I am a coward. I purchased the url thebrodhisattva.com and set up this website months ago with a bold plan. Like I have done so many times in my life, I just barely started on the path towards fulfilling this brave dream, and then I faltered.
For the past two years, I have been on a journey of self-discovery and personal advancement. I’ve been working my way through depression, middle-age malaise, lack of purpose, emotional poverty, marriage difficulties, poor health habits, etc., etc. Sosh, one of my oldest friends in the world has been on a similar path, and his support has been invaluable. The man has quite literally saved my life more than once. Because sometimes, on such a journey, it can feel like you’re all alone.
Sosh and I knew, deep in our hearts, that we couldn’t be the only ones struggling. Statistically it’s obvious, but just from our experience it felt true. We both know too many men who outwardly seem to have all of their shit together. But if you scratch just a few microns below that shiny veneer, the whole damn thing starts to fall apart.
So we wanted to share our journey. We purchased the url, created the site, made separate blog spaces for both of us, even added in some stock photos to pretty it up. We were going to create something and put it out into the world. We’d start with the blog and eventually segue into a podcast. We would create a guide to men’s self advancement, something personal that could extrapolate out to help others as well. We would lead with vulnerability and openness and raw passion for what we felt and believed. We would create a safe space to share our journey and invite other men along for the ride, creating a community of men all looking to be better men. That was the dream.
That was months ago. And it’s just been sitting there collecting virtual dust. Little pixelated spiders are building webs in the almost empty code.
It turns out, leading with vulnerability is scary as shit. I have a life, a family, and a career. What happens if my mom reads this? Or my colleagues? Or my boss? What if I really am as fucked up as I worry that I might be? Will the world take one look at my ramblings and send in the men with nets? If I am open and honest, I’m going to make mistakes and I will misspeak. Will I end up canceled? Relegated to the ranks of toxic white men no longer fit for polite society? Or even worse, will no one even care? I could be just another whiny, middle-aged, white guy, sucking my privileged thumb and bleeding out my heart onto a virtual page that no one can be bothered to click on much less read.
So, yeah. I’m a coward.
But you know what?
I’m really fucking sick of being a coward.
This pandemic has been rough, and it’s far from over. People very close to me who I love dearly are currently sick. I wake up with worry and sadness in my gut every single day. But… and this may sound strange… in some ways this pandemic has been one of the absolute best things to ever happen to me.
It can be so easy to coast through life, pushing down those vague feelings of dissatisfaction and angst. We all do this, especially as men. We put our head down and do the job, because that’s what is expected. But a pandemic is a perfect weapon to knock you out of complacency. All that turmoil and confusion and fear, all of that suddenly found time when the world shut down, it really made me stop and look at myself. It made me take stock of what’s important and what I want out of life.
And what I want, as much as I want anything, is to live an authentic life. I want to be true to myself. I want to be open and honest about who I am and to stop curling up and hiding in this pathetic, cracked, duct-taped shell I’ve been carrying around all my life.
I want lead with vulnerability.
So this is me. I’m taking that first step. I’m cracking open my sternum and exposing my weak, quivering heart. I’m dripping my lifeblood out into the electronic ether, and I hope you’ll join me for the journey.
Here goes nothin’.