Monday, November 30, 2015

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 30

I'm grateful that I sometimes have the courage to be vulnerable.

You'd think that for someone like me -- who wears her heart on her sleeve -- opening myself up to other people is an easy thing.

It's not.

When I wear my heart on my sleeve, it exposes me to the possibility of getting punched in the arm. A few sad souls do it just for the fun of garnering my reaction.

I wear my heart on my sleeve anyway.

Over this last birthday weekend, I received over 100 wishes for happiness. A few in person. Some on the phone or by email. Most were via Facebook. My daughters noted it first, "Mom! Your timeline is EXPLODING!"

My birthday was on Saturday, but I waited until yesterday -- after the last family member backed his car out of our driveway -- to start reading and responding to my birthday greetings. What strikes me most is that, with each post, I picture that friend's face at the time that I met them or, more significantly, at the moment we became friends because we dared to open ourselves up to one another.

Even a little.

The memory snapshots flip through my mind. I recall the conversations and re-feel the tingles each person evokes in me. I've deeply loved many - and have been deeply in love with a special few. With tenuous ribbons of words, bits and bytes and images, we remain connected. The nature of the relationships alters over time. We grow. Or sink. Some of these reconnections solidified after years apart. Some of the friendships exist solely online as we share common interests.

With each, there's been at least one moment of vulnerability, one moment of intimate connection. We've immersed ourselves into a conversation, daring to ask a personal question or share an opinion or a memory or a dream or a story or some poetry or a bit of humor. We dared to bond.

So on this last day of my month of gratitude, I'm grateful that I dare to initiate or respond to these invitations. I'm grateful that I crack my safe shell, and break into vulnerability.

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