Storytelling in New York
This week I was in New York City with some of my favourite people: Jed Storytellers.
The Jed Foundation is a mental health organization in the US that promotes emotional wellbeing on college campuses and works to prevent suicide. I met their team in May 2015 after Wear Your Label was featured on Buzzfeed, and they reached out to collaborate. It was one of those things that, at the time, we didn't really know exactly how we could work together, but now I can't imagine not having gotten involved with what they do.
The Jed Foundation hosts a Moth Storytelling Workshop every year which brings together about a dozen individuals, from celebrities to advocates, doctors to musicians. We spend 2 days with storytelling trainers from the Moth who basically help us dissect our life stories and narrow down our mental health journey into a 5 minute talk. It's emotionally exhausting, it's enlightening, and it's cathartic.
There's now a group of (pretty amazing) people who are Jed storytellers that speak at different events across the country to raise awareness for mental health. These people are basically the coolest people I know.
This week in New York, I realized there is a magic to all of it:
vulnerability connects us in a way few other things can.
Most people have two selves: an outward facing, and an inward facing self. You know, the side we show the world, and the side we reserve for those closest to us. The social media highlight reel, and then what's actually real. It's rare to find people you can be both with; it's rare to be completely comfortable as your truest self with strangers. But it is the best feeling. And it creates the strongest connections.
And I think in our everyday lives, we could all use a little more authentic vulnerability like that. So, I challenge every one you reading this to share yourself with someone. Share a story. A secret. Open up and allow yourself to be vulnerable.
At the end of the day, we're all human.
Sometimes we just need that reminder of what actually brings us together.