Returning to the course a year after starting my work brought a mixed bag of challenges. Taking time to figure out where I left off required relearning some of the simple things like posting in WordPress, creating links, and remembering the flow of the course were required. When I opened my blog, I had written a few lines in my reading response and it did bring me back to a very challenging time in my life. Revisiting can elicit some grief or shame, but overall it almost felt like I was revisiting the work of my former self. The toxicity of my personal life this time last summer made my professional life and this course stressful. I noticed that when I got back into the flow of completing the course I had learned a few things, but I also recognized that I enjoyed being creative.
The story critique was a bit challenging because I felt a little removed from the structure and guidelines around this. With the digital story that I selected, there was an element of privacy and a moment of extreme openness and vulnerability as the anonymous author dares to question a possible family secret that would bring a lot of emotions including anger, fear, shame, and guilt. Anytime someone shares a story that is personal there is a cathartic moment for the author, but also the hope to create shared meaning or a new perspective for consideration. As I write this summary, I realized that I was more vulnerable in my posts this week, I showed up and shared more authentically my experience with my personal focal theme.
When I chose vulnerability as my focal theme it was really based on research by Brene Brown. I found her work in grounded theory applicable and incredibly interesting. I wanted to learn more about what is involved in becoming resilent. How do some people grow from situations that seem beyond their control? I had no idea I was walking into my own arena and the battle was going to leave me marred and face down. When I originally set out to complete week 6, I remember thinking “you can do this, just get through it!” As I was starting my reading response that week I was in the midst of total personal shame and fear. People get through those feelings because they show up as themselves, for themselves. I asked for help and the ability to complete the course at a later date. I am glad that I asked because it freed up space to confront some big issues in my life. I was also treated with respect and, which was an is a gift as was my focal theme it turns out.
What I learned and enjoyed was that digital storytelling allows you to add depth and another text in order to create meaning. This week’s digital assignment surprised me because I knew what song I wanted to use, but I was able to write about my experience with it. I have attempted this before, but I had never really shared through a public post. After it was out there, I did think “uh oh!” However, it was within my theme and I was ready to share. As I think about what I would rate myself as this week I did exceed my own expectations and I can see that what I was learning a year ago was relevant in an unexpected, but grateful way.