Why It's Important To Be Vulnerable

Why It's Important To Be Vulnerable

And why I'm not.

Sometimes it's the hardest thing in the world.

Letting your walls down. Letting people in. Letting them see you.

Because what if they don't like what they see. What if they can't handle it? What if they don't want to.

And maybe that one time you tried, the person you trusted let you down or rejected you or left. We are so good at letting people see the parts of our lives that we want them to see. And when it comes to me, I think I’ve become a little too good. But the unbreakable barrier I am always so quick to put up between myself and everyone I want to let in are doing me a disservice. Or I'm doing myself a disservice.

Because sometimes, being vulnerable is the hardest thing for us to do, but it’s also the most important.

Sometimes, you need to let people see the real you. All those lost loves and the nights you felt alive and the moments where it seemed like your heart was physically wringing and aching and shattering in your chest. Sometimes you need to let people see all the pieces of your past that have undeniably and irrevocably shaped you into the fragmented yet whole person you are today.

Because they need to know that they're important enough to be trusted with those pieces. Because they’ve probably felt it all and had the faded relationships and infinite dusk-turned-daybreaks and heartaches, too. Because they need to know that there’s an actual human soul behind the smile you present to the world everyday. And because if you don’t, you won’t ever truly connect with them.

It’s the hardest thing in the world to let people see you for all you are, stripped of all pretenses. It's so much more intimate than any physical touch. That's why being vulnerable and real—being weak—is also being strong.

We've made ourselves believe that weakness and strength can't coexist, but they can. And they do.

It’s unbelievably strong to recognize what you want and be brave enough to ask for it, to put yourself out there, to acknowledge that you deserve to have the answer to your “what if” for once. To know that you deserve that happiness. To know that you could live without it—but you don’t want to. It’s the hardest, scariest thing in the world to let people in, but you need to.

I need to.

I'm not good at being vulnerable. But I'm trying to be.

I owe that to myself. And if you're like me, and you're cautious, and you're guarded, and you're maybe just a little tired of being your own worst enemy—I hope you know that you owe it to yourself, too.

Let's be unafraid to be afraid.

Cover Image Credit: Storyblocks

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22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.


"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hor air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

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How to Properly Manage Your Anger

As someone who has struggled with anger in the past, I have discovered ways to cope with my issue.


Throughout my entire life, I've always struggled to cope with anger. I vividly remember getting into altercations with peers during my preschool days over issues containing little-to-no relevance. I'd pick fights with others as I was unable to control myself in uncomfortable situations.

Moments still arise to this day when I fail to bring myself back down to Earth. I sometimes berate loved ones for unknown reasons or lash out while driving in a fit of road rage.

As time has progressed, I've made a valiant effort to improve my anger management skills. I've discovered that getting flustered over the unforeseen obstacles that accompany everyday life is pointless.

Like everyone else growing up, I wanted to fit in. I wanted to create meaningful relationships with individuals. In order to do this, I had to refine myself. Sometimes I succeeded, sometimes I failed. I stayed positive throughout this process. I knew that my patience would pay dividends.

And it did.

Once I developed a tight-knit circle of friends, I finally found that sense of comfort I had been craving for so long. I no longer felt the urge to throw tantrums. I was at peace.

If you also struggle with anger problems, you know that it's impossible to permanently suppress these demons. There's always relapses, temporary slip-ups triggered by some event outside of one's control. I've experienced this myself, and I am able to confidently label it as one of the most discouraging feelings in the world.

You feel as though all the progress you've made has suddenly vanished. Turn the record over, back to square one, right?


The key to overcoming these obstacles is to maintain a positive attitude. It's not the end of the world; shit happens. All you can do is embrace adversity and use it as a motive for future improvement.

I went through a period of anger-related relapses during middle school. This was a tough time for me, a period defined by rapid physical, mental, and emotional change. I was a 14-year-old boy who had friends, but something still wasn't right.

Then, high school arrived.

High school was a life-altering experience that I would not trade for the world. High school is where I discovered my true self.

I discovered how much I enjoy writing. I discovered how much I enjoy music.

I discovered how much I enjoy girls. I discovered how much I enjoy beer.

I discovered how much I enjoy being happy.

For me, a successful life isn't derived from wealth or fame. A successful life is obtained via fulfillment. One must feel fulfilled with his or herself in order to be successful. I inherently believe that every person has ambitions. While these ambitions vary widely, they are important to their respective owners and should be valued greatly.

I have established ambitious, yet achievable goals for myself. I hope to attend law school following college graduation. I also hope to one day write a book. I want to be a role model for other individuals.

If I hope to fulfill these aspirations, I must remain determined.

By discovering what I enjoy doing and what I aim to do in the future, I have found solace in my own skin. I refuse to be fazed by what I cannot control. I am an imperfect human being. Failure is simply a component of the process.

But I promise to bounce back from failure. I will overcome hardship in pursuit of my dreams and inevitably prevail. Some of us can't help being born with anger problems, but we can help with controlling our flaws.

Rise up, my friends. Today you have been reborn. Instead of getting mad at the rest of the world, go out and own it.

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