What was the greatest risk that you have taken this year? Were the results (good or bad) what you expected?
I took a lot of risks in the last twelve months or so. I had a few wild nights, made friends with people that I was beyond intimidated by at first, and moved into an apartment when a lot of people warned me that it wasn’t the best idea.
However, the biggest chance I probably took was a rather simple one; I was honest, as well as vulnerable. I had quite a few difficult conversations with my parents about my feelings toward certain incidents that had taken place over the years, as well as what was really going on between my roommate and I. During my counseling sessions, I had think back to a lot of memories that I had all but forgotten, and explain how I genuinely felt about them (mostly pissed off, hurt, and even a little traumatized). I wrote and shared blog posts that were often raw as well as deep. And through it all, I opened up to my friends about what was going on, either verbally or in writing.
Realistically, I didn’t have a whole lot to lose; if nothing else, it was my pride. But I was still very much afraid, mostly of how my friends would look at me or treat me afterward. I didn’t want to be that girl that was screwed up and couldn’t get herself together. I didn’t want to appear needy or make it seem that I was using anyone. And I didn’t want to push them away due to intimidation or not knowing what to say.
But when I chose to be open, it was very much a relief. As I said previously, I could focus my energy on moving forward and working through my problems, rather than pretending to be strong and happy all the time. I found peace in the fact that others were aware of my situation and were as supportive as they could be.
The results from such admissions aren’t only just releasing my burdens or the deepening of relationships. I have gained a mountain of confidence and emotional strength; trust me when I say that the more you do something, the more comfortable you become with it.
From where I’m standing, I feel like I have made a lot of progress. And you know what? I’m pretty proud of myself for it.
The question to be asked is whether or not you should be vulnerable, but why. If you do it first and foremost for yourself, then why give a second thought to what other people might think? I’d like to believe that I can somehow control another person’s reaction by either waiting a little while or phrasing it a certain way. Regardless, there’s no guarantee. As hard as it is to accept, not everyone will “get it” or choose to be there for you. It sucks, but at least you know who’s worth having in your life and who isn’t.
The funny thing is, vulnerability is something that each and every one of us is afraid of. Nonetheless, it’s a risk I’m willing to take, because it’s just a part of my nature. If people feel put off or at odds by it, then tough luck. I don’t like lying, and I definitely don’t like hiding.
When you take a risk, you may end up with more or less than you bargained for. But when you don’t, more than likely you’ll end up with useless questions and unfulfilled dreams that might not get another opportunity to come true.