#14: If you’re not breaking glass, you’re not making glass.
How to welcome the "vulnerability hangover." It's a sign that you're doing something right. Something that only you can do.
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Dear friends and colleagues,
I told a friend something wrong last night.
I called Ann in the midst of a freakout. I described it to her as a vulnerability hangover.
I thought she was doing me a favor picking up the phone. But when I used this term to describe my emotion, she exhaled. It gave words to a feeling she knew well. I thought, and I told her, that I had invented the term.
What sucks about an emotional hangover is not the shame. It’s when the shame hits. It hits after I’ve something true to me. Something very Tristan. (Like my pilgrimage to George Floyd Square.)
Part of me is saying, “The rightness of this action in my body makes it worth it. You don’t need further validation.”
Then later, another voice says, “No one else will get this. You’ll be rejected. You’re f’ed.” The fear arrives. I look for the safe ground of approval. (See also: Nature vs. boxes.)
Do you ever feel this way?
Ann wrote it down. “Write about that tomorrow,” she said.
I checked the Internet this morning. As with many terms related to shame and vulnerability, turns out that Dr. Brené Brown wrote the book on it. So I’m going to share this lesson in my own way.
Not because I want to. Because I have to.
After I write this, and you read it, I hope we’ll both welcome the coming emotional hangover as a sign that you/I are doing something right. Something that only you/I can do.
Here’s the Tristan Roberts version…
If you’re not breaking glass, you’re not making glass.
See the shattered cup on the floor in front of this furnace at Wave Murano Glass?
The ponytail behind me belongs to my teacher for the day, Pia. She’s German, fell in love with glass-blowing after earning her degree in teaching. She’s been blowing glass for six years, has apprenticed all over Europe. She’s now at Murano, Venice, where humans have been blowing glass since 1291.
It was her task to teach four noob Americans to blow a glass cup in three hours.
The break on the floor belongs to the student who went before me. She cracked three attempts before leaving with a completed piece. She was kicking herself because she used to blow glass 25 years ago. She felt she’d pick it up again faster.
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