In public. With good long-standing friends, not-so-long-standing friends, introduced strangers. Meeting up for a race day. Outside of my comfort zone – only experienced once before. Enjoyable in reality. Tense in anticipation.
With some of them, meeting up for the first time for six years. I don’t know if the endurance of friendships is remarkable or not. Perhaps all strong friendships will endure – if not regardless then nearly so.
I was tense beforehand. My crash was bound to be talked about to some extent – for all the right, good reasons. But sometimes recalling one or other aspect of it will tip me over – a little; a lot sometimes.
A danger with appearing in control is that you end up hiding that you’re not.
I don’t know what the triggers are, what’ll tip me. I don’t even know if they’re consistent. Indeed, I don’t know if I’m consistent.
As I write that down I realise I suppose it has to beg the question: why not? Why don’t I understand my vulnerabilities?
But is it vulnerability? To what? To whom?
I think perhaps what I’m worried about isn’t being upset (for want of a better word). It’s being upset at the wrong time, in the wrong place. And that’s just human, understandable.
And we will all have our triggers – things that will upset you. And yes, they probably can be variable.
The problems, the real problems, lie in the junk that comes with the word ‘vulnerable’. The foundation-less myths and groundless expectations. Perhaps the hardest thing is remembering the truth about vulnerabilities – namely, that we all have them.
And while it’s worth remembering that being invulnerable is a myth, it’s also worth remembering that myths can be convenient, helpful. Even if deep down we know the foundations are flimsy, sometimes even a shaky structure on top can serve to make the day-to-day bearable.
The why of it
In previous years I’ve dodged this get-together; this time I didn’t. That has to be a positive.
Is it just the passage of time that changed my mind, given me resolve? Maybe. Probably.
On the one hand you can attempt a rational understanding of the nature of vulnerabilities.
The unbidden, albeit groundless emotional impact they have is something different.