Over the past few days several friends of mine have blogged pieces that capture their vulnerable moments. I don’t know what it is about the timing of things, but here are a few posts that talk openly about daily struggles that people face. It is a litany of honesty and thoughtfulness from people who otherwise need to project a more solid image to the world.
Laurie Kingston, an old friend from university days has been blogging for years about her life with cancer. A couple of weeks ago, she published a letter about where she is in her journey which is powerful in its confronting of fear and uncertainty.
Charles LaFond is the Canon Steward of the cathedral of St. John’s in the Wilderness in Denver Colorado. Our friendship and colleagueship has blossomed over the years as we have served congregations together and explored the applications of the spiritual resources of hosting. He keeps a daily blog on the cathedral’s website. He writes today on despair.
Back in 2002, I kept a blog about the Toronto Maple Leafs, and through that writing I met Jordon Cooper who was the editor of a blog called The Hockey Pundits. I wrote there for a couple of years until the NHL lockout destroyed my interested in hockey in 2004. Jordon’s writing ranges from spirituality to sports, culture and to his family and personal struggles with health and the medical system. Today he shares a peek under the hood of struggling with a chronic health condition and being in relationship.
Lesley Donna Williams is a colleague based in South Africa. We met once, but I feel like we know each other better from our social media connections over the years then from the one time we met! She works as an entrepreneur and documents her experience as a mixed race woman living in a country that struggles everyday with integration. It’s a fertile, bewildering, energizing and anxiety provoking context, and so it’s not surprising that once in a while she will experience burnout. This post today captures what the journey with burnout is all about.
Tenneson Woolf is one of my closest friends and professional colleagues. We tumble through the world together in mutual admiration of each other’s gifts, and we bring so much that’s different, that we complement each other beautifully. It’s easy working and hanging out with him (we’re doing both this weekend in Salt Lake City and next week in New Mexico!). Tenn writes his heart at his blog called Human to Human, and today he writes about those days when you just have to put one foot in front of the other.
Rebecca Contant and I know each other because we are both Vancouver Southsiders, devoted supporters of the Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club. The Southsiders are a group of a couple of thousand of us that sing, chant, cheer and create art together in support of our team. It is a participatory and inclusive activity, and we actively embrace social inclusivity in our activity. Rebecca uses this awareness opening as a jumping off point for how to create inclusive spaces for gender identity issues to be considered in the craft of teaching physical education. The post is a vulnerable exploration of what it feels like to confront these issues with compassion and thoughtfulness.
And finally, here is a Storified twitter exchange I got into last week with two gun-loving, anti-gay Americans as we discussed a recent bill in North Carolina that would force transgender people to use the gendered washroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate, despite the situation that would put people into. This discussion is at turns alarming and terrifying and funny and it ends with a major surprise and a crack of vulnerability.
These kinds of posts illustrate the parts of social media that I love. For many of us, writing is the way we explore our hearts to the world, and the nature of social media – whether through blogging, twitter, facebook or instagram – means that we can engage with each other’s writing and vulnerabilities. Revealing these insecurities makes for a more empathetic and honest world.