I have never gotten too excited about the calendar turning over to another year. Especially in the past few years, it has become evident to me that a new year doesn’t mean anything has changed. That sounds somewhat bleak, but really, every moment of your life, you have the ability to pivot. You can make a change any day of any month of any year. January first doesn’t hold some supernatural power over change-making abilities.
I do love any excuse to celebrate, though, and my soul still has an air of optimism on January first. My brain tamps it down and makes it cautious, but I do tend to take stock of my life.
I got a text from a friend this morning – and as my first act of vulnerability for the year – she will know who she is after this blog post. It was actually a group chat so she technically said to Eric and me, but I took it personally: “I hope this year is better than the last, but if for whatever reason it isn’t just know you have 2 friends here to fight the fight with you.”
I believe her, and I also know that I haven’t allowed her – or anyone – truly come fight the fight with me, lately. The walls I have built around myself are there to protect me, but they have also prevented further developing these types of relationships with people.
So – vulnerability is what I choose to focus on this year. It is a natural progression – very closely related – to authenticity, which was my focus for 2022. But it’s diving deeper. I have been in survival mode for so long, and it just occurred to me today that if I let the people in my life in, allow them to “fight the fight” with me, I might just have the energy and capacity left to also be there for them.
Put simply: I want to be a good friend, and I want to have good friends. And at this stage in life, if we want authenticity in our relationships, vulnerability is a must.
In college, when I went through a period of wanting to be shocking on my Christian campus, I made a t-shirt I wore often. On the front, in bright red letters, it said “Nakedness is Key”. On the back, the true message: “True intimacy requires certain vulnerability.”
How was I so smart then (albeit attention-seeking), and where did I lose that important message along the way?