Vulnerability and Authenticity


Soon after becoming a mom, I started writing again, but at the time, my blog was nothing more than a personal journal. Despite never sharing the content with anyone, I used the short-lived project to document the new, sensational morphing of my identity. Armed with a phone during 2am feedings allowed the generation of a seemingly neverending list of topics to come to life. Capturing the small joys of baby snores snowballed into grappling with the big questions of self-identity, self-care and body image. Dusting the cobwebs off of those neurons started to remind me of the person I was before baby. I still had ideas. I sometimes still had a sense of humor. And I was still self-critical.

Vulnerability and Authenticity | Duluth Moms Blog

Shortly before the birth of my second child, I opted out of most forms of social media. Consciously, I wanted to quiet the white noise of technological distractions, simplify the daily task list, and huddle into new baby-dom and the impending playfulness of summer. Albeit somewhat smugly, I was happy to turn off the lights to a list of acquaintances. Previously I had tried to pare down these connections: if I couldn’t imagine myself having coffee with this person, why were they combing through my family pictures? What did we really have in common?

As a self-professed extrovert, it’s an easy misconception to assume I’m an openly public person. I thrive in the one-to-one or small group dynamic, possessing immense gratitude for the deep, authentic friendships that have decreased but strengthened over the years. But outside of that small community, I wouldn’t be surprised if my acquaintances confused my enthusiasm with a willingness to share. It stems from this sense of vulnerability: I’m still trying to figure myself out, so let me do the work in my head–that way the messiness, the contradictions, and the judgment resides within, and not at the risk of having to explain that Venn diagram to someone else. It’s a constant dialogue of self-actualization, for better or for worse. That’s enough work, right?

My friend from another community encouraged me to apply to be a writer for Duluth Moms Blog. So now as a new contributor, while elated to be a member of this already-minted supportive physical and virtual community, I’m having to revisit my stance on what I share and how I do this authentically. Putting myself out there is intimidating. That blurred line of private and public is a little frightening for me right out of the gates.

Millennial workplace guru Lindsay Pollak recently published an article on authenticity in the workplace, but I really saw how this concept could apply to finding my voice for this project. To paraphrase the article, it’s a balance of the successes and failures that often resonate with your community, and within yourself. So I’m going to try to adopt this adage in full force as this project takes off. Accept my flaws with grace. Laugh at my failures. Envision success the next time around. Celebrate the wins even more. And then hit ‘send.’

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Carrie and her husband of ten years are raising their sons, ages four and 15 months, with the guiding family principles that wiffle ball games can turn into neighborhood events, packing extra snacks never hurts, and the best way to end dinner time is with a family dance party. Her full-time work away from home is in higher education, equipping students with pathways to success during and after college. As a native Duluthian who returned to the area after completing a graduate degree in English, she’s motivated to develop this community for young professionals and families. Beyond frequenting parks and the kid-friendly spaces of the Zenith City, Carrie puts in miles on the trails and the Lakewalk for self-care and to maintain a supportive female community. Some of her personal goals for the near future include completing a marathon (maybe), starting a book group, and planning next year’s family vacation. She is hopeful she can use some of her challenges and growth as a mom with young children as a catalyst for community support.


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