Confessions of a Recovering Introvert

A lot of people would say that I toe the line between confident and cocky.

I’m OK with that, but it’s important that these same people know and understand that it’s not the whole story. I’ve actually worked my whole life to “coach up” a shy little boy. 

The image to the right was a fifth-grade art project. I distinctively remember my parents asking my teacher why I was looking down. She replied: “He always has his head down.”

So, maybe I’ve continuously over-compensated since the fifth grade, but that bashful and unsure little boy has always been lurking. Even today, I have to do everything in my power to keep him from storming the castle.

Sometimes friends, family and “fans” provide necessary reinforcement – a shot of confidence that squashes any doubt and/or uncertainty that I’ve allowed to creep in.

I wanted to share an e-mail that I received from my friend Paige. She is one of my “Live the List” adoptees. She sent me this message after reading one of my blog posts.

As a word of encouragement, I think you’re doing the right thing in life. A lot of excuse makers in the world. People need mentors.

My father-in-law works for the city of Irving. Loves his job. It doesn’t provide much but they get by…barely. Six kids. In drawers around the house you will find novels and/or short stories he’s written. Often Barry thinks of giving up cartooning/illustration as it provides no stable/primary income. I tell him that my children will not find his work hidden in drawers some day because he gave up on what he loved.

My mom went to Trimble Tech, which is a vocational school, because she wanted to do cosmetology. Her GUIDANCE COUNSELOR basically told her she would be better off as a secretary. My mom is a secretary. I’m sure she is a good one. But I think her real talent is cosmetology, never fully developed. My mom also believes she has no talent.

My uncle is a GREAT western, bronze sculptor. Mountain men, Indians, wildlife. It is very expensive to get them cast in bronze, so most of his stuff was just wax as he worked on them. He moved to Houston to (give up himself) take care of his ailing uncle and aunt. They could not understand why he wasted time doing the sculptures when he had a good job. He kept them in their back add-on. One weekend when he was out of town, my aunt turned off the window unit to the room. Years of work melted, along with part of his soul. Has not done art since.

Like your blog said, it is sad to watch people never find their potential and their gifts and live in complacency. Looking forward to the website. Write your book.

While the entire e-mail is wonderfully great and powerful, the last three words were inspiring.

Write. Your. Book.

Thank you, Paige.

Sincerely,
A recovering introvert

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