My Year of Living Vulnerably

Rick Morton

My Year of Living Vulnerably
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My Year of Living Vulnerably

Rick Morton

In early 2019, Rick Morton, author of acclaimed, bestselling memoir One Hundred Years of Dirt, was diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder - which, as he says, is just a fancy way of saying that one of the people who should have loved him the most during childhood didn’t.

So, over the course of twelve months, he went on a journey to rediscover love. To get better. Not cured, not fixed. Just, better. This is a book about his journey to betterness, his year of living vulnerably. It’s a book about love. What love is, how we see it, what forms it takes, how we practice it in our lives, what it means to us, and how we really, really can’t live without it, even if, like Rick for many years, we think we can.

As he says: ‘People think they want cars - and they do, to get to jobs and appointments in cities and regions where public transport has failed them. But what gets them into those cars, out of the house, out of bed for God’s sake, is love.’


One of the reasons I love Rick Morton’s writing is because he is not afraid; he will tell you how it was, how it is and why. It’s the reason he’s such a terrific reporter for The Saturday Paper, and it’s one of the reasons why his first memoir, the incredible, bestselling One Hundred Years of Dirt, turned the entire Australian memoir section on its head with its taut balance of pain and humour. My Year of Living Vulnerably gives us more of this fine, clever tightrope walk, but here Morton examines the consequence of his childhood. Here, he tries on for size the old adage: all you need is love.

After being diagnosed with a complex post-traumatic stress disorder, Morton decides to rediscover what love is. Over the course of 12 months, he travels across Australia in search of love. To do justice to such a lofty expedition, he decides to remain vulnerable, and to meet each experience without the hindrance of ego. In any other hands, this could be considered a whimsical try-hard experience, but with Morton’s droll humour, we are in very safe stead. We know he understands that often the backstories to love are rooted in experiences of anguish, loneliness and poverty.

With this book, Morton invites the reader into his search, and to be part of the resultant healing and understanding of what makes us human. We journey through music and friendships, through memories of the past, through conversations with different generations, and we look forward with hope. Read this investigation because it will remind you of how optimism and love work together. Read it because your heart has been broken somewhere along the line and you need to know how to mend. Read this book because Rick Morton is the bloke we all need in our life to show us it is going to be okay.

Chris Gordon is the programming and events manager for Readings.

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