If you have ever spoken to me in a professional capacity then you know that I am an all Brene Brown fan. That is because, years ago, her work changed my life. One year after my getting out of a 12 year marriage and a 19 year relationship with the father of my son, having gotten a mortgage in my own name, broke and in debt, at the beginning of a relationship that was amazingly rewarding for my soul but frowned upon by everyone outside of my body, I discovered Brene Brown through her TED Talk on vulnerability. And for the first time in my life I looked at this concept of vulnerability as something else than a flaw. For the first time in my life I understood that feeling afraid, unsure and shaky did not mean I should not go forward, these were not signs of impending failure, they were opportunities for courage.
I Thought It Was Just Me was the first book I read by Dr. Brown and … it changed my life. Because … I was thinking it was just me that was feeling utterly confused about life, discouraged one moment, exhilerated another, happy and panicked at the same time, on most days. I had thought it was just me that second guessed my every move and was often succumbing to voices that, though in my own head, were not mine. I inhaled every single word from the book, I drew posters of the quotes, stuck them to my dresser so I would be reminded every single day. And started to follow Dr. Brene Brown.
A decade later, she has not let me down. Having gone through all her books, another TED talk, Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, Rising Strong and Daring Greatly workshops, there was never one single time that I left a “meeting” with her not having learned something new. She touched my soul, every single time.
For the past months Dr. Brene Brown has been on a sabatical and this morning I listened to her coming back podcast. Her rawness, her vulnerability, her honesty brought me to tears and I found myself once again thinking, I thought it was just me … .
Now, I am not going to compare myself to Dr. Brene Brown. That would be like comparing the Queen’s funeral to the funeral of the despondent King Michael of Romania who had not reigned in “his country” for decades when he died. I haven’t made this up, I just heard this on TV and had to laugh out loud.
Apart from the sheer admiration at the way Dr. Brown opens up about some extremely hard moments in her life over the past year, the podcast pointed to some of the thoughts I have been struggling with in the months past my resignation from a job I had known for so long: who am I if I am not … ? will anyone care to talk to me? will I lose my skill? what skill would that be actually?am I good or was I just good in that context?
When I left the organization I had worked in for over two decades, to my surprise, there were several colleagues who told me they envy me and would like to be able to do the same. Obviousness aside – life’s about choices, working on my own has been a different kind of hard. Feeling disconnected, saying yes or no to projects on my own behalf and of my own volition, accounting for my work without the comfort of hiding behind a company profile, money and status issues … to name just a few.
Dr. Brown came to my rescue one more time this morning, whispering in my ear that even the mighty have moments of confusion and turmoil. Again, I thought it was just me …
Thank you, Dr. Brown! Again!
Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash