Article Link: https://www.ccie.com/article/strength-stretch-restore/5024142/
It was green, made of corduroy, and filled with platitudes. On the last day of school, I was supposed to remove it from my locker and ask friends and teachers to sign it. An introverted and shy child, I was often at a loss for words when it came time to pop the big question: Will you sign my autograph book? By middle school, I had learned how to avoid the bullies and stand by until my closest friends—and favorite teachers—approached me.
In the seventh grade, I waited all afternoon for my beloved biology teacher to sign it, hoping that he had noticed more than my perfect marks on his multiple choice tests. His elegantly simple words sent a shot through my heart: intoxicating, yet terrifying, “Reach out, HK, you’ve got a lot to give.” I knew he was right, but had no idea how to “reach out.” His words echoed those that I had heard countless times before. “Come out of your shell,” “Just speak up,” “You are so shy.”
Without adequate understanding of my own inborn temperament, socialized as a girl to “be quiet,” and often feeling unsafe in my school environments, I kept ...