car dealer guy who has been on the hunt for a Jeep Wrangler for me. I was certain that I wanted one but I was also fairly certain that I wasn’t going to really be able to wrap my head around having two cars–one for function and one for fun. For this relatively simple girl the overconsumption of having two cars seemed so strange, and so unfamiliar. There was a time in my life where it was a struggle to pay for one car, let alone two. In fact, this gal was once one who would eat whatever the kids left on their plate because the grocery budget was so tight. To get to a place of being able to legitimately on my own have two cars seemed so scary. Somehow despite my apprehension I was ready. I walked in and bought the beauty. Then within a couple days of buying her I fall so brutally sick that I have to cancel the knee scope that I had scheduled and I wasn’t even able to drive it. Instead, I spent a couple days of relying on others to do the basic of things. Accepting packets of gatorade from neighbors and eyeballing the beautiful Jeep without any energy to go drive her was grueling. Probably accepting help was the hardest.

And yet here I am. All in one piece. The surgery is rescheduled, the Jeep is perfect, the next series of studio classes are scheduled, spring in Colorado is coming, I have fond memories of my time in Tulsa, and I have survived it all.

I have realized in the short nine weeks of 2023 that I can be vulnerable, and have a grand time doing it. I have realized that no matter what the Universe challenges me with, these little feats of courage are only building an even stronger and more resilient woman.

Now the biggest hurdle is…. what do I name my Jeep?

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