Melbourne. Humid but overcast day. A Brunswick breakfast. Later, an appointment with a gallery to present images for their consideration for an exhibition in 2021. That feeling of showing up and bracing for a polite no thank you.
Vulnerability seems to be the catch word of the last five or ten years – what it means, what it requires and what the returns can be. Brené Brown, US writer and researcher, is, of course, the voice of the movement as the most well-known of its exponents.
Someone I know went to hockey training at a new club last night. This person knows how to play the game and how to find the venue but everything else was unfamiliar – the people, the routine, the culture. It required a strength to turn up there alone and find a way to establish new connections.
Putting yourself out there seems to require that strength. It’s scary sometimes and requires some degree of girding of the loins because the outcome is unknown and possibly uncomfortable or, potentially, downright deflating.
Someone else I know has learned to manage a significant anxiety. For this person, each step beyond the comfort zone requires an enormous battle with the self-talk and self-questioning. It is a strength and determination of the most extreme sort to overcome such obstacles and it garners my highest admiration.
Showing up, vulnerability, strength, putting oneself out there and stepping beyond are not compulsory and certainly not easy but, perhaps, probably, certainly, they are desirable for the long term.