As my friend Tami says with a shrug, “Everybody’s got their story.” She’s right. Our stories define us and make us who we are. I am curious. Who are you? What is YOUR story? What about your story gets to the truth in me?
In her exquisite TED talk “The Power of Vulnerability,” Brene Brown calls stories “data with a soul.” She expresses beautifully what it is to live with ordinary courage, walk through life without “numbing” and live a “whole-hearted” life. As a social worker, researcher and a consummate type-A personality, she realized that to live a full life, you have to be vulnerable. What does it mean to be vulnerable anyway? It means you must be willing to put yourself out there and put it all on the line. Like when I told my husband (then boyfriend) I loved him. First. And he took 6 weeks to say it back. It’s the willingness to say, “Fuck it, I am going to give it a shot.” Sometimes you fail, and fail again. Converting the narrative from failure to new opportunity is an expression of vulnerability. To be vulnerable, you have to tell and live your story. Brene Brown calls this a sense of worthiness. By the way, all the times you stumble or screw up, those are the gifts of imperfection. How liberating is that? If you don’t see the bumps in the road as gifts, you run the risk of becoming disconnected and shameful. But here’s the rub: in our society, it’s not okay to allow yourself to be exposed. You’re supposed to have your shit together all the time.
What’s your story? How has it shaped you? And therefore, shaped our community? I want to hear it. Of course you know, if I hear it, I am going to tell it. Being ready to tell your story is a step forward and I hope you will consider it. Suburbo-types is a place of genuine care and will be a safe place to store the story of you. Send me a note if you are interested! I can print your name or not, it’s entirely up to you. In a world of polarizing voices, trying to slow the aging process and pretending that what we do doesn’t matter, I’d like to change the conversation. And I would like to start with you. Are you in?