One of the many reasons that this online space has been quieter than it has in years lately is that I’ve felt vulnerable. When I stepped into 2021, I knew I wanted to make some shifts and changes in my life. No, I needed to. If 2020 taught me anything, it was that life is too short and fragile not to strive for your own version of abundance in every corner of said life. Now that my old commuting routine, after-work stress relievers (dinner with friends or solo gym sessions), weekend expectations and external sense of self had been stripped from me, what was left?

In truth, it’s been much messier than I envisioned. It was never going to be as easy as checking off a few things from a to-do list. In fact, checking each off opened new cans of worms. For one I gave myself the space to uncover what really drove me outside of 9-5 work and running a hobby blog. But I don’t yet have the means to make that a full-time reality. Then that led me to realise that I was stuck in a relationship that looked and felt great sometimes, but that plagued me with insecurity, emotional and financial distress, lack of support… So then I followed my head and heart and we broke up. Throw in a whole global pandemic, a difficult and strict lockdown, and the category is vulnerability.

The Piscean energy in me always believes that the universe has my back. By chance, I got to reconnect with one of the most important people in my life but the timing couldn’t be worse. The past five months have been some of the hardest of my life and, recently, I finally let myself be the most vulnerable I’ve been in years.

There’s human intuition in us all to adopt a pack mentality. We draw up our own standards against what ‘they’ are doing. Suddenly I felt like I couldn’t gasp for air with so many changes in my life and noticing that I was only ‘connecting’ with people virtually. I’d see others flourishing in their careers, managing to create – and share – dreamy content, finding things difficult but showing up anyway. And for me? I did a tiny bit of everything badly with no real drive or soul behind it. But maybe that’s fine too. Maybe what’s important are the genuine, tangible connections and building a community that you can lean on and that leans on you.

As I write – ahem, brain dump – this post, I still feel incredibly guilty for not meeting expectations. But whose expectations are they? And what are those expectations? Here’s a slither of vulnerability for this blog: I suppose I feel like I’m letting people down by not being a maximalist in activism, in promoting a slow joy-seeking life, in chasing your own autonomy. But, like my friends told me the other evening, you lead by example and the examples can be a little each day to amount to a lot. So where to, from here? I’m not sure. But here’s to leaning in to being vulnerable – we’re only human, after all.

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