There’s an interview between Brené Brown and Chase Jarvis. Brené is a vulnerability researcher and story-teller — her life’s work is to study vulnerability, openness, and the practical applications. For happiness purposes.

She talks about empathy; specifically empathy compared with sympathy. Brown says that empathy is powerful because it says, I hear you, I’ve been there, and I know exactly how you feel.

Sympathy, instead, says, Wow, that really does suck and I’m glad that’s happening to you, and not me.

There’s a taboo in our society; we’re not allowed to talk about sadness. Weakness is punished, strength encouraged. But… People are under the illusion that they’re alone. That they’re the only person who feels sad because no one else admits it.

I’m sad fairly often. And I do all the right things — meditation, reading, physical activity, a girlfriend, good friends, and owning a small-time landscaping company. And yet, most every day fluctuates between melancholy. At some point, sadness is always present. I feel some kind of sad most every day.

And uncertainty plays a large role — uncertainty about this blog is the manifestation of uncertainty in my life. I’m not exactly sure what my blog is: sometimes I write on sadness. Sometimes about travel. Others, books and technology and sometimes I – try – to write motivational pieces.

The point is, even the people who you think have it figured out, don’t. Nobody really knows what in the hell they’re doing. Especially the people who look like they have it figured out because then they’re expected to lead based on the fact they’ve got it together. And in truth, no one is given a handbook for how to live.

I have no illusions that I have it figured out. I have no illusions that I’m a person who has it together particularly well, even. I just know that I feel sadness, uncertainty, and doubt just as often, if not more than other people.

Everyone feels these things. It’s just nice to know, first hand, from people’s mouths, that others feel them too. Because then you’re not alone.





11 thoughts on “Listen

  1. You are most definitely not alone 🙂 I know so many people struggling with melancholy and feelings of uncertainty. If you’re interested in vulnerability, check out “Hearts of Strangers” on Facebook. The man running it is all about vulnerability and sharing one’s story for others. He’s published a book, too! 🙂

    Thank for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting 🙂

      I would check him out, but I don’t have facebook. Sadface.

      I’ll look him up on Google though, I’d be interested in seeing what the guy’s about.


      1. I believe he has a tumblr account for Hearts of Strangers as well, but no worries on not having Facebook! Sometimes it’s nice to step away from it 🙂


  2. In your post you mentioned Brené Brown and I was like, wait a second I know that name:P Have your read her books the power of vulnerability and the gifts of imperfection? I found them both really interesting and enlightening, and I can definitely recommend them:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No! I watched the interview and my first reaction was, Fuck, I’ve got to pick up these books.

      Unfortunately, I’m also poor and have a long reading list to get to. But I’ve always loved topics involving happiness so I’m fairly certain I’ll cave.

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve found a bunch of people who understands my sadness but for some reason it’s still taboo to talk about. I don’t really get why… people need to talk if they want things to get better. I’ve learned that the hard way. These days though it often feels as if I’m that person who everyone else see as having it all figured out. So I help people carry their baggage and they keep handing me more without realizing that my back is already crushed beneath the weight of my own stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. linesDamn. I’m sorry. We’ve all been there, honestly. Sometimes you’ve got to take time for yourself.

      My go-to is usually music and G-eazy has this quote – don’t hate me because I’m quoting a rapper, I’m ashamed as well – about it in Me, Myself, and I.

      I’ll just link to it because I’d be embarrassed to type it: fifth paragraph, the first four lines.

      Liked by 1 person

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