No Risk, No Reward

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This is a big week for me. My book, Sex and the Single Girl, A [Slightly Older] Girl’s Guide to Dominating the Dating World, is launching via Amazon on Valentine’s Day. This book kind of wrote itself after nearly a year of exploring life as a newly single woman of 44 years-old. After my marriage was over, I didn’t stay home and feel sorry for myself. I couldn’t. I felt like I had been missing so much. I got out there and met a lot of men. But putting myself out there was a huge risk emotionally, but for me it was also instinctual. Most the experiences were good. Really good. And left me feeling empowered. And beautiful. And sexy. And I want to invite single women to take the same risks that I took and most definitely reap the same rewards!

I do admit to feeling a little extra vulnerable as February 14th approaches. This is my very first book and effort to write anything more than a 500-word blog post. And the book is about embracing sexuality and feeling empowered to explore it. Not everyone is going to agree with my ideas or even like what I have to say. I know this. And I’m prepared. But it’s still a little scary.

The ability to be vulnerable is not something I thought about as I was writing my book. My thoughts were more along the lines of “wow, it’s so easy to meet super hot and interesting, younger men through dating apps and have some extraordinary experiences and all women need to know this!” But as I prepare myself for my book launch, I am realizing that my ability to be vulnerable was key to having had such rich and rewarding experiences with men and frankly, key to writing the book.

Meeting a completely new man and getting to know him can be exciting and fucking scary. But if you take a chance, there is potential to connect on a deep level with another human being. There is potential for intimacy and passion and the yumminess of a lovely man in your bed with his arms wrapped around you. But none of this will happen if you don’t open yourself up and take a risk. It might be fantastic, it might be crap, but you have to take the chance to get the reward. That’s how it works.

My usual Google search for validation of my thoughts led me to a Tedx Talk about the Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown who studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong and love. Brown speaks about vulnerability as the birthplace of joy, creativity and belonging. According to her studies, the ability to feel vulnerable is validation of feeling alive. Interestingly enough, this feeling of being alive and living life robustly is one of the big themes in my book.

Brown also describes vulnerability as the willingness to do something where there are no guarantees. Jumping back into the dating world after divorce certainly offered no guarantees. Writing my book and putting it out into the world most certainly offers no guarantees. But both experiences have given me joy, in connections with other human beings and recognizing my ability to communicate through writing. Both experiences have tapped into my creative sensibilities, in an exploration of my sexuality and my ability to craft meaningful stories. And most certainly both instances of being vulnerable have given me a sense of belonging. Belonging to the human race, who truly need one another. And belonging to a group a people who are writers and communicators and strive to have their voices heard.

It’s not easy to open up and take risks. There truly are no guarantees. About anything. Ever. No risk. No reward. It’s up to you now. You are in control. It’s your life. Go forth and live it!

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