Open and Vulnerable

Last week I had the opportunity to go and listen to Cheryl Strayed speak.  For those of you who don't know Cheryl, she is most well known for writing the book "Wild" - her memoir of the time she hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, alone for 1100 miles.



There was just something about her book that struck me.  I never read memoirs.  I never read nonfiction.  And yet her book captivated me. I think it's because her writing style is honest, bare, vulnerable.  This is something that I have tried to capture in my writing.  Well, I suppose it's something that in inherently ... me.

For those of you who are friends with me, or who have worked with me anytime over the last 10 years, you know I am pretty much an open book.  I talk a lot and I talk about personal things.  I talk about my past, my family, my marriage, my kid, my fears, my issues, my beliefs, hell I even talk about sex.  I tend to be a bit too open and sometimes I find myself thinking "Becky, stop.  Stop talking now."



The other day the girls and our solo male lunch mate, were sitting at our conference room table having lunch.  The girls were talking about life, as we do every day during lunch.  We were talking about marriage and how marriage is difficult at times.  I was talking about how Seth and I don't get out much. How we work hard and how life often just feels monotonous.  There isn't much of "the spark" after being together for a decade.  Things aren't all that exciting most days.  We just go through the motion of waking, doing the morning routine, taking Millie to daycare, working all day, picking up Millie, running an errand or two, cooking dinner, cleaning, doing laundry, bathing Millie, putting Millie to bed, and finally...settling down for an hour to watch TV to unwind.  Repeat.  Day after day.  That's kind of life right now.  Sure, it's sprinkled with moments of pure and complete joy but often it's just kind of mundane.



Our token male lunch mate - one of our station interns - said something along the lines of "Ok you have to tell me why I should get married at all because honestly this doesn't sound too great."  We all muttered something along the lines of "Oh the companionship is wonderful." or "It may not be as exciting as dating, but it's consistent and comforting" or "you always have someone to support you."
He honestly looked like a deer caught in the headlights.  I think we scared him.  We didn't see him around for lunch for awhile after that.

This got me thinking.  Maybe I divulge too much.  Maybe I am just too open.  It's probably pretty off-putting to people.  Hell I scared the intern away for crying out loud!  Maybe I need to reel it in.  I think I made a bit of a decision that day to stop saying so much.

And then I went and listened to Cheryl Strayed speak.  I noticed that the 400 people in the room all felt like I do about her, I felt like she was a dear friend.  I felt like I knew her.  We felt this way because of her writing.  She doesn't sugar coat her life, her experiences or herself.  She is vulnerable and open.  That's why people love her. That's what made me love her and love her book so much.  I want to be that kind of person. I want people to feel they can open up to me. I want people to confide in me.  I want people to seek me out because "Becky will understand".

I have found it more and more difficult to maintain friendships with people who I find guarded.  Honestly I don't think there is anything really wrong with being guarded.  Yet there is something about people being honest and open that makes you connect with them.  I have friends that live hours and hours away and yet, whether through daily emails or weekly phone calls we reconnect.  I listen as they rattle off the latest family drama, or self esteem problems, or fears and we connect all over again.  I feel as close to them as I did 15 years ago when I saw them every single day in high school.  These are the friends that I only see once a year and I feel just as close as ever.


So I suppose the point of this blog is to vow to remain open and vulnerable.  Many times I sit down to write a blog and I stop.  I worry that I will offend people, or that I will embarrass myself or my child. I really worry that people will think I am ungrateful for my life and my family. Yet, how often do we read those blogs and we think, "Oh thank God someone said it! I'm not the only one that thinks/feels this way!" I'm so tired of living in a world where people only show off their best parts. The perfect family pictures, the perfect status updates and the picture-perfect Instagram photos make me cringe in a way.  Because I know that's not your real life.  You may as well be a celebrity for all I care. Lets be real people.  Lets be relatable again shall we?

Vulnerable blog topics that I have put off writing out of fear - but I plan on writing:

-Holy shiz, how am I going to survive with 2 kids?
-Pinterest is ruining our world.
-Why I want to throw smart phones and tablets out the window
-The art of conversation

Any other topics you can suggest?