Friday, May 7, 2010

Putting Myself Out There

It occurred to me today that I'm afraid of giving people the impression that I'm trying. That is, that I'm not fully finished, that I'm still in process, that I need others' approval at all. Why is the fact that T posts his movie reviews online, or his photos from his most recent adventure, a little horrifying to me? Maybe because if I'm broadcasting my life online, I am implicitly asking for approval. But also I think it's because I'm afraid that someone out there won't approve of what I'm doing, will think I'm immature or unskilled or imperfect in some other way. I see my FB friends as my judges, the embodiment of all possible criticism that I have of myself. And I want to appear to those judges as one who has arrived, not someone who is still on a path, and who may possibly (likely) have fallen behind her peers.

Why not, instead, like Anne Lamott, embrace my vulnerability as something that makes me human, a part of the human race, and therefore like my peers, not something/someone ostracized from them? How to be vulnerable without being pathetic and insecure? It seems this comes from confidence in the process, confidence in the fact that I, just like everyone around me (hopefully even moreso), am a growing, changing, being. The fear should come not from the appearance of becoming, but should be instead of giving the impression that I'm not changing, not growing, not risking. Stagnancy is worth being ashamed of. Growth—and it's intrinsic vulnerability—is not.