The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

QOTD – March 24 – At Your Most Vulnerable

I have never really been one for social situations. I feel vulnerable. I tend to linger in the background, and then leave when I feel I’ve lingered long enough that people remember I was there, rather than forget that I ever showed. Even when I was the one throwing parties, I used to spend enough time in the living room to make sure that everyone was enjoying themselves, and then I would head into my bedroom and lock the door. I typically spent too much time stressing about things breaking, or having to clean afterward, or just generally what I would say to people. It doesn’t really matter the amount of people either; I could be hanging out with two friends, and I tend to still feel as if I’m wanting to sink myself into the background. Sometimes I just don’t have much to add, and it’s easier to stare into my drink, or order another, or make sure that I’ve checked all my emails and text messages and Twitter scroll. I was this way as a little kid too, and I have no idea how I survived without the cell phone distraction. Really. I don’t know if kicking rocks, or picking my nose would have bought me enough time until I could just quickly slink out, or maybe, if I could muster up some courage, say goodbye.

It is far easier for me to walk on stage to play music to a few hundred people, or stand in front of my students, than it is to  stand in a room with a few friends. This can be beyond difficult at times. My band, Lucy Gray, hosts what we call LG HQ  shows. These performances in our rehearsal space happen every other month. We invite 20-30 people consisting of, friends, fans, and fellow musicians. The shows are picking up some buzz, and since we don’t send out invites until the day before, they are actually a pretty cool experience. We have another group open each show, and then we play, and then they just become a huge jam session for all the musicians in the room. It’s a pretty awesome scene, and I really enjoy watching the other musicians do their thing. But once I’m done playing, or even before I start, I am typically the wallflower. Most of my musician friends, and definitely my band members, know that I’m not one for social things, so I usually finish our set, and then sneak away as quickly as possible. This weekend, however, something changed. I allowed myself to be a bit more vulnerable, and actually stick around, enjoy the jam session, and actually take part in things. It ended up being one of the best nights I’ve had in years, and hopefully opened the door to me being a tad less anxiety-ridden in the future.

Question of the day:

When are you at your most vulnerable? How do you deal with it?


About Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin spent more than a decade in Education as a high school English teacher, and is now an Instructional Coach for the Longview School District. He is also the founder of The Poetry Question, an online journal which focuses on reviews of small press poetry publications, and runs a regular series called "The Power of Poetry," where notable poets share their personal stories of how poetry has affected their lives. Margolin resides in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, and daughter.

3 comments on “QOTD – March 24 – At Your Most Vulnerable

  1. Robert Long
    March 24, 2014

    I too would have to say social situations. I can at least give myself the illusion of people remembering me if I’m with a couple friends versus a large party-type setting. There, I often feel like I’m just kind of in the background and not really involved in the grand scheme of things as far as having conversations is concerned.

  2. Peter
    March 24, 2014

    This was really cool to read, Chris. It definitely helps my anxiety, social or otherwise, when I am vulnerable. It was a great night.

  3. kiwiskan
    March 24, 2014

    anywhere there are crowds of people – I can only take it for a while before I retreat to my cave…

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