It’s OK to Give Your Agent a Break
In six months most babies can sit up, scooch themselves around a little, eat a smackrel or two of solid foods, and has a mom who is likely planning the Pinterest-worthy First Birthday Party of the Century.
It’s time to be thinking about a trip to the dentist, changing the smoke detector batteries, paying car insurance premiums and if a relationship has hit that six-month mark, there are either very bright things ahead or very sad things ahead.
A puppy has grown to 75% of it’s adult body weight, could be house trained and probably knows how to sit, stay and “get that squirrel!”
It took me six months to hit that “Go Live” button and make my blog something that could be read by anyone. Why in the world did it take me so long? Because it made me so vulnerable.
- the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
First we are going to talk about what I want to call our Agent.
This is the person that we put out for the world to see. She has a five-course dinner hot and ready every night at 5:30 sharp. Her outfits are polished, put together and she never needs a lint roller. She has adorable little cherubs, who are flawlessly ready for a magazine-level photo-op at any moment. Her house is like a Pottery Barn catalog, her husband is the sweetest, kindest, strongest, healthiest. Her selfie-in-the-car-game is on point. She is perfect.
That Agent is the person we send out into the world. It is the image we cultivate for others to see, judge and recognize. With the explosion of social media, it is easy to maintain a pretty impressive Agent. But it is also easy to get bogged down maintaining that Agent and it is easy to get bogged down in comparing ourselves to all the other Agents we see.
Having an Agent is not a bad thing. It is a protective mechanism. It maintains our ability to function in a crazy world.
So what does this Agent have to do with vulnerability? Because every so often we have to put the chargé d’affaires on the shelf and be real. Be willing to show that dinners can come out of the oven tasting terrible, that one of the adorable little cherubs refuses to wear a full set of clothes for the majority of the day, and that real houses actually look inhabited.
Those are some scary words that are indelibly connected with vulnerability.
But here is the pearl: allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is how we connect with each other. No matter how tough, mean or independent you may be, connection to others is something we, especially women, yearn to create and have.
That desire for connection is what makes us sit on the bleachers in a spring downpour watching high school baseball and plastering team stickers on our vehicles. Walks for finding cures. It has created the billion dollar NFL industry. Why Facebook has exploded into a worldwide phenomenon. Zumba. Tupperware parties. There are multitudes of mom groups for every variance of life stage, fitness groups, grocery store club cards, church youth groups, membership programs for every possible facet of life…the list could go on indefinitely illustrating the vast networks humans have created in the pursuit of connection.
That is why, in appropriate circumstances we allow our Agent to take off the suit and tie. We allow ourselves the freedom to laugh with other moms about our kids who set off firecrackers in the toilet, or make necklaces out of their baby teeth rather than give them to an arbitrary tooth fairy.
We allow ourselves to cry over lunch at the news of a trial or hardship, sickness, the rerouting of lives in the blink of an eye, the vulnerability to answer “How are you doing?” with a frank and sometimes tearful,
“Well, not so good today.”
That is vulnerability in its most pure and beautiful form. Admitting that the skies are not always blue and that emotions surge strong and oh-so tender beneath the surface.
It is the willingness to take off the mask and allow your true self to be seen, through a refreshingly clean and clear window of authenticity.
Take the chance to be vulnerable. Create connections. Invest in yourself and the people around you. The rewards will be tremendous.
A vulnerable person is still a beautiful person.