I used to be a master at putting up walls.
I built them so high, triple reinforced — no one could get through. Or at least, that’s what I presented to the world.
In all honesty, I am an emotional person. I have a hard time outwardly expressing it, but I am sensitive on the inside. Like a perfectly baked cookie, my gooey center was always there beneath my crunchy exterior. And I’d be damned if I let anyone see that gooey center.
So when it came to forging new friendships, I’ve had to really work to make a change.
I used to be either the loud person trying hard to make everyone laugh or the quiet person off to the side. Really, it was hard for me to be in-between, because being my authentic self with other people was scary — I didn’t want people seeing my scars.
But then I picked up writing. I made the decision that I no longer wanted to have mediocre friendships or boyfriends that didn’t want to deal with the real me.
So I went to the other extreme of putting it all out there.
Vulnerability became my new best friend. I decided to trust that if I were open about my rocky past, people would admire it and maybe even reciprocate the feelings.
But that definitely wasn’t always the case.
People left. Friends dropped the ball on being there for me when I needed them most. And some people just didn’t have the emotional intelligence to handle that kind of in-depth conversation — that was possibly one of the hardest parts to come to terms with.
But then there were those that saw what I considered my worst and stayed despite it all.
Because, in a world where we all crave human connection, vulnerability is beautiful. It allows another person to see the inner workings of your being. It allows for someone to really grasp your essence instead of putting on an act to appear “normal” — whatever that is.
With every new relationship, romantic or platonic, you have a choice: be authentic or put up a facade.
I dare you: choose, time and time again, to be vulnerable.
Even if you’ve been abandoned. Even if you’ve been misunderstood. Even if you’ve had people leave , keep choosing to be open.
Because on those rare, magical instances that a special person walks into your life, you don’t want to sabotage what could be with small talk and putting your guard up.
You’re not living your unique life on this planet to put on a show. You’re not an idea — you’re a person. You come with your present, future, and most importantly, your past. You are not a fragment of the good times, you’re a complete being, scars and all.
Don’t give your time to people that don’t want to stick around. Do you intimidate them? That’s fine. Wish them the best and know that there is someone that will embrace your words and hold on tight. That is the person you want in your life, and the others are more than welcome to fall to the wayside.
Don’t get me wrong — there is beauty in everyone, and I’m not saying anyone is at fault. Those that are not able to dive past the surface are products of their circumstances; I hope one day they’re able to swim a little deeper and see the beauties that lie at life’s depths.
But the people you should choose to invest your time in are the ones that embrace vulnerability, because it’s a remarkable aspect of being a human. The people that offer an ear and, more so, a heart are the ones that add to the wonders of being alive.
These kinds of people will come, and the relationships will be the best ones in your life. But if you choose to hide behind your walls because, after showing your real self, people left and you’re afraid of going through that again, you’ll never experience more meaningful connections.
You deserve to be understood. You deserve to have all parts of you loved. You deserve relationships that surpass superficial boundaries.
That’s why I dare you to choose vulnerability.