Being Vulnerable Takes Guts

From a very young age I’ve been writing about things personal to me, mainly because I needed to talk about them and nobody was willing to listen.

So, I wrote. It didn’t matter if anybody read them or not.

I didn’t know I was being vulnerable back then. I didn’t know how important a trait vulnerability really was for artists all around the world, to be good at their art and more importantly, to be noticed. I didn’t think it was hard to keep doing it once you had people paying attention to your work. I didn’t know it was something I would soon turn out to become afraid of as I kept writing more.

They say being vulnerable is hard.
They sure knew what they were talking about.

We’ve all heard of attention seekers haven’t we? You know, the people who constantly keep doing things to attract attention to themselves? I know I didn’t have to explain that, but whatever.

Anyway, my point is every time we hear the words “attention seeker” there’s always at least three names of the people we know that pop up in our head. And we don’t necessarily like these people. Who does? Why would anybody like someone who grabs all the attention in a circle of people? Even the attention that you might’ve got if it wasn’t for these people doing something far more interesting than you can ever possibly imagine to do.

Oh, no, don’t get offended. I didn’t mean you only hated them because they had something you didn’t.
Or did I?

We’re all told bringing attention to ourselves is a bad thing. It’s a selfish thing and no nice person should be doing it. Almost as if stating your presence in the world was a sin. Almost as if walking around the planet pretending you don’t take up any space was the right thing to do.

Now I don’t know what the solution to this is when it comes to living out there in the real world as an attention seeker or around an attention seeker. As much as bringing attention to oneself I believe is not a crime, I don’t think that it’s not annoying either.

It is annoying but who are we to ask somebody to not do something that simply states the fact that they exist, maybe in a little exaggerated way.

It’s complicated. But what I’m getting to is how this transforms itself into a weird manifestation in the world of writers. In artists of all kinds definitely, but more specifically in writers. The people who are attention seekers but on paper.

Isn’t that what we all are?

For we do nothing but ask people to pay attention to our words.
We don’t scream out in the real world, so we scream on paper. Quietly but just as passionately. And fiercely. And intensely. And any other adverb you can think of.

You might say that that’s not true. That writers are not attention seekers. Maybe ’cause you’re a writer yourself and you’ve never heard anyone calling you such names before. If you haven’t come across such people, trust me, you eventually will.

I’ve always writren about my story in one way or the other. Sometimes hidden in fiction and sometimes pretty direct, like on my blogs. I’ve always thought of it as charity, you know. Weird I should think that. Actually it’s not that weird. I thought telling your stories to someone was helping that someone more than it was helping me because that’s how stories of other people always affected me.

I might’ve survived on food and water all my life. But stories are what that kept me alive. Stories of people I didn’t know. Stories of people I didn’t have any personal interest towards. Stories I didn’t have the necessity to care about.

But I cared. Simply because they were stories and that it mattered. It mattered enough to change somebody’s life. And somehow, that changed mine.

To give an example, there are times when I come across one of those YouTube videos with people just crying and talking about what they went through. I don’t know about you, but not once have I ever thought that they were only asking for attention. Not once.

That should explain why I was so proud of telling my stories when I first started doing so.

What followed was – a bunch of people who didn’t think so. Not just any people. People who claimed they loved me. People who were always there for me. People who were my own.

Apparently, according to them, I was cheap. I was cheap for selling my stories just to make money out of it.

._.

Apparently I didn’t have any dignity.
Apparently I had to be ashamed of the writer I am.
Apparently I didn’t deserve to be read by people.
Apparently I would stand out for all the wrong reasons.
Apparently people would shun me.
Apparently I was being an idiot.
Apparently I was only naive, and had no idea how big the consequences to sharing personal stories were.

Well, I didn’t know this side existed. So, maybe I was naive.

I was broken at the end of this conversation, of course. I was broken for at least a week before I stumbled upon another YouTube video of somebody crying and realized again, that there was no part of me that thought they were only asking for attention. Most of me was just grateful how they saved me life by telling their stories that day.

But the effects of that conversation never ceased to take a toll on me. Everything that I wrote ever since, I stopped putting my heart out there. As much as I had assurance that it wasn’t a sin to tell your story, I was always haunted by somebody out there telling me it was. I became afraid of what they might say. From hoping that telling these stories would save lives, I started to fear that telling them will only bring down their value to me and to the people it mattered to.

And maybe that’s why I’m writing this today. Not to tell you that vulnerability took guts and was something you shouldn’t be ashamed of, but to tell myself that vulnerability took guts and was something I shouldn’t be ashamed of. That it makes me not a lesser writer but a better one to share the stories that mattered to me and touch more lives out there by doing so consistently. That no matter how many lives I touch, there will always be people who try to pull me down with them. That the value of my story doesn’t lie in their hands but in my own. That they shouldn’t be the reason I didn’t do what I wanted to do. That it really did take courage and a lot of guts to go through such a process and all the after effects it will continue have. That being a writer, or like some may call it – an attention seeker, is what I am and I don’t see any wrong in it.Β That it is in fact something I should be proud of doing.Β Every day. No matter what anybody says.

You can stick all the labels you want on my head. But I will continue to do what saved my life, in the hopes of saving many others out there. I will continue to tell my stories. I will continue to be who I am. I will continue to fight for what I can be.

Hopefully another writer really needed this in their life right now. And hopefully that in itself proves how sharing your stories matter.

Peace out.
πŸ’‹

15 thoughts on “Being Vulnerable Takes Guts

  1. Thankyou so much…
    This message is so powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Almadyne,
    Thank you for this honest post. You hit the nail on the head when you wrote, β€œThat the value of my story doesn’t lie in their hands but in my own.”
    There will always be people that like to bring others down. Because they do not have the confidence or courage to put themselves out there.
    A hard lesson, we all had to go through this but your words show your inner strength.
    Keep in keeping on, and write to your hearts content. You will always have people who appreciate your writing.

    Jordan xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey,
    As long as one is not blind to others, its imperative to market onself. But what you are doing is not marketing yourself. You are being a mirror in which we can see pieces of our own lifes equivalent, and maybe reflect.
    There is a difference between showing off, marketing oneself and telling the truths out aloud, as you see it, about our lives.
    The later is what you do, its necessary for us to ponder and reflect, thats what art tries to do. And to play with those emotions one needs to ransac ones own desk of emotions. And that hurts. That opens your dreams, feelings pains joys and desires up for open. You and any other artist, I think burns and bleeds oneself just to get the resources to construct the art. Its a sacrifise for the generations to enjoy and reflect on it. And it dosent hurt somebody. So go on you are great.
    Sorry I made it too long did I not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It isn’t too long. Thanks for this ❀

      Like

  4. Thank’s for sharing this.
    This words means a lot. I’m actually in a process of (afraid of writing) because of some things around me that made me change. I keep writing some stuff but I’m affraid my identity vanish because of “stalkers”… I think I made some mistakes and probably I wrote to much about my process of fighting for myself.
    This message is very important to remind us. Thank you so much. (And sorry for my bad english)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, your English is not bad. Nobody is perfect. You should see the number of typos I make all the time πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Very well said. Writing can be very cathartic, and the words, memories, or reflections can touch another’s heart when it longs to be reached. Keep writing from your own heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think this is partly a generational issue. While a number of people have called me courageous and have said that in helping others by being so honest about my depression, there are always those friend’s and family that are fearful of what you might say. I believe it has to do with a fear of how it will reflect on you, but a bigger fear of how it will reflect on them. They make themselves victims. So, who’s the attention seeker then?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I honestly feel that people who don’t appreciate your writing can either provide constructive comments to help you improve, or keep their thoughts to themselves if they don’t love you enough to do the former. Those who label you as attention seeking, guess what, there’s nothing wrong with seeking attention. The most successful folks succeed because people knew about and resonated with what they did, and what they did changed lives for the better. So I hope you continue to feel good about yourself and your work.
    Connie
    http://www.sassy.mom

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is a really honest, beautiful and inspiring post. Maybe those people calling you an ‘attention seeker’ are actually jealous that you’ve been able to share your thoughts and make yourself vulnerable. It takes guts to do that, and is something not everyone is capable of doing. Keep going!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t say they were jealous. These were people who were my own. I don’t want to say too much but they might’ve been family. That’s what sucked. That’s what made me want to write this.
      Thanks for what you said though. Means a lot. 😊❀

      Liked by 1 person

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