On vulnerability and otherwise.

I am the kind who doesn’t stay at one place for a very long time. The kind who hates discipline, unless it is self inflicted. I belong to the generation who aren’t acquainted to things like staying at one job for a very long time at a time where saying ‘ I don’t know’ is an acceptable response. Our relationships are as inconsistent as we are, and even the most sorted ones in my generation, didn’t intend to be the sorted kind.

In the recent times, I have rediscovered a few things about myself. This rediscovery has been because of multiple things. But I think two things that have changed me are leading a team at work and responsibility (rather increased responsibility) at the home. While my juniors make fun of me for being extremely calm and patient, I have realized that I am actually very calm and sorted in the head. While my team has screwed up more than once in a major ways, I have never been able to shout at them. Exception of one really extreme incident. While things at home have been consistently difficult, the only thing I manage to do consistently is not panic. At the personal front, a boy was a real jerk to me and what did i do? I shut him out for a few days, let him apologize, told him he was being a jerk and moved on(or I am trying to move on, to be honest). The reason I am writing all of this is not self appraisal or arrogance but the fact that I am realizing at what cost do I do this.

On most days when extreme shit happens, the kind that pushes me over to be visibly and openly angry, my reaction is to shut down, sulk or cry it out. Anger makes me cry. Being so calm most of the time means that when things go wrong, things that are beyond my control go wrong, I literally emotionally break down. My first instinct being – running away from it if I can. But I often can’t and it means facing shit and being open about the fact that how emotional it makes me.

Recently I came across a video that spoke of power of vulnerability. I have always been the kind who was never afraid to be vulnerable. As much as I appear otherwise, I always know how the choices I make are making me vulnerable. Many a times, I believe too much and let myself fall into some very visible traps. These are times when I know I am going to hurt but I still let go for one reason – if i don’t how will I find out otherwise? Being defensive about being emotional does very little. If you don’t give people a chance, they would never surprise. If you don’t get emotionally involved, how the hell can you care? It is not possible to be emotionally detached and yet be involved in something.

Sure, times like these, when I have too much on my mind, too much stress to deal with and some very difficult decisions to take, the only thing I don’t like about myself is just exactly this. The emotionality of everything around me gets overwhelming and the only thing i want to do is run away. The more emotionally involved you are, the more hurt you feel. The more it hurts to walk away and the more difficult the decisions become.

When I look back at short stints at workplaces, relationships that haven’t worked out, friendships I have walked away from, there is a pattern. The minute I felt I was all in and not appreciated for it, I have walked away. Or the minute I felt that I had given all of myself and the other side hadn’t returned the favor, I turned and left. Without another thought.

Is it ever the right reaction to things? I don’t really know yet. But I am trying to find out. Because sometimes walking away in peace isn’t an option and staying calm isn’t a reaction. There has to be a middle ground, even if it means compromise.

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