Sunday, May 19, 2013


I was reading an article in O Magazine recently about Brene Brown a University of Houston professor.

She wrote a book. In it she wrote, "If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path." I love profound thoughts. I love thinking about them, trying to wrap my brain around them, and contemplating the truth found within them. This qualifies.

Vulnerability is such a scary concept. To open oneself up to someone else and give them the opportunity to hurt us doesn't seem like it would be a good idea in and of itself. However, to grow closer to another person, to truly learn more about that person and to recipricate requires vulnerability.

In fact, I think that when we have relationships and we refuse to be vulnerable with each other, we either force the relationship into stagnation, or, if we are vulnerable and then regress, we run the chance of the relationship dying. Vulnerability can be the oxygen that feeds the fire of the relatioship or when denied, the lack of it kills the relationship.

Just saw a movie preview that says "Fear is a choice." Seems to go right with the idea of vulnerability. Maybe succumbing to fear is a choice. Bravery is facing ones fear. Bravery in the face of danger, bravery in the face of vulnerability. It takes bravery to be willing to be vulnerable. To let others know how we are feeling. To give others the opportunity to hurt us emotionally. To be willing to face oneself and ones insecurities and inadequacies is quite scary.

I have always loved self-analysis. Thinking about why I do things and thinking about the characteristics that hold me in good stead, and those that cause me any problems. Of course with that I also love to think about others and why they do things that they do. Of course, they don't always appreciate my desire to analyze them.

In the article, Brown referenced Theodore Roosevelt who said, "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could ahve done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs (And) if he fails at least fails while daring greatly."

Which seems to imply a different type of vulnerability. The vulnerability of action. At school some of us have a joke about the wisdom of those that stay in their foxholes. By not poking their heads out, they reduce the opportunities to get in trouble.  It means that a small number of people end up doing most of the work (sponsoring organizations, taking on outside duties etc) because most people are busy NOT putting themselves out there.

I like the idea that I am in the arena. My face is marred by dust and sweat and blood. I do strive valiantly. I face my fears, I choose bravery and if I fail, at least I put myself out there. I am willing to be vulnerable with the people closest to me and I am willing to put myself out there in the world in front of others. Doing things.

Gotta love them where they are

A friend of mine recently gave me this sage advice. I can't remember what I was kvetching about, but that was her response.

I realized later that it was a pretty good philosphy for me to follow across the board.

I'm thinking about all of the times I get frustrated with people and/or annoyed, and I realize often it is when people don't do things the way I would do them or respond to things in ways I think they should.

Certainly my parents have puzzled me for quite some time. Instead of constantly being annoyed about their unwillingness to talk about things that have happened or frustrated by the way they do things, I just need to love them where they are.

We're all in different places in our own journeys through life.  If I can remember to just let go and love people where they are, maybe I'll be less fraught with tension. We'll see.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Quick Trip to San Francisco

Can't remember if I wrote about our journalism website which currently sucks. As does the iphone app. Mostly, to be honest, I blame the newspaper staff because they said they would take it over and be in charge. They took it over, but now it sucks. So, I've been working for months on what we need to improve it in general, to recreate the iphone app so it looks better and does what we want it to do and how to organize the staffs to make the whole thing function better.

Needless to say, I have been learning a lot. My brain, in general these days, hurts. I asked the principal if he would let me attend the spring national journalism convention to attend sessions and hopefully track people down who can help us. He said yes. Sadly, didn't work out as well as I might have hoped.

I had started feeling under the weather last Monday. By Thursday morning, things weren't looking all that great for me. I stopped off at Minute Clinic on the way to the airport to ask for anything they could give me to stave off the illness headed my way. Of course they said it was a cold and there wasn't jack diddly I could do. Fan freaking tastic.

By the time I arrived in San Francisco the mad blowing of my nose and throat itch were in full swing. My cousin GK picked me up (did I forget to mention the marvelous side piece was that I would get to see my cousin?) We picked up his fiancee and went to dinner. She chose a restaurant that is right on the water. It was AMAZING. So beautiful. We had a great time, and then they dropped me off at my hotel.

Friday was a misery. I went to sessions, but could feel myself getting sicker and sicker. I felt terrible for anyone who sat near me...they were in the path of disaster. I was a walking petrie dish of illness.

Friday afternoon I laid down in the hotel and pretty much didn't get up until Saturday morning. I went to a couple more sessions and then my cousin picked me up. He had talked to me Friday about checking out of the hotel early so that I could go to their house and be taken care of. THAT is love I tell you. So, we headed out to their house on the other side of the mountain in a town called Lafayette. (Side note: his ex lives in Lafayette... Louisiana.)

It was really lovely. Despite feeling miserably ill for most of the trip, I did get good information and I got to hang with my cousin. I'm crazy about his fiance and her kids. I can't wait for them to be official members of the family.


It's time. 
What are you going to do? 
Do you want to save the friendship or not? 
Gird your loins, make a choice, do something, one way or the other.