The Courage to be Vulnerable


I was reading someone else’s blog the other day…..
(….. yeah, I can read),

and it really struck me how open and honest the person was being.

I mean, I always try to tell the truth– that’s not what I mean.

And I know what you’re thinking –

most blogs are just a kinda written form of masturbation,

(Don’t get me wrong – I’m not above having impure thoughts.. like every 4 seconds or so…),

or silly, trite, trivial things noting minor events in ones life like “I went and got a pedicure today”.

But not this one.

This person seemed to be laying open intimate inward feelings—

those feelings that we all try desperately to keep private;

and I was frankly amazed at this person’s courage……

— the courage to be VULNERABLE.

Oh sure, ya could say,

“What could happen from being open in a blog?” – maybe nothin.

But, when you open yourself up like that person was,

— you run the risk of having one of the many piss-on-yer-parade folks come along and – –

…… well….., piss on yer parade.

How many times have we all had somebody come along and mess with us or mess up something we cared about- – –

— just for the sheer spitefulness of it?

Hey – I wish I had a nickel.

Plus, there’s a certain abundance of self-confidence required to take the kind of well-meaning, ‘constructive’ criticism you might get.

You gotta know who you are, and what your strengths and weaknesses are-
before you jump into that particular swamp.

But, I always say that I’m not afraid of anything-

( except maybe over-staying my welcome here in this vale of tears ),

—- so I’m gonna try a lil bit of it anyway-

’cause for one, my stated position is that I don’t freakin care what somebody who don’t like me thinks anyway, so, at least theoretically, I got nothing to lose.

(sure, my big dumb ass feelings can still get hurt — just don’t tell anybody. )

two, I think it might be kinda cathartic-

— I like to bottle stuff up, and this seems like it might be a good way to let some steam off;


three, ’cause only a handful o people’ll even read this thing anyway, and I can always delete it afterwards.

(Brave, huh?)

I spend a fair percentage of my very limited free-time working on my posts…

and I’ve been asked several times why I do it…

after all, I could be doing much more constructive, productive, profitable, or otherwise DIFFERENT things….

… and of course, that partially answers the question right there…

I enjoy it.

But more than that, I have a need that blogging somehow fulfills.

Certainly, an important part of it is self-expression –

— sublimating those creative and aggressive drives that would otherwise be expressed in less … err… ….. friendly or socially acceptable ways.

I can take my time, say what I want to say, (sometimes what I NEED to say)..

and thoughtfully (or NOT) choose the tone and verbage that suits the WAY I want to say it.

One important factor for me is personality development – – I have always been an introvert –

-what some students of psychology would call a Promethian personality type –

and as I have matured, (very slowly over the years… very slowly.),

I have found myself lacking in many of the finer points of social interaction,

– to the point that I really had to work hard on it – –

– and I have started to open myself up more to people.

This has had both positive and negative consequences –

— but has certainly been illuminating and interesting.

As far as my social interactivity is concerned, I have improved a good deal –

I am now functioning at about a 9th grade level,

……. instead of where I was about 10 years ago…….

( let’s just say it was almost pre-school level. )

I have learned much about how to talk to people instead of talking AT them…

(I still do it a lot, though …)

— and much of this improvement is because of what I have learned from blogging and online interaction.

Many people think the WWW is ‘impersonal’…

but it is as personal or impersonal as you make it.

Face to face communication is actually easier

— because you have the benefit of visual and aural cueing, via body language, inflection, facial expression, tone and volume, etc.

You also usually share the same space, acquaintances, or interests,

– so you have something in common right away that you might not have online.

But, the diversity of people online,

-and the variety of potential experiences, – – make it a worthwhile effort.

Another part of blogging I enjoy is when I get a reaction –

– positive or negative – to one of my blogs.

In real life, I’m one of those people who loves to provoke a reaction in people I first meet –

I’m ‘acquainted’ with too many people already –

(so much for being THAT open, right?)

— thus most of the time, I start out not caring whether they like me or not –

— so, I will usually say something that I think will cause a reaction, and then sit back and watch.

– often, their reaction is predictable, apathetic or downright boring –

—– it’s when someone reacts unexpectedly that I’m particularly interested in them and what they have to say.

The same goes for blogging –

– when someone responds with a comment or question,

or especially, when someone comes up with a sharp observation or witty insight,
I am reminded of just how much FUN blogging can be.

Self expression, self-improvement, self gratification –

– certainly it has a very selfish aspect to it –

( no one ever said that blogging had to be a public service ) –

but it does serve the function of allowing people to understand each other better-

and that is a good enough reason to do it – even if it wasn’t enjoyable and fulfilling.

It gives each man a voice – – a mode of expression –

… in an era where the individual voice is usually drowned out by corporate claptrap, political posits, and the din of the crowd.

Here’s to the noble BLOG – the vox populi ! ? ?

In that same vein, reading my own blog is a chance for me to see me

— in a written, non-mirrror image form.

I can look at how fast time is passing…

— look back at my past work, and my future plans.

I can talk to myself, without talking to myself.

I can restate my beliefs.. sound them out… see if they still ring true.

I’m still here.. a lot of my old buddies aren’t.

It can’t help but make one wonder about one’s place within this world of ours….

— are we just random carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms ?

Is this blog an illusion emenating from nothing more than a puff of smoke?


I don’t believe that.

I guess when it comes right down to it, what is important about our lives has an awful lot to do with WHAT we believe;

— and that is based on what we have learned–

… from education, training and experience, along with our acquired likes and dislikes, our intuition and our capacity for openness (to new learning, ideas, things, people, etc).

So, then one might ask, ‘What do I believe?”

((Note, knowing myself to be the smart-ass I am, I couldn’t resist including a running smart-ass commentary – – it’s in italics and parenthesis.. like this…… just ignore it.))

That despite years in the military, I’m a hippie at heart.
(‘Free Love’ sounds great, and I always thought hippie chicks were HOT.)

That times may change, but truth does not.
(despite what those idiots in Washington or corporate controlled media would have you believe..)

That human life shouldn’t be wasted on things like “Bad Intelligence”, “Oil”, “National Prestige”, “Political Expediency (and/or Stupidity)” or “Trans-national Corporate Greed”.
(or orgasms inside vacuum sealed bags or while strangling oneself, either.)

That people who work their entire lives contributing to building their society should be able to count on that society to take care of them for a coupla years at the end.

That big multi-national corporations add nothing positive to our society. Nothing.

That life (yours and mine) is about learning, growing and experiencing.
(biceps included!)

That men and women are put together differently for several good reasons… and sometimes, a combination of the two can add up to something greater than just the sum of the parts.

That all people are created equal – and deserve equal protection and opportunity.

That there’s no free lunch – but KETCHUP still ain’t no vegetable.

That we owe each other a helping hand, a word of encouragement, some basic courtesy, and all the benefits of the golden rule.
(just stay off my wave!)

That aside from food and shelter, money can’t buy ANYTHING of real and lasting value. …

Love can’t buy you money, but I’d rather have love anytime.
( But, I ain’t doing no nude bed-in with Yoko Ono, no matter what!)

That muscles grow in directly opposite proportion to how hard you overwork them.
(that goes for ANY muscle.)

That 16% bodyfat is not great, but it’s better than giving up Chinese Food.
(I don’t think that was chicken, but it WAS protein…….)

That I’d rather be: strong than handsome;
happy than rich;
alive than dead;
testosteroned than estrogened;
droll than sarcastic;
hard than soft;
overtrained than lazy;
smart than shrewd;
in shorts than in a suit;
experienced than naive;
pedantic than illiterate;
myself than something else.

That the perfect woman couldn’t exist any more than the perfect man. (perfection itself would be too imperfectly boring.)

That some of the greatest movies ever made are :
“Out There” (I love the part about how aliens can’t stand accordion music..)
“Four Rooms” (“DON’T Misbehave!”)
“Clerks” (You never know about those public restrooms…)
“Man of LaMancha” (Where could Sancho be with my horse?)
“The Fifth Element”(Where’s Leelu when you really need her?)

That you should try just about anything at least once.
(— except Brussels Sprouts! )

That I’ve bored the few readers I have to tears already.
( AMEN, brother! )

Thanks for reading.

But remember what yer Ole Uncle Nuts always sez-
……………………… stay away from the snack bar!


9 thoughts on “The Courage to be Vulnerable

  1. yep- that’s life, basically, too. 😀

  2. GREAT post!!! 🙂
    I love what you’ve learned and shared here, but you know me…I REALLY LOVE (your running smart-ass comments!)!!! 😀
    Functioning at a 9th grade level! Snort! I can relate. The man in my life who knows me best (since I was 17) always says to me, “You have the mind and libido of a 13 year old boy!” I take it as a compliment! 😀
    It does take courage to be vulnerable…but it’s worth it!
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    • Hahaha… well, let’s hear it for a lovely woman with a teen boy’s libido.. that’s a wonderful thing!!!! 🙂
      Yes, it can be frightening to allow yourself to be vulnerable… there are too many people out there who see it as a weakness to be exploited. I’m glad you enjoyed it, C.

  3. Tracy says:

    “I have learned much about how to talk to people instead of talking AT them…” An important lesson.
    Being honest in a blog is much harder than non-bloggers think. It’s so much harder to say something and then, as you said, not have the visual clues to see how it was perceived and explain or change as need be.

    • Being honest can be brutally difficult.. it’s like putting your heart and mind out there for inspection.. and of course, there’s always gonna be somebody who finds it wanting. and without cues, interpreting the message can also be fraught with the risk of misunderstandings and error. yes, what we do isn’t easy, but it can be therapeutic, and a lotta fun, too. 🙂

  4. Haha, what a nice rambling post. Why don’t you want to be soft? I’d rather be soft than hard.
    You are definitely right that the diversity of readers and responses is the best thing about blogging. I especially cherish those who comment. I started my blog because I suddenly felt a strong urge to write. First I wanted to write in my native language (Polish) but the words camein English.

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