A woman leaning over with a small table in front of her with a plate of eggs

For more than two decades of my life, I avoided cracking eggs. Let me tell you why.

You see, I didn’t grow up in a house where my parents cooked a lot. I never saw my mom or my dad crack an egg, and my grandmother always had food prepped and ready to go when I visited. At some point in my life, I realized I didn’t know how to crack an egg. I saw people do it on TV, but I had zero experience myself.

I was genuinely afraid there was some secret trick to egg cracking—something everyone knew but I didn’t. If someone happened to ask me to crack an egg, then I’d be instantly humiliated because I— a) would have to tell them I didn’t know how or b) would have to fake it and just mess the whole thing up entirely.

One day after I graduated college and lived in my own apartment, I decided I was going to take matters into my own hands and figure this egg cracking thing out. I bought some eggs and turned on a YouTube video on how to crack an egg. I immediately realized there were no tricks involved.

Egg cracking was super simple. I just wish I had tried sooner or had asked someone to show me how to do it. Yet, I was too afraid that people would laugh at me if I asked. So I stayed quiet and went to YouTube instead. I chose technology over human connection, and while it may have kept me “safe” from criticism, it also kept me lonely. 

I chose technology over human connection, and while it may have kept me “safe” from criticism, it also kept me lonely. 

I think we all have an “egg cracking” story. There’s something we feel like everyone else knows but we don’t or something everyone else is good at and we aren’t, and we’re too embarrassed to tell someone. So we stay lonely. We have friends, sure, but they don’t fully know us because we’re hiding.

We’re too afraid that if we admit to not having it all together, we’ll be ridiculed. People will think we’re not enough. They’ll start talking behind our backs.

Did you know Katie doesn’t know how to crack an egg? What kind of person doesn’t know how to crack an egg? We should definitely stay away from her.

They’ll abandon us, we think, and we’ll be left utterly alone. We reason, if that’s the tradeoff—shallow friendships or no friendships—we’ll keep hiding. It’s not worth sharing our “egg cracking” stories and risking rejection.

If that’s the tradeoff—shallow friendships or no friendships—we’ll keep hiding.

I don’t know what you’re going through today, but I do know that if you came to me with something vulnerable—whether it was that you couldn’t crack an egg, you didn’t know how to budget, you had a massive gambling problem or you cheated on your significant other—I’d pull you in close and thank you. I’d thank you for being brave enough to admit you’re not perfect and don’t have it all together.

Because when you’re brave like that, you free me up to be brave, too. Then, I’d invite you to speak truth to my imperfections and call me up into the woman I was designed to be. I’d humbly offer to do the same for you. When we’re honest with each other, we can encourage each other for who we are: beautiful, imperfect women who have unique gifts, talents, abilities and challenges.

When you’re brave like that, you free me up to be brave, too.

Yes, as we muster up the courage to tell our people that we’re broken, there will be some who leave us. Then, we will have to admit what we probably knew all along: those people were never our true friends anyway. Yet, there will be people who thank us for being brave, who say “me too” and invite us deeper into their lives.

The friendship that comes from that will be more than worth it. Today, let’s resolve not to hide any longer. Let’s go to a friend before we go to YouTube. Let’s be the friend who says “me too” when others come to us.

Have you ever shared something vulnerable to a friend? How did they respond?

Image via Ben Cope, Darling Issue No. 21

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3 comments

  1. This was lovely! And so applicable. It’s amazing how a conversation is so much more open and safe once someone takes that brave leap.

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