So as I work my way through Daring Greatly, I had my own exercise in vulnerability this week. I had a date with a guy scheduled last week but I was fighting a nasty cold so I asked him if we could reschedule. We agreed on rescheduling to Monday but I never heard from him about time, place, etc. so when he texted me at 1 o’ clock on Monday (three days later) I told him I never heard from him all weekend to finalize so I’d made other plans. Thinking I would never hear from him again after that, he actually texted me the next day and wanted to “try again” and promised he would confirm this time. I had a tough decision in front of me. Not even bother with giving him another chance after he already had started off with less than stellar manners or give him a second chance (the Benefit of the Doubt).
I felt like I was at a very interesting crossroads with an important decision to make. I could not text him back and likely never talk to him again. I could know that I was the one in control and that I had been the one to walk away before he had a chance to do it or to hurt me. Conversely, I could decide to acknowledge his effort in trying again with me and go out with him. I thought about it for a while and I decided this was a moment where Brené Brown was unknowingly testing me. I had the chance to allow myself to be vulnerable rather than run away or try to be the first to get out before I got hurt like I’ve done so often in the past.
So…I went out with him. He was 25 minutes late (after I told him I was running “a couple” minutes late), he didn’t walk me to my car, he was on his phone, and it was pretty clear he wasn’t looking for anything serious but he was interesting, attractive, and we had good conversation. It was a good way to spend a Thursday night and you know what? I’m 99% sure I won’t be hearing from him again but I’m OK with that. I don’t regret allowing myself to be vulnerable. I don’t regret opening myself up to the possibility he would be the one to walk away instead of me. Sometimes it’s just nice to meet someone new, to have a good dinner and to remind yourself of all the possibilities that are out there.
People come in and out of our lives for different reasons…all serving different purposes. I think this guy was that chance for me to put into practice all that I had been reading about really opening myself up and experiencing life, not being afraid of it. Not being afraid of being hurt or rejected. So Brené Brown and dude I went out with…I thank you for that lesson.