How much do you give away? How high do you let your freak flag fly? How do you know when you’ve shared too much? Is there such thing as sharing too much?
Over the past month or so, I’ve had two instances where I’ve spent the equivalent of 3 days with 2 completely unrelated strangers. And without really thinking about it much, I bared my soul to both of them, in different ways. So for the past few days, I’ve been mulling over all of this in my mind.
I’ve never been the vulnerable, sharing type. Normally when I meet someone new, I’m shy and quiet. A little guarded and not so eager to share. I used to completely hate talking about myself. Some of my best friends have even told me that they didn’t feel like they really got to know me until at least a year into our friendship. It’s safe to say I’m a pretty private person, even mysterious sometimes.
But why have these two recent instances been so different? I think it is time. But I also think it is confidence. I feel more balanced and centered in my life right now than I think I ever have. It seems as though everything around me is changing and going in all different directions, but that I am somehow seamlessly sitting pretzel style in the middle of it all saying ohmmmm with my eyes closed. At peace. In the chaos.
A few weeks ago, I started talking to a v cute girl (guys she’s beautiful) on Tinder. I was in Hawaii (and she was back in OKC) at the time, but as soon as we started talking, I felt a connection immediately. We were similar in some ways and different in a few others, but I felt this pull that I haven’t felt in a while. Excitement. Once I got back from my trip, we spent a whirlwind few days together. The kind that you see in a movie montage scene. Dinners, bars, museums, and her house as the setting. In just what amalgamated as 72 ish hours, I had told her about my last relationship and my family and what I felt like my true calling is. We talked about life and love and the stars. And I didn’t shy away from it even though after our 72 hour spurt my head started to feel like I’d shared too much. Like I’d given too much of myself to a perfect stranger. And I started to pull back a little. But I still didn’t regret telling her all of those things because in that space and time, I wanted to share myself with her. In hopes that she might find something, ever so small, to hang on to. Something she might resonate with or find sparkly in me. I felt like she saw me. But once the 72 hours were up and I knew I was leaving (she knew I was moving), this beautiful 72 hour movie montage of a romance was over. But it will always remain a beautiful moment to me because of the vulnerability we shared.
This past weekend I took a trip to D.C. with my soon to be roommate. We’ve face timed and have been talking since May, but we were still seemingly complete strangers. But somehow I felt so comfortable with her. Comfortable enough to show her my heart. Comfortable enough to share past hurts. Comfortable enough to analyze the past, present, and future in a bar in Dupont Circle. And I wasn’t scared of it. I didn’t give a little and lock the rest away behind the layer of sheet rock I have built around my heart. I let her in. I let her know what she is getting herself into mostly 🙂 But I was vulnerable. And it didn’t hurt me one tiny bit. I walked away from this weekend feeling like this next year is going to be pretty epic. And feeling pretty seen.
So why all the sudden am I giving of myself to strangers? Why do I suddenly not feel afraid of people knowing who I am and seeing me for me? I think it has a lot to do with time, but ultimately confidence. It has taken me over a year of working on myself to uncover the person I was and always have been. Self love is hard. And I still don’t view myself as a confident person, no matter how many times people tell me I appear that way. But I believe in all the little things that make me, me. And I finally believe in all the good things I can give to the world by sharing myself. I used to be so afraid of letting people in because that gives them the opportunity to destroy you. Vulnerability is hard. And scary. But from destruction comes amazing growth. And that is worth everything.