Unplanned. Unscripted. Unfiltered.
That’s what happens when the clock strikes twelve and you’re still awake after watching the sunset over the water, then snuggling on the couch to indulge in an 80s-style grunge band movie (Sing Street).
Conversation gets sparked and inspiration strikes. If you live with a filmmaker, it gets filmed live. Without prep or planning. In sweats and curled up on the couch.
You could say that’s where the magic happens. I’d say that’s where walls come down and vulnerability makes an appearance.
And then there is the hangover. Courtesy of Brené Brown, we all know the existence of the vulnerability hangover. I didn’t feel the hangover right away because I wasn’t thinking about anyone actually seeing what we recorded, and I hadn’t seen or heard myself on camera yet. So it was living out in the ether.
Until, the editing started and I heard and saw myself, and wanted to run to the bathroom to throw up from the anxiety of being so open. How could I have shared so much? Why did I let myself get emotional? What was I thinking? I have to tell him to pull it, that he can’t use it. What if people criticize and tear me apart (the way I do myself)? What will people say? Or not say?
Then a quieter voice, somewhere deep in my core, whispered it would be okay. This was right and good and pure. Raw emotions from a pure heart shared with the world. That’s a gift, the voice whispered. Not even a voice, more like a feeling, a knowing.
So I let it be… and now it’s out for all to see. I may retreat for the time being and let the waves of nausea wash over me. That is the hangover reality. Dear Brené argues that’s it’s absolutely the right place to be. Without that response, you haven’t gone far enough.
Perhaps I will come to believe that vulnerability truly is “our most accurate measure of courage.” Or perhaps I’ll declare war on myself again for what I could have said better, different, or more succinctly. Most likely I’ll swing wildly back and forth between the two opposing points, hanging on for dear life until the hangover passes.
As much as I’d like to speak and write with perfectly polished wisdom and grace, that’s not how life works. At least not mine. That just might be what makes me real and human and relatable. Reminds me of the Velveteen Rabbit…
When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.
Does it happen all at once, like being wound up, he asked, or bit by bit?
It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand. – The Velveteen Rabbit