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Amanda Blackman’s Dark Place

Photo credit: Taelar Pollman · The Sentry

When I first realized that I was going to have a weekly column, my first thought for how to do it was going to be to tell one long story for the whole semester. I’d spin a tale of two adventurers travelling across a far-off land, drawing readers in to their world. Each week, the story would advance, and everyone would just love it and get so engrossed in my words that they would RUN to their closest Sentry news stand every Wednesday to see how the story would progress. Then, at the end of the semester, it would all come to a dramatic end with the world’s most legendary (spoiler alert) pun. 

Personally, I think this idea is hilarious. Just imagine getting drawn in to a story where in the end, you don’t learn a new lesson, you learn a new joke. It would be so beneficial to me, too! I could write out a whole long story, divide it into the perfect number of portions for each issue, set it to the side and not have to even write a weekly column. I wouldn’t need to talk about myself at all! 

That led me to the realization, why did I want to avoid talking about myself in the place that is literally meant for me to talk about myself?  

I’ve always struggled with vulnerability. Talking about how I’m feeling or what I’m thinking is a conversation I’d much prefer to sidestep. When a conversation takes a turn into the vulnerable, the alarms in my brain go off, and I deflect with some sort of attempt at comedy—like a semester long pun story that probably three people would enjoy. 

(Those three people would be my husband, my mom, and my dad.) 

Instead, I didn’t want to give myself access to an escape route to dodge talking about myself. Instead, I’m going to use this as a space to get real with myself and whoever reads this. Like admitting that I have a problem with being okay with vulnerability and opening up.

… And that’s enough vulnerability for today. 

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