The Year of Vulnerability That Kicked My Ass and Made Me Stronger

Although I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, I do enjoy the reflection that the approach of a new year encourages. For a while now, every autumn, I choose a word as a year-long meditation to move forward with.

The first time I did this, I chose “Fearless”. I liked it so much, I kept it for a second year. Next I chose “The Year of Me” (2018)—I summarized how that went in this year-end blog. 2020 is my Year of Purpose. But this article is about 2019, the Year of Vulnerability.

TLDR: I got exactly what I wished for. 2019 was quite a year for me…

  1. I lost a close friend to cancer and grieved deeply for the first time
  2. I got into a (short but horrific) relationship with a psychopath
  3. A new business idea flat-out failed

I’m working up the courage to share stories about #1 and #2 in future posts; I summarized the business failure here.

What I want to say now about the Year of Vulnerability is that it was necessary. It was painful and awful and I often wondered if I was being punished for the privilege and self-centredness of the previous Year of Me. 2019 tested all the work I had spent 2018 doing on Me.

I don’t know exactly what I was thinking when I chose the word “Vulnerability”, but I got what I asked for. The experiences challenged to live my own truths in the face of distress, humiliation, and failure. Today, I feel proud of myself and certain that I have grown and permanently changed in ways I wanted to (even when I didn’t really understand what I was doing).

These are the 2018 “Year of Me” blogs that stand out for me now, on the other side of 2019, the “Year of Vulnerability”:

  • Matter Over Mind—I’ve maintained my “quiet mornings” ritual for two years now, and that’s directly related to Speaking My (own) Language (to myself)
  • Denying Myself—I find I’m good at catching myself doing this now and can halt the process almost before it begins
  • Stranger Than Fiction—it’s a continuing effort to separate my truths from “other voices”, but I’m getting pretty good at that, too.
  • Quality Assurance—this lesson is locked in! My quality of mind is my top priority, and (no surprise), only good things come from that.
  • What’s Your Number—I wish I’d known this truth when I was in my teens and 20s. But, as I watch my nieces navigate their way toward adult life, I realize I probably couldn’t have appreciated it at that age. Still, I hope that I’ve planted the seed in their minds so they can figure it out much earlier than I did.

Thanks for reading.


Future posts will be a mixture of blog-type experiences/lessons learned, poetry, and personal essays/storytelling. You can use the Subscribe feature in the footer of this website to receive new posts to your email inbox.


2 thoughts on “The Year of Vulnerability That Kicked My Ass and Made Me Stronger

Add yours

  1. Vulnerability is so important for us to be able to connect deeply with others. I’m learning so much about that right now through recently getting married. It’s a whole new world for sure.

    I’m curious, what would you say is your purpose?


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