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Willingness to be vulnerable

standard February 16, 2011 9 responses

Every year, right at the beginning of February, no matter how disgusting and rainy January might be, the Bay Area is always privy to a short burst of Spring. The temperatures rise, the sun comes out, and we get all giddy with the promise in the air.

Just as I’m marveling at the fact that I’m turning on the AC and not the heat in the car, the trees burst into bloom.

The flowers are beautiful – pale pink and so delicate. Our entire street is lined with these trees and they never fail to fill me with awe.

And then, without fail, every year, the week after everything blooms, the weather turns. The temperatures drop and the rain clouds roll in, dark and ominous. A few good gusts of wind and the pale petals start to fly. It doesn’t take long for the street to look like it’s covered in pink snow.

I watched it all happen again this week, the same way it has happened every year since I moved to the Bay Area, and once again I wondered why nature plays it this way. Why allow the trees to bloom this early? Why not realize that this is a fake spring and that the trees are better off waiting a few weeks?

And yet clearly nature does know what it’s doing. The trees probably have to bloom just then so that the impending wind storms and rainfall will do their thing and spread the petals and pollen around. (Or whatever the science behind that may be. I enjoy the flowers and trees, I don’t pretend to understand them.)

What struck me most of all is the utter vulnerability of the delicate flowers in all this. They bloom, like clockwork, and shine as hard as they can for their short week, and then they go where the wind takes them. They don’t fight it. They just are.

I envy them that vulnerability and willingness to just be.

Yesterday I did just that. I wrote from the heart, I opened my soul, and I let it all pour out. I hit publish before I could rethink it, and then I walked away.

I never intended to make people cry. I never intended to worry anyone. And yet I did. But I also didn’t expect the sheer number of people who reached out to say that my post resonated with them or who just reached out to offer friendship and support.

It’s not easy to be willing to be this vulnerable. It’s scary and daunting both when writing and when dealing with the fallout. But the outpouring of love I’ve gotten in return was the most beautiful, amazing, and unexpected thing. It was exactly what I needed and I feel blessed to have the friends and family that I do. Thank you.

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9 responses

  • I have thought the same things. It happens in Maryland as well. I am always happy and sad at the same time when I see the blossoms coming out early. Wait a little while, I want to say! I hate it when perfectly perfect blossoms are wasted by cold weather!

  • I love you, you know that? And reading that post made me want to jump in my car and drive 40-gazillion-hours to get to you to help you, because I hate when my friends are hurting.

    Is today better for you, I hope? You still up for Skyping with me? Or, heck, calling me? You’ve still got my digits, yo.


  • I LOVE your openess in this post… I think it is so beautiful to see someones soul reflect through their writing 🙂

  • It is crazy when weather throws in a false signal to the trees – This has happened twice in a row in NC and my allergies were not so happy about it. This is like life too but I hope you’re feeling better today. Sometimes, it’s just good to just let go no matter how hard it is to do {{Hugs}}

  • Your writing is so beautiful. Always. Thank you for sharing your heart with us 🙂

  • I guess it can backfire when we post about our feelings. But when that backfire is friends coming to your side, it’s all good.

  • I had the same reaction when I posted about my anxiety disorder. It’s so scary, but beautiful to open up and let people see the real you. And most of the time, we find that people are more like us than we thought.

    Whenever people ask me how I do it all, I always say, “I don’t. Don;t let me fool ya!”

  • I love cherry blossoms. Your vulnerability is palpable in this post. hugs.

  • It’s a funny thing that vulnerability. It is so hard sometimes to be vulnerable yet sometimes it’s just the thing we need to free us. Thank you for sharing, thank you for inspiring, and for having such an open mind and open heart! <3

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