My son is learning to swim. He is now able to cross over the ropes into the deep end (closely supervised!) without a life jacket. He boldly jumps in and bubbles back up to the surface wearing expressions of excitement, uncertainty, and a little bit of fear. He takes a breath, puts his face in the water, swims to the edge, climbs the ladder and goes in again. His strokes are still clumsy but he is making great progress.
As a writer, I’ve been avoiding crossing over to the deep end. It’s safe over here in the shallow end where my feet can touch the bottom, writing about topics like laundry, cooking, great deals I found on Amazon, and what I’m reading. Every now and then, with great trepidation, I move a little closer to the deep end and publish something that requires a bit of vulnerability, but not quite over the ropes, where I’m more susceptible…..to drown.
I have poured out my heart writing pages and pages about anxiety and panic attacks, feeling isolated without a circle of friends, introversion, dealing with life’s unexpected curve balls, not living up to expectations, and abandoning crazy dreams for something safe…..all the topics that require me to drift into open water allowing all my imperfections and struggles to be exposed but I have not published them.
Brene’ Brown, vulnerability expert, says, “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.”
So I am just going to have to jump in and experience the uncertainty and fear along with the excitement because I feel called to share. Maybe what I write will resonate with at least one person and let them know they are not alone.
And if I feel like I’m going under, if the vulnerability feels too heavy, I’ll just take a breath, put my face in the water and swim….even if my strokes are clumsy.