Vulnerability, pt.3

Tough question time…

What can you do easily that most people find difficult?

This is a doozy for those of us who have been raised to value humility above all other virtues. But I’ve been doing this self-work for long enough to cut to the chase. I know my strengths and weaknesses pretty well and I didn’t have to think too long about this before I came up with the basic theme. This won’t come as a surprise to those who know me, but TALKING is really one of my strengths.

I love to talk and it has been pointed out to me that I light up and get super-energised when I talk about philosophy, art, history or storytelling. I decided to pursue teaching because I thought passion for these things would be valued, but sadly I couldn’t find a way to get past the multitude of hassles that come with the teaching profession. So I’m just going to pursue this writing gig because if nothing else, it makes me feel good.

So I launched a Patreon page today and…well I say today, but I actually signed up months ago. The tab sat open on my desk-top, silently mocking me for weeks. Quite typically of me, three days before the deadline I wrote about a couple of posts back, I decided to launch my page after meeting with my friend and fellow Creative, Emma, rather than email the article with the deadline…

I will email that article tomorrow…

The Patreon page brought up soooo much vulnerability stuff for me. I really shouldn’t assign numbers to these posts on vulnerability because it’s clearly going to be an ongoing thing for me. I’m getting through my reading list and I have Brene Brown’s entire back catalogue on my side table, so I’d say I’m in for a crash course in allowing myself to be vulnerable, to be seen.

I got a little choked up watching this.

I’m a bit of an enigma because I would be quite comfortable with dressing up as an eight-foot bride (seriously, watch the video, it’s fucking brilliant!). I am very comfortable with singing in front of a crowd, but there is fear around this too. The fear of rejection and criticism of my voice (and the fact that my appearance seems somehow at odds with my voice. I’ve lost count of the number I’ve times people have said something along the lines of “I wouldn’t have expected you to sound like that”. One complete twat told me after hearing me sing at a party, that I should enter The Voice so I could be the next Susan Boyle. All props to SB, but I didn’t stop to ask said twat if he thought I looked like her. Self-preservation stopped me. And it has also stopped me from pursuing singing as a past-time let alone any kind of career.

(Oh far out, I just had the most amazing a-ha moment then… I have a Teflon-like ability to deal with criticism about my writing, my artwork and my opinions on most things. I rarely feel the need to defend myself, my opinions or my art, let alone try to convince someone of their value. But something that is still hanging over me is fear of rejection around my singing voice. mmmm, okay this is something for me to work on…)

Back to the Amanda Palmer Ted Talk, I do believe I would draw the line at the crowd or couch surfing, as much fun as it sounds. I would be afraid of being dropped on the ground/murdered and don’t even get me started on the idea of standing naked in front of a group of drunk Germans and letting them draw all over me… (seriously, watch the video!)

I’m thinking that the core of this fear is an inability to trust. I really struggle with asking my family or friends for help let alone strangers and I have a kind of pathological fear of trusting strangers.

I isolate myself at times, but I am pretty resilient and capable, so I just go for it and try to surround myself with other people who are trying to make their way through this fun thing we call the Creative Life as artists or writers. People can be guarded and unsure of your motives when you help them and I have found, can be a little less than generous when it comes to Paying it Forward (not to mention a little I scratch your back, You run a mile…)

I think we can all help each other out, even if it’s only a share, a comment or a Like. I’m going to keep paying it forward because that makes me feel good. It’s another thing I find easier to do than most people.

Quote of the Day…