I am participating in the ACPA – Commission for Student Involvement Book Club for January/February/March, where we are reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown mostly in anticipation of her keynoting at the 2014 ACPA Annual Convention. Part of the process is following the reading guide associated with the book. I decided to document my thoughts in my blog as part of exploring my own vulnerability.
I am still trying to understand vulnerability; mainly, because it is not something I experienced growing up. I kept everything tight to the chest and still do. There are very few people who know the real me; who have seen me at my highest highs and lowest lows. My parents know a portion of me. My siblings know a portion of me. My coworkers/colleagues know a portion of me. My friends know a portion of me. These pieces are segmented and disconnected. They are intentionally siloed. Each group is exposed to a different portion of me based on my relationship with them. Sometimes the information will overlap.
There are the select few currently in my life and over time who have seen all of these various parts as a whole. It is these people who I have loved the most. This is what I consider vulnerability; presenting others with the full picture. All of the pieces of the puzzle put together. Insecurities. Hopes and dreams. Challenges. Silliness. Frustration. Everything. Good. Bad. Ugly. Indifferent.
The segmentation of my life is related to the models I experienced growing up. I am the oldest of three boys with a four year gap between myself and the next youngest. The two of them had stronger relationships with my parents and I was independent. Later in life, I became closer to my parents but while growing up never saw them vulnerable and I never was with them. They separated those pieces of their lives and I followed suit. At the same time, I know that they talked about those things with each and exposed their whole selves to one another because they would not still be married 31 years later if they didn’t.
My model of vulnerability was to share the whole picture with the person/people who would be there with you for better or worse and for a long time. This is how I have learned to understand vulnerability. A select few will experience me being vulnerable. They will see the full picture that is me and that’s that. Well for now, I should say. We shall see what happens and how my views may change by reading this book and participating in this opportunity.