In my work as a therapist with children, adolescents, and families, I often refer to myself as a “recovering shy person.” I have accepted the fact that I will always be somewhat introverted. I am not sure exactly how it happened that I came out of the quiet and into the world, but I do recall a specific conversation when I was in college and falling in love with psychology. I started working as a Teacher’s Assistant for the department, and one of my beloved professors approached me saying that I needed to stop hesitating because if psychology was really my calling, I would need to learn to be more confident. I was keeping all my ideas to myself rather than showing others what I was capable of and what I knew. It was one of the few times in my young life that I didn’t take what was being said personally or find myself feeling emotionally wounded. The moment must have been right because I moved forward in a different direction from what I would have ever expected.
Now having been a therapist for 10 years, I am much less quiet. But I think I will always need to have the quiet in one way or another—it’s a place of comfort and peace for me, a space in my life that keeps evolving. And, as strange as it may sound, the world needs us to be quiet and to listen to those around us so that we may be of service. After all this time, the quiet never stops surprising me.