Being completely honest about my feelings is somewhat of a new concept to me. For most my life, I worked hard to keep up the semblance of my tough exterior while I was a heaping mess inside. Only recently, because of various circumstances, have I begun to open up myself to the possibility of vulnerability. I don’t think I’m alone in this battle. Vulnerability is probably my worst fear. Not heights, Not spiders. Not thunderstorms. Not even hot dogs (yes, I know someone who is deathly afraid of hot dogs).

I know now, and again only within the last year, that the reason I’m afraid to be vulnerable is because I’ll do anything not to get hurt. No one is a huge fan of opening themselves up to disappointment. I get that. I’m not unique. But I really feel things very deeply, and it can oftentimes feel incredibly overwhelming. I’d realized I was putting great blocks up in my life in order to avoid feeling like this. The blocks were everywhere. When I really started paying attention, I even realized I was barely looking anyone in the eye anymore because I was so afraid of connecting to that person on such a diminutive level. I guess I was afraid they’d see what was really going on inside my eyes if they got a good enough look.

 

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Because of all this inner turmoil, I haven’t been super open about anything and the idea of putting everything out “there” in a blog for anyone and everyone to see at their own leisure was terrifying. Even though writing about my travels and just the topic of traveling itself is something that makes me so incredibly happy, and this is the path (I believe) to living a life I’m proud of and lights my soul on fire. I’ve been SO lucky to have a plethora of resources come into my life within the past six months to help me witness how severely I’ve been blocking myself off to all the possibilities of my true happiness. It became inherently clear that opening myself up to vulnerability was the only way I’d get past it.

I’d describe this process as being on a roller coaster creeping up towards that first big drop, not fully knowing what you’re in store for. I’m still pretty darn scared of negative feedback and judgement from others (which will of course be inevitable), but I know I’m not alone in that fear. And hopefully what they say is true – with the greatest risks in life, come the greatest rewards.

“Before I made this record I was doing everything to try and get my music heard. I tried to lose weight and I was making awful music. It was only until I started to be myself that the music started to flow and people started to listen.” -Sam Smith, 2015 Grammy Awards