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  • Writer's pictureAmanda

On Connection

Everyone's seen the great Brené Brown TEDx talk on vulnerability from a decade ago, right? Oh, it's been a while? Why don't we all watch the video and then we'll talk.

Ok, confession: I'm a little burned out. I think it goes without saying that the actual implementation of Spitfire is probably the coolest job I've ever heard of and I'm grateful it's mine. The paperwork, the contracts, the logistics, the money, and the limited amount of time available to do it all in has me a little weary, though. In a desperate attempt at self care, I went to my first Thai massage last week. I've never fully enjoyed a massage before, to be honest, and I don't get one very often. It's a bit uncomfortable and... dare I say vulnerable... to have a stranger push on your body for an hour. I find myself worrying if the massage therapist likes her job, if she gets paid enough (this place was super legit, just to be sure), or maybe she thinks there's something wrong with me. But this time, as that voiceover started to play in my head, I realized that maybe what's actually going on is that I'm afraid to admit that I need help and that it's hard for me to accept care.

I've long known this about myself and, just like the rest of us, I'm working on it. Why is it so hard to admit that you need help? Why is it so hard to accept help? It's that vulnerability thing, again. In her talk, Brené Brown defines shame as the "fear of disconnection" and I would say that shame is a feeling I get when I realize I need help. But I also know that accepting help and care deepens and reinforces connection, so part of my retraining has been to lean into that.

So what does this have to do with The Spitfire Club? A lot, actually. Spitfire is my attempt at a modern day reaction to the socialization of girls in America, which ends up sometimes doubling as my own personal de-programming. As a society, we've spent a lot of time teaching girls to be strong and confident, take risks, and be competitive. And these qualities are so important. But I fear this may be an overcorrection and we're missing a big part of what makes a person whole: if you only learn that you should be confident, it gets lost that none of us are able to go it alone. That we need our community and our community needs us.

So, at Spitfire, we're trying something new: a unit on "connection" coupled with autobiographical writing and art exercises, shared within our group and deepening our connection to one another. Each book we read reminds us that our stories, our truest selves, are what we have to offer the world and are also our greatest gifts to ourselves.

"There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you until the day you begin to share your stories." - From The Day You Begin, by Jacqueline Woodson

We'll share how this is going and what we're learning, but in the meantime, here's the full book list: (contains affiliate links - any purchase supports The Spitfire Club!)

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