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VULNERABILITY TAKES CENTER STAGE If you took me out on a date, second thing* you should probably know about me is: I get hungover. A lot. Not due to alcohol though, merely due to ‘authenticity’. The headache is just as bad.

“The crowd dissolves and you remain on stage all alone.”

Bestselling-author, researcher and TEDx-speaker, Brené Brown once named this state of the “vulnerability hangover”: One moment, you’re being the most vulnerable warrior letting out a scream of victory over your fears, triggers and quirks——only to have a sea of both unimpressed and bewildered pairs of eyes staring back right at you. The crowd dissolves and you remain on stage all alone.

This is me on a daily basis.

I wear my heart on my sleeve and see connections and meaning everywhere. This worst-case-scenario I have every time I regain consciousness to whatever makes me human. “Overdone it!,” my fear whispers right after the curtain has fallen. Fear drags me metaphorically to the after-show party and gets me wasted until I don’t know who I was and what I went on stage for in the first place: Authenticity. It gives me a headache. I don’t know my limit.

Is there a limit anyway?

I wake up in the morning as a mess of a human.
 I am alone. My head hurts, my heart (ripped off my sleeve) racing next to me.
 Crowd: Gone. 
 Fear: Sitting on my chest.
 I gasp. Overdone it.

I check my phone: No new messages. Absurd. Scared them all away. Again. Stripping bare my soul. Again.

Dare me. I open twitter and cry for help at Brené Brown. Undo. Undo. Undo. Undo. Undo.

Brilliant Brené, I would never dare getting in your sight in this… mess of a human that I am… not even on Twitter. Close.

I put my emergency-happy-songs on shuffle, a playlist I use whenever I need a sign or silver lining. Like I said, I see connections and meaning everywhere. “Be Kind”, Zak Abel reminds me this time. He whistles. I stare at my heart next to me. Unimpressed. Bewildered. It just keeps beating minding its business.

I know I am absurd. A mess. Just as messy as life itself.

I remember. That’s why I went up on stage that night: Authenticity, vulnerability both are a part of the my experience. The mess of a human. I step up on stage stripping bare my soul to remind us of how human we are. 67 AWARENOW / THE KIND EDITION