Vulnerable

Craziness abounds over here. Dogs are sleeping on Chris’s pillow, kids are staying up past their bedtimes, guinea pigs are being fed human food, wine is being consumed by the vat. (Okay, that last one’s not really crazy. In fact, that’s pretty normal.)

Oh! And my memoir, “Table for Six: The Extraordinary Tales of an Ordinary Family,” just came out on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.

GET OUT! (Insert Elaine Benes shove here.)

And you know what else? I even have an author page — complete with my picture! On AMAZON! It’s pretty cool, I must admit.

And the craziest part? People are buying my book. And they’re liking it.

Who knew?

Last night, I stayed up into the wee hours fretting and fussing and working myself up into a tizzy. Chris was done talking about it a mere ten minutes into the conversation. I knew he was done when he said (loudly), “Do you want to write or not? Do you want to publish or not? Do you want to be an author? Because if so, you have to PUBLISH your books. And you have to get over yourself. And you have to stop worrying about what everyone thinks. If you don’t want to write and publish, then we’ll take it all down now. All of it. Is that what you want?”

And that’s not what I wanted.

At that moment, I simply wanted some Maalox.

Here’s the thing. It’s more than a bit scary to have your words out there. And I know I’ve droned on and on about fear. Blah, blah, blah. But at the end of the day (and into the wee hours of the night), it’s scary.

I’m not afraid of people knowing my stories. In fact, I want them to. I think there’s such merit in sharing what binds us as human beings — at what, essentially, is at the core of us all. I’m not a private person. Never have been, never will be. I want to connect with others, to speak to and with others, to embrace relationships old and new. I intend to bring trust and authenticity to everything I do. And in embracing that philosophy, I make myself vulnerable.

The brilliant Brene Brown says that if you lose your vulnerability, you are left with certainty. And that’s not who I want to be. I will never be a “my way or the highway” kind of gal. I will never see things in black and white. I believe in my heart of hearts that certainty equals a slow and painful death. Who wants to be right all the time? Who wants to believe that there is “the” way instead of “a” way. (Yes, we’ve had that conversation before.)

Not I, said the new author.

I choose vulnerability.

But I must admit that in the darkest hours of the night after multiple glasses of wine have been consumed, vulnerability is scary indeed.

In the morning, however, when the sun is bright (or at least the snow is), vulnerability loses its edge and becomes infinitely appealing. It softens a bit and trades its scary, dark, hooded cloak for a soft and welcome smile. A warm embrace.

Hello, Vulnerability. Nice to meet you. Would you like to read my book?

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