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On vulnerability | by Rachel Baran
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On vulnerability


So glad these thorny asshole bushes finally came in handy.


A group of us non-lafg2013ers decided to embark on a giant collaboration; the first concept we’re attempting is our greatest fear.


At first I wanted to do something light-hearted about my fear of flies or injections or corn (it’s like a million little rotted teeth on a stick…) but I realized that’s part of my actual big huge mega-fear, vulnerability. Not the physical kind--I don’t doubt my ability or willingness to kick some ass in a pinch--but the emotional sort. And don't get me wrong, strong emotional defenses like humor are important, but I think mine are a little much. Long story shortish I was bullied a cray ton in middle school until I just kind of made a little suit of feels armor for myself and I’ve never really figured out how to strip it in the presence of most people. I swear I go through the same argument with the little voice in my head every single time I interact with anyone; if I let my guard down the other person is free to judge and reject the secret parts of myself that make me a unique human in the clusterfuck of all the other billions.


But then I’m all ‘why do I feel so compelled to let others define my worth’ and then I’m all ’social acceptance is pretty important to the survival of things with brains bro’ but then I’m all ‘I mean that’s a good excuse but literally millions of other people have learned to get past that, what makes me special’ and then I wallow, typically. I mean, basically it’s fear of pain which is practically etched into our skulls from birth, so I know I'm not alone in this, but at the same time just aghajakfgl.


And I know I could have it so much worse. I could be afraid of starvation or disease or my own parents. But in the relative scope of my general insignificance my fear of emotional vulnerability is the thing that keeps me up at night so. Welcome to the most personal photo I’ve ever done, y’all.

And you know. The most publicly naked one.


*******If anyone else out there shares my fear there’s an awesome TED talk on the subject by Brené Brown. Even if you don't, just watch it. It's even funny so none of you have an excuse.


Here's to a more fearless 2013 for everybody :)

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Taken on January 1, 2013