on vulnerability

A couple of weeks ago I uploaded a paper to dropbox. This paper is part of a seminar session at an upcoming national conference. We will all read each other’s papers, prepare responses, and, at the conference, spend the time discussing more than presenting. I’m excited about this kind of conference format. I think I will be able to learn more in this kind of a environment. Since I’m at an early stage in my research, I think it will be greatly beneficial.

What I didn’t expect is the sick feeling that’s been sitting in my core ever since. Vulnerability. I’m in a new field, offering somewhat new perspectives. I don’t know how the paper will be received. Perhaps I shouldn’t worry about that too much. It’s just that, for the first time, I’m personally connected to my research material. I wouldn’t be in disability studies or deaf music at all if my son hadn’t been born deaf. I spend a good chunk of my research time crying. Not because I’m sad, because I’m overwhelmed by so much. I’m overcome. My work feels raw. I believe in my topic like I’ve never believed in a topic before.

It’s been two weeks now since I sent it off. I’m starting to feel better. The bundle of nerves is starting to soothe. It is such a strange sensation to me, to feel so personally connected to my work.


6 thoughts on “on vulnerability

  1. It’s amazing when Life has happened to us enough that we finally have something to offer back to Life. I’m glad you’re at that point. p.s. I wish I was able to have a cup of coffee with you.

  2. it seems this happens to me many days at my work…the more I suffer the more personal it becomes. The rawness is more real on one day than another. Recently, I heard what i consider the worst story I’ve ever heard from a client (which is saying something since I’ve been doing this 26 years) I connected with it and felt tears come as I told my client how horrible the things were that they suffered. I always tell my students that what will help other people is you, not a theory you use. Christ takes our brokenness and breathes His grace in it as we offer ourselves to others. The brokenness gives us a connection with others that they can sense. I think that was why others were drawn to Christ they knew he really “felt their pain” not in some withdrawn objective way but really felt it. Christ is breathing new life into your work. How cool is that!

  3. Pingback: another step on the reentry path « Measured in Coffee Spoons

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