by Priyanka Raha ~ June 7, 2018
Today I cannot write about anything else but the recent happenings. The Kate Spade story left me rattled. The fact that she leaves behind an 11 year old girl makes me sadder than ever. She was a mother, a wife, a successful career woman and an icon. But above all she was a human. And like us all humans she was fighting her own battle against personal demons. This story by no means is the-one-and-only one. We see this happening to people we love, people close by and people who we look up to. Our upbringing as well as society teaches us to show ourselves as bold, courageous and strong. That makes us afraid to talk about our shortcomings. We have our guards up all the time. We are scared someone might think less of us. There is no space for vulnerability.
Social media amplifies this today. Our Facebook and Instagram posts are always our happiest selves. Getting likes on our tweets and posts make us happy. Our 24 hour access to the world means that we are constantly bombarded by tales of people who have crushed it and people who have got it all together. I read in an interview guide once to be prepared to talk about my weakness but to put a positive spin on it. It also mentioned that we need to sound authentic but come across as strong at the same time. I cringed! We are persistently managing our image, mending our words and revising how we feel. It shouldn’t be this exhausting. We are beginning to measure each other by how happy and powerful we are. But doesn’t it take utmost courage to be vulnerable and to accept failure. No, I am not talking about giving a positive spin to failure, just accept that I failed and it’s okay to flounder.
As I thought more and more about this I wondered how can we let our kids know that it’s okay to fail. It is okay to be wistful. How can we allow space for being vulnerable, to be a little foolish and to be a little silly?
No, I don’t have an answer, I just know - we must make space for vulnerability.