I began this blog almost two years ago, inspired by the Parkour metaphor of “free running in which the structures, hurdles, and barriers in our paths are harnessed and leveraged to become springboards to creative new possibilities.” I had attended a lecture by K-State’s Mike Wesch and was studying his work on “Ed Parkour” and becoming a digital citizen. I realized that one of the mental obstacles I faced was my self-image as a “digital immigrant.” Technology will never be easy for me, but I’ve worked on moving into a place where the obstacles no longer seem insurmountable, and over time, I’ve found a number of springboards to new possibilities.
It has been quite some time since I have written, but lately I have been pondering another obstacle that I’ve faced in my life, and this week I have been inspired by friend and colleague Jennifer Joslin, who is sharing “50 days of reflection, grace, and thankfulness” as she looks toward her fiftieth birthday. In her explanation for beginning her new blogging venture, Jennifer said, “Reaching out is hard for me so I tend to guard myself against its consequences… Speak to 3000 people about student success? No problem. Pick up the phone and interrupt your Saturday to just chat?? Ummmm…”
While I wouldn’t say that I can identify with the speaking to 3000 people being no problem part of Jen’s statement, the part about reaching out on a personal level being hard certainly resonates. The obstacle in my life that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is that I am an extreme Introvert… and a “highly sensitive” one at that. I’ve recently finished reading Susan Cain’s “Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking,” and this, too, I am finding inspirational, as well as enlightening. So, this morning I am thinking that here I may find some prompts for picking up my writing again.
In her introduction, Cain notes, “our lives are shaped as profoundly by personality as by gender or race. And the single most important aspect of personality – the ‘north and south of temperament,’ as one scientist puts it – is where we fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum. Our place on this continuum influences our choice of friends and mates, and how we make conversation, resolve differences, and show love. It affects the careers we choose and whether or not we succeed in them. It governs how likely we are to exercise, commit adultery, function well without sleep, learn from our mistakes, place big bets in the stock market, delay gratifications, be a good leader, and ask ‘what if.’”
There’s a lot of ground to cover… much to consider and reflect upon…