• Maya Hope Milton

Thanks Brené Brown

Hey Hiya!

Where do I start? I'm just so happy you're here, reading this. Starting a blog is something that I've always wanted to do, but I was afraid. In reality, I had no reason to be. In all likelihood, this blog would start, I'd talk about things I love, like art or interesting social phenomena. Maybe a few people would read it, or perhaps it would blow up, but it would be unlikely that I'd have mobs of people going after me threatening to burn me at the stake for hating Deadpool (sorry, not sorry).

I guess I say in reality like my biggest fear w̶a̶s̶ is death threats, something that happens to few people. What I am afraid of is much more common: that people would think I'm boring. Yeah, yeah, woe is me. A couple of people might not be interested in my rants on how amazing I felt I'm Thinking of Ending Things was or be totally annoyed by my mopey, trauma-induced poetry; there may be a few people looking into the professional services I have detailed and think they aren't anything extraordinary either. This doesn't seem like that big of a deal, and although I diminish this anxiety by questioning its reality, it's genuine and what has held me back from enjoying my early twenties. I kept a job that made me feel trapped for the sake of stability and lost opportunities of my dreams because of the fear of being boring and, ultimately, the fear of failing.

I was aware of all of this. I evaded risk for comfort and dreams melted away as I let myself seep in my anxiety like a tea bag in boiling water, turning black with mundane normalcy. I became so aware that I was turning into a shell of my past, vivacious self that I thought this was part of getting older. Watching as my friends graduated college, traveled the world, moved away and began plans to start their own lives with jobs they dreamed of didn't even snap me out of it.

It was a late night, and my insomnia was relentless. I needed to burn some energy, so I decided to clean my kitchen and listen to something. I'd exhausted my usual podcasts and true crime Youtube videos, so I turned to Netflix documentaries. I saw one from Brené Brown, someone who's Ted Talks and books inspired me to be the loudest person in the room during my late teens, and clicked to listen to the familiar voice. I relished in the feeling of self-satisfaction as I heard Brené go on about the power of vulnerability. I thought I mastered being vulnerable at 19, so this talk was just a massive ego inflation in my mind. Little did I know that the balloon was about to burst when Brené said that there needed to be risk involved for one to be legitimately vulnerable. Although I was shocked, it felt like she was putting me on a life preserver, quickly bringing me to the shore of realization. I suddenly knew that I wasn't vulnerable in significant aspects of my life. I neglected my dreams for comfort in fear of failing and boring.

With new knowledge, I knew I needed to risk. I listed and planned and let myself fear when I needed it. Then I invested and acted, and now I am here, and I plan to stay and take more risks. I hope you do too, at least for a little while to watch me. This blog may not always be happy or perfect or out of the norm, but I'm promising to show up and be authentically vulnerable. I'm vowing to document the good and the bad for the sake of vulnerability, even if that means this content isn't the aesthetically pleasing blog of my dreams. It's my turn to be courageous and start living, and I want you to see it.

xx Maya

Vulnerability is not winning or losing. It's having the courage to show up when you can't control the outcome.

-Brené Brown