Walking with vulnerability

It’s been a long time since I last wrote. I’m not entirely sure why; however, perhaps that doesn’t matter! Lately, though, life has been rife with change. At times, this has meant feelings of excitement, disappointment, sadness, and joy. It’s also meant that life has been rich with opportunities to sit with vulnerability and learn. Here, are a couple of examples of this learning in action:

In November I applied for a job that I really, really wanted. I  thought it was the perfect job for me and I pulled out all of the stops to make sure people knew, without a doubt, that it was the job I’d been waiting for. I gave it everything I had. In the end, I didn’t get the job (instead, I was offered a short-term faculty appointment) and to say I was disappointed would be an understatement: I was devastated. Yet, through the process, I discovered something: I realized that although initially I had thought I needed to prove to everyone else I could do it,  in the end, I proved to myself I could I do it. And that, irrespective of the outcome, was a pretty incredible learning. I am realizing that I am capable and I am worthy.

Then, in January, I needed a break before I started my new job and I went on a trip with someone that I didn’t know extremely well. We’d gone out on a few dates, and I figured a trip to Hawaii couldn’t hurt. Plus, I realized we’d find out pretty quickly if we would work or not. I was trepidatious; however, I also knew that sometimes you have to try and so I jumped in. In the end, it too didn’t work out; however, through the process, I discovered what I’m truly looking for in a relationship. I also experienced a sense of letting go, where I began to forgive myself for the ways in which I had shown up in relationships previously. I finally realized I had done the best I could, and that too was a valuable place to come to.

Fast forward to late January, where I was invited to travel to Sri Lanka to share my doctoral research. I hadn’t traveled internationally in over three years for work and I was scared. I worried about how the travel would affect my health, and I questioned if I had anything to truly offer. And yet, when the invitation came, I decided to go and I am so glad I did. In being there I was reminded how much I enjoy international work and making connections, and how we can support young people to be more meaningfully involved in post-conflict truth telling. This invitation was an incredible opportunity and again reminded of the power of vulnerability and taking chances.

Now, as I step into my new job, the dating world (geez this is scary), and life more generally, I am reminded about how feelings of vulnerability and fear are intimately intertwined with joy and sorrow and everything in between.I realize that to live life fully, I must take chances, step out of my comfort zone, and try.  In doing so, I am learning to recognize that my successes and failures do not define me, rather they help me to traverse and navigate my path in  life. I’m scared and excited; however, this is the opportunity to find my path, a path that awaits to be discovered.

Thank you for walking with me!

With love and gratitude,




  1. steven barer

    love your journeying, thanks for sharing.

    there is no fail,

    there is only win,

    or learn.


  2. Juliet Adoch

    Every time i get to read your post, I am reminded of the strength we have in vulnerability and in us that we often undertook. Your are surely an inspiration Cheryl, this post is what i just needed to reflect on my personal life, it just brought to mind so many things especially today

    Thanks for always sharing your journey with us.


  3. Robin

    Cheryl, I really enjoyed reading your post and how you link vulnerability and fear with joy and sorrow. You are very open and brave. I wish you all the best as your start a new job and continue your journey.

    x Robin


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