Vulnerable: exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. I remember clearly the first time I randomly opened up to a friend sitting in our high school auditorium during an assembly. I remember afterwards feeling less lonely and being amazed that we were going through the same experience. Who would have known?!! When was the last time you were (emotionally) vulnerable with someone or others? What did you share? How did it feel to take that step? What came out of the interaction? While I was growing up, vulnerable sharing was not encouraged by my family nor school. It was not until sophomore year or so did I get encouraged to share my experiences or feelings with others. And the forum in which the encouragement took place was through an external program that came to our school for a day. Other than that, connecting with peers at a deep level and sharing our struggles was not encouraged, nor were there forums to have these opportunities. As you can imagine, a lot of my peers were struggling and no one knew. I know I was. Unfortunately as I get older, the idea of sharing tough moments with others becomes harder in fear of judgment, rejection, and lack of understanding. It has not been programmed in me to share in this way. However, when I fight societal norms and go for it, the conversation and connection that transpires is magical and makes my heart smile. I believe we’re created to connect at these levels. Without vulnerable sharing (with someone I trust) I would feel lonely and not grow. Growth happens from receiving others’ insights, encouragement, and advice during these conversations. So the next time you have the opportunity to be vulnerable, go for it! Listen to the tug at your heart to open up and let someone in.