Don't Be Afraid of Being Vulnerable

OK, I must admit, I'm still trying to teach myself that vulnerability is nothing to fear. We all want to be tough, secure, and confident. But everyone, deep inside, is vulnerable, and that's perfectly normal. In fact, the only way to find happiness is by letting your guard down.

If you long to love and be loved, you must first allow yourself to be naked (figuratively) before the world. There's nothing wrong with saying "I love you" first. It's OK to not have the sentiment returned. By saying the words, you open your heart and you become love. Because true love is unconditional. If it's not, it's a need, a want, a desire -- not love.

A few weeks ago, my novel, The Transmigrant, finally went up for pre-sale on Amazon. As exciting as this is -- after all it's my first published novel -- it scares the heebie-jeebies out of me. I'm baring my inner soul to the entire universe and open myself up to criticism, and perhaps even ridicule and scorn. Hopefully, though, there will mostly be praise, but you never know.

Just before pre-releasing this book, I had a bad cold. I refused to stay at home from work and just pushed through until my boss finally told me I looked worse and worse and begged me to stay home. I did. Half a day. Because I'm a tough girl. I'm not a wuss. I don't get sick. So there's the parallel to the release of my novel -- I don't like to show my vulnerability. And it's pretty dumb. And I have to get over it. I will, I have promised myself, accept that I'm sick next time I feel under the weather. It's OK not to be perfect. No one is.

And a such, I humbly open up myself to you, to the world, and hope that you will love my novel, The Transmigrant, as much as I do. Because guess what -- no unpublished novel ever became a bestseller or won any prices.

With and abundance of love,

Kristi Saare Duarte