There are these moments on stage where I have to close my eyes for a second and summon the courage to keep going.
Being vulnerable isn’t something that comes easily to me; sharing so much of myself with a room full of people I have just met.
Offering the things I am sometimes still scared of: my brokenness, my failures, my ugliness, my fragility, the messiest versions of who I have been and often still am.
It can be daunting, and terrifying, and sometimes more than I feel able to do.
I don’t stand on stage to perform; but to tell stories.
To share of blood shed on the battlefields of my healing and knees still scraped from the crawl and how I am made of wounds but still standing and how every scar etched on my skin reminds me what a goddamn warrior I am to have made it this far.
I don’t stand on stage to be set apart by a mic, but to be drawn together because of it.
To practice courage, knowing when I do, it offers that same courage to others. It gives permission. It creates space. It allows authenticity. It brings belonging and intimacy to a world overfed on information yet starved of connection.
I don’t stand on stage because I know how to be brave, but because I got tired of being afraid.
Our stories are our history. Our legacy. Our humanity. Our connection.
Sharing them requires the courage to be vulnerable.
But what makes us most vulnerable is where we become most beautiful.
“The speaking will get easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realised you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers and realise you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.” – Audre Lorde
Photo credit: Brendan Bonsack