People, people, people.
I wouldn’t say that I’m 100% a people person. Being a shy and reserved introvert at heart doesn’t match that criteria. However, life has pushed me right in front of the faces of hundreds of people over the years. Customers, students, parents, clients, CEOs, presidents, executive directors and the like.
What did I do, standing there groping for the right words to say, let alone words to say in the first place? I evolved and transformed into someone I could only imagine being at age 18. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still reserved at heart. But I no longer view myself as an ugly duckling while everyone around me is a colorful social butterfly, happily fluttering through the obstacles of my social life.
I am a heavy-duty, professional thinker. My ponder skills are A-1, 100%. I can fill notebooks on thoughts I’ve been thinking all day.
As a better idea, why don’t I just write blog posts about what I’ve been thinking and send them out to the world? Maybe I’ll get a response and realize that others have been thinking the same thing, or maybe that they think my thoughts are helpful and offer a new perspective.
Who knows what can happen through the connection of a million people?
So I’ve held several occupational positions that have shaped my skills, personality and ponderings:
- Retail Sales Associate
- Substitute Teacher
- Math Teacher
- Camp Counselor
- Student Mentor
- Sandwich Maker
- Private Math Tutor
- Cookie Baker
- ….the list goes on…
As a result, I have observed and participated in countless conversations and experiences that mold and solidify my current views. Young people alone have a tendency to crack open your world and stuff in cotton balls soaked in smiles, laughs, sympathy, tears and a strong desire for success. These mutual feelings presented an opportunity for me to mentor and encourage. I took advantage of it even though it was waaayyy outside my comfort zone.
Over time, it became easier and easier. The students got use to this, and at whichever school I went to, they would always yell
“Heyyyyy Miss Jackson!!”
when they saw me walking down the hall. I couldn’t help but to turn around, smile and chat it up with them for a few minutes before they were late to class.
I know the students could tell that I was actually shaking in my boots when I got in front of the room full of judgmental teenagers and demanded attention. I didn’t really want attention, I wanted to disappear. However, I had no choice but to stand there and sweat through it as planned to achieve the desired results, respect and stain. And I did a pretty good job at it, as I did with all my other jobs.
In conclusion, the name “Hey Miss Jackson” was a gift given by the most genuine, honest and sincere. That gift was to say that I can be all the things that I am (quiet, weird, shy, nervous), but that doesn’t make me less than. It makes me a unique individual. And that’s actually cool.