I’m looking for part time work. I don’t know anyone my age looking for a job. Most of my peer friends are either trudging through their last couple of years with some organization they’ve been with forever, or they are retired. Some have never worked, some have worked for their husbands, two women I know will soon be unemployed, one of which may be facing dire consequences as a result of not working. My situation, thankfully, is not dire, but I need the company and the cash—need, not want. Despite a less than stellar work history, I like to work, and I’ve hit the streets in search of employment before—I know what to do—but it’s a challenge. It’s about emotional vulnerability.
I’m looking for a job in retail. There’s a cragislist in Key West, but all the part time jobs listed are for servers, bartenders, or yard help. I have no car, so I hoof it to the shops I know and like and hope that the owner is in—but will talk to anyone (calling to see if the owner is in doesn’t work, they want to see that you’re ready and able). It takes a while for me to psyche myself up and get out the door—hair and dress and coffee and cigarettes and then airing out and brushing my teeth for the 3rd time. It’s nerve rattling, hard, it is humbling—but not humiliating. I feel vulnerable and I feel courageous. I feel open to rejection or acceptance. I feel that my path and my choices are correct, I feel confident that work will come. I feel I’ve been too far and too long removed from vulnerability and welcome it back into my life. I feel hopeful.
I’ve read up on vulnerability before. It was once suggested that I look into a better understanding of the subject to help with my writing. But reading about vulnerability it is a whole lot different than practicing it. I extend, I stumble, I grow, right? There are numerous online sources for all things vulnerable. I like the simple and straight forward excerpts from Bloom Life Design below (check out the full article):
“When you hide who you really are to avoid being vulnerable, you pre-emptively reject yourself to avoid the possibility of rejection. The logic goes something like… I don’t think I’m good enough to write that post so I’ll pass at it because no one will like it anyway. Do you see the flawed logic? You reject yourself to avoid the very possibility of rejection.
Emotional vulnerability is key to connection, in your relationships, and most importantly with yourself. Think about your closest relationships, they’re close because you’ve allowed these people to see beyond the façade, to really see you. When you pretend to be perfect, when you strain to be likeable, when you go to great lengths to demonstrate your selflessness, you cut other people off from the real you. You render yourself invisible to your tribe.
Last and most important: Emotional vulnerability connects you to yourself. It’s only when you give yourself permission to be vulnerable, to make mistakes, to fail, to have “flaws” that you can grow.
When you allow yourself to be vulnerable to yourself – without beating the crap out of yourself in your head — you can heal, change, transform. When you buy into “the voice,” when you believe that you have to have your shit together (and why isn’t my shit together and what the hell is my problem, and you must be joking if you think you can pull that off…), you will never be able to connect with yourself long enough to get clarity about your real desires, your true purpose or the unique contribution only you can make. Because who wants listen to that voice?”
photo credit: toothpastefordinner.com