vulnerability.

At the beginning of this year, 2020, there was one word that really resonated with me. I thought it would carry with me through the year — vulnerability.

This word has not let me down. However, the way I thought vulnerability would influence my life is different than what I imagined. At the beginning of the year I intended to spend time delving into what it means to have a brain that constructs reality and also believe in God.

Then March arrived…

First a global pandemic.

And then…

The realities of racism.

Surviving a pandemic and confronting racism both seemed far more important than dealing with the complexities of the mind, reality, and God.

Yet, life keeps going. The past six months have been a whirlwind… There are so many things that have, and haven’t happened. And y’all, I want to tell you EVERYTHING — every dirty, grimy, messy, little detail. I want to tell you allll about what he did and what she said and what they are doing and how awful we are. But those stories, while mine, are not mine to share. I want to be vulnerable with you but I also don’t want to violate the sanctity of the relationships I have. So what am I to do? How do I live out vulnerability without violating the trust of others?

Honestly, I’m not totally sure. It’s a question I have been struggling with for months. The reason I started this blog was because I often felt (and still feel) completely alone in this world. I wanted others, especially people like me, to know they are not alone. It turns out there are more people like me than I ever could have imagined… And yet, no one is really like me at all.

I am a single mother, a marine corps veteran, a white woman, a Christian, a scientist, a graduate student at MIT, a foster care alum, someone from a low SES — but those are all just labels. Removing the labels, I am just another person, like you, that feels entirely alone in the world.

And, I am… exhausted!

School is hard. Parenting is hard. Relationships are hard. Living through a pandemic is hard. Racial reconciliation is hard. Life. Is. Hard.

Through all of the “hard” there is also joy. I have a home — not just a roof over my head but a place where my daughter and I live. Together. I have a beautiful view of the city and the sky and clouds. I have food — every. single. day. I have friends and relationships and people that care about me. I may feel alone, but I am not alone. At the lowest of my lows, there is always someone I can call that is willing to listen. I have learned to truly be a friend — to listen to, care for, and be present and engaged with people, even when they are far away. And now I have people in my life that are willing to do the same for me — and for those relationships, I am truly grateful.

But, I have failed all of you. With so many hard things going on in the world, I have been so scared to share myself with all of you. Scared of what you might think, scared of how you might judge me, scared I would say something unforgivable. In my fear, I failed to be vulnerable in the ways I promised I would be. You deserve better. We deserve better. This world is not as it should be. I am not the person I want to be. But I am on a path toward becoming a better person. I am being refined. I am learning. I am growing. Thank you for your patience and for bearing with me on this journey. For all of you, I am so very grateful. Thank you for encouraging me to still write and share my voice, I appreciate all of you more than you can even imagine.

With all my love,
Heather

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