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Mindblowing Ted Talk on how being vulnerability is the key to growth, happiness, and connection.

So much of “success” is about prediction and control, not about the journey or the fears you face along the way. Everything is about minimizing risk and maximizing control- another word for manipulation I guess you could say. Cheating love, cheating God, cheating ourselves.

I can’t tell you how many things I haven’t tried because I was afraid I would fail, how many feelings I didn’t face because I was ashamed to have them, how many cookies I’ve eaten to take my mind off things.

This year, it’s not so much about losing weight, getting organized, finding a real job, and no longer pursuing dudes (and old friends) who don’t care for me back. What I forgot from the “don’t pursue dudes” life lesson was the most important part- listen to your heart and time will tell. It wasn’t about love, it was about wanting to be in control of my destiny and romantic future. Hedging the fears I’d end up alone forever single, in a failed marriage, and never have kids.  I know I’m only 24 but it seems like every other day somebody’s getting engaged on facebook and when it comes down to it, it has made me so happy to get my dude’s texts on the way home from school his semester.

One of the reasons why this relationship or whatever it is has worked out so well so far is that there were so little expectations tied up in it, and so little pressure to envision a future. Plus, this dude truly does seem to live in the moment, for the most part.

it’s not like when from the first time I met this other dude, my last love interest, I thought he could be the one and the fact that in a drunken haze I thought he was the best kisser ever sealed the deal. I felt something that I’m still struggling to understand, and it seemed the more I got to know him the better he got, but I sometimes forget the fact that he was a little douchey au fond and while he could have been a bigger you know what to me, he wasn’t all that great either.

The fact that the guy, from the way I met him, to some demographic information, lack of English skills, to the timing in the middle of my around the world grad school program, it just took the pressure off. It was fun. And he was sweet, or at least he seemed sweet. I think he was sweet.  While I wouldn’t say there was an instant connection or magic chemistry between us, and I have compared him to the seemingly douchier but more of what I planned “he’s the one” guy, I feel this sense of spaciousness and lack of aggression, simply niceness with him.  I hear it in his voice, the kindness, and when he’s holding me I don’t feel trapped, I feel something expansive and vast, unknown.  When I was crying on the train platform, I felt alive, and I had no words.  A short while later, I felt relieved for having escaped the question of how to resolve it, and free. And then I was unhappy, dissatisfied, hurt, sad, angry.

I don’t really know what to “do” except be vulnerable. I’m waiting for another call (he did text me to say he’d gotten back to Paris ok) and trying to open my heart to the call of God, the goodness of the universe, and faith that I will be protected by something more more powerful than my own cunning, defensiveness, and cynicism.

I really don’t know anything- no real gurantee of where I’ll be in ten months after my program ends, if I’ll wake up tomorrow, and that the people I love will still be around. Dear Lord, give me the strength to be vulnerable, and care anyway, with no regrets, guarantees, empty promises, or false certainty.  Please help me to accept and embrace what you’ve got in store for me, and face it with courage.