On my journey toward a seat on the school board, I am doing many things that are outside of my comfort zone. As a natural introvert, I prefer campaigning quietly through my website, Facebook page, and blogging. I am comfortable with the written word. However, to obtain the name recognition and exposure necessary, I must be seen and heard.
As a child, I would turn beet red, my heart racing with butterflies in my stomach any time I had to speak up in front of others, yet I did it. In middle school, I was required to take Speech class. Same physical reaction, now heightened as it was being graded, yet I survived and eked out an A-. As I became older, I learned ways to calm my fears, how to give myself a good pep talk, and that the earth would not swallow me up for public speaking. At this point in my life, it's still one of the hardest things for me to do, but I have mastered control over those physical reactions, and I speak with moderate confidence. My children see me as "talking to everyone" and roll their eyes at me when I tell them I'm still an introvert. I tell them my story of where I began with this, and that through perseverance and practice it gets easier and better. They still roll their eyes, but hopefully they are listening.
Now here I am today, answering questions from a group of educators, attending a candidate forum, and expressing my candidate statement in front of a camera. IN FRONT OF A CAMERA. If you are an introvert, you know what inner strength is needed for these activities. If you are an extrovert, you won't understand, but go find an introvert to explain it.
Although my foray into extroversion is not easy for me, I do it because the goal is worth it. I do it because I see the problems in our school district and I am ready to tackle them head on. I do it because I am passionate about education and want to be a part of making our system better for all students and families. I do it to inspire my children; I want them to know that they can achieve anything they set their minds to do. I do it for me. I have come far, but there more for me to learn and do as I continue my growth as a contributing citizen of this world community.