When people meet me they can get one of two sides of me- the quiet side that’s a bit reserved, or the public face which is “Hi, how are you, it’s so good to see you!” If you put me in a personality scale, I end up on the INFJ side, which means I’m perfect for librarianship but really bad for public speaking because I’m extremely hard on myself and I hate confrontation. And I do, I ABHOR it. Always have, always will.
I spent a lot of my life sitting in the back and hiding my shine. I let others make decisions, and I made choices based on how others reacted and thought, how they were going to feel and what they were going to think. And that’s a horrible way to go through life- it stifles your soul.
I’ve learned that there are things that I have to stand up for. I can’t stand by passive and let things just happen, that’s not the type of personality I have. I can’t be the type of person that just punches in and punches out of a job- I want a career and a place where I feel wanted and welcome, where my contributions count and I feel that I make a difference and I know that I’m heard.
I need friendships and relationships that are two-way, that listen and understand as much as I give. I want experiences that bring joy and happiness, and life is too short for drama. We may not agree on things, but I need people in my life who will listen and respect what I bring to the table, and value me for who I am, not censor my thoughts and feelings, or flow them through their filter to match what they want.
It’s hard to do, and harder to put in practice. It’s hard to stand up in a meeting and say no, this is wrong. It’s hard to say no, we need this instead. It’s hard to fight against what everyone else thinks is wonderful- and hard to open yourself up to criticism. Yet if we don’t, we can’t change things, and we can’t grow.
And if we’re not growing, we’re not alive.