To be vulnerable is to be weak. To not be vulnerable is to constantly use a facade of strength. Confidence is usually applicable to not being vulnerable, but not to me. To me, being confident is being vulnerable. It's not holding back who you really are. It's opening up and being honest, ethical, and understanding all at once. It's allowing others to trust you.
Within the culture that I grew up (rural southern Appalachia), vulnerability was and is not a desirable trait. Vulnerability signifies "thin skin" and if you were going to make it in this world, you had to put on a tough face. No crying, no emotion, just get over it.
Hey, what if I don't want to get over it? I'm a problem solver and an admirer of the complexities we call life. It's okay to cry. It's okay to feel. It's okay to open up. It's okay to try to understand the world and the people in it.
You can't just shut off one emotion and turn on another. At least this is what I think--it causes more problems than solving them.
I met someone recently who said, "vulnerability is the greatest quality a person can have. A person must be vulnerable in order to enjoy life fully." He told me he was nervous and excited to meet me. Do you know how refreshing it is to hear someone say how they feel when they begin a new friendship rather than just immediately bragging about themselves to make themselves seem interesting?
I finished reading a book yesterday that said, "you fall in love too quickly with every friend you make," and I got to thinking--"hey, that's me!" Not in a romantic sense, no, but I do love way too quickly. I see the "good" qualities and the "bad" qualities of every person in my life and I love them all. It makes me incredibly forgiving, and yes, incredibly vulnerable. But it also makes me love the way that I love.
I know that this post is mostly a rant about a jumbled up thought, but just think of this as a journal log of my life. It's not meant to be taken "professionally" or "too seriously," it's just me opening up to you. It's me being vulnerable.