I’m Vulnerable. Like a Baby Sea Turtle.

I've got a long way to go
Photo by Luca5 @ Flickr

And just like the life of a baby sea turtle, it’s a little cold and scary (and somehow sandy?). But I’m pressing forward and trying to learn and grow and do things that adults are supposed to do. Truth be told, I do not like it one bit.

I recently got a little obsessed with a vulnerability researcher named Dr. Brené Brown. She’s super amazing and smart but, despite her amaz-a-brain, her talks make you feel like you’re just listening to a friend. (She’s also really pretty.)  It’s not too much of a stretch to say I’d like to snuggle with her on the couch. But not in a weird way (that’s possible, right?). Don’t judge.

Dr. Brown talks about how vulnerability is the where shame, fear and regret find their strength, but ALSO where love, happiness and connectedness begin. It’s a tricky place. One that takes more than a little bravery—and hope—to visit.

That's Dr. Brown. So adorable, right?

For whatever reason (let’s not over think this, okay?) I’ve never been great at vulnerability. Where some people spread out the welcome mat before the front door of their hearts, I build a moat, fill it with sarcasm and alligators and eat chocolate alone whilst watching endless episodes of 30 Rock. (Don’t worry, I’m not always that cool.)

In light of that reality, blogging is a uniquely odd activity for people like me to engage in. Despite the fact that I can edit and shape and frame my life in the most flattering way possible, committing words—little pieces of myself—to the screen for all to read and judge is, well…a little unnerving. And the stats—good Lord, help me—the stats! Unlike at a cocktail party where you can just tell yourself that people liked you and you had a successful social interaction, blogging gives you data. Cold, unflinching, morose data, to which you can add your own brand of crazy. And my brand of crazy is like a finely crafted beer—it takes years, sometimes generations, to make.

That’s why when I read blog posts that are truly and deeply vulnerable, I’m left with no small amount of respect—no small amount of reverence. Like when Jenny, the Bloggess, recently shared about her experience with depression and self-harm. Or when Allie Brosh at Hyperbole and a Half put such plainly human (and hilarious) words to the unannounced sadness that had shown up in her life. They’re both so brave. Daring to take the first step toward connection. Hoping for reciprocation. Believing it will come. And that’s the beginning of believing, as Dr. Brown says, that we are all worthy of love and belonging.

You should take a few minutes (about 20 of them) to watch this video. And, if no one else tells you today, know that I think you’re enough.

This post is dedicated to Norma. May you live and love with all your heart, regardless of which clouds darken your door.

I’m Vulnerable. Like a Baby Sea Turtle.

6 thoughts on “I’m Vulnerable. Like a Baby Sea Turtle.

  1. Thank you for sharing. I don’t have any words to describe how this video spoke into the heart of my struggle. The tears streaming down my cheeks say it all. I’ve asked Jesus to show me how to love myself the way He loves me. He does a really good job of loving me, but I can’t figure it out. I think I found part of the answer in the video. Thanks, Mel! I’m glad we’re still connected through the internet!:)


  2. i watched the video. so much i could say. feel a bit of relief. understood.

    you know me, i’ve always been too vulnerable. so i thought i should restrain myself. stop being vulnerable. might explain why i haven’t felt alive… why i’ve been missing joy, creativity, and belonging. hmm.

    i use to believe that “what makes me vulnerable makes me beautiful.” when did i stop believing that? sad.

    courage and i use to be good friends. i started thinking my story was old, unwanted, not good enough. i don’t even know if i have a whole heart to tell it with.

    lots to think about.


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