December 11th, 2013 by Jan

Ken came into the office one day, when Sam and I were working at Little Productions, and said, “If you ever need to know where you stand with an issue, come stand by me, because I stand in the middle.”

Where he was going with this is, that when you stand next to Ken, who is in the middle, you will know quite quickly if you are on the left or right of an idea.

It made perfect sense to me and in a funny way, this is quite true of Ken. For the most part, he stands in the middle. Except of course when he surprises me with a strong opinion on something.

I bring this up because I am reading the book, Quiet; The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain. My friend Kathy recommended that I read it. She said, it changed her life!

I love a powerful book!

I’ve always thought of myself as an extravert. I’m out there, social, verbal. I sit in the front row of a class, raise my hand to volunteer, and ask questions without reservation or embarrassment. When I took the Briggs Meyers test in the 80s, I was an E for sure.

But times change and so do people.

Today, I prefer to spend time alone. I’m not as excited to go to a party or accept invitations. I’m not much for socializing. I love to sit alone and think, or create some crafty thing.

These days, I’m more likely to take a chair in the back of the room at a meeting. I stand in one place, usually against a wall, at parties. I would rather engage one on one with a friend. I notice noise more, and am easily distracted in crowds. I haven’t taken a class in a long time, and when I do, I take a private lesson.

Have I moved to introvert status? I don’t know, and I don’t think it matters to me.

Perhaps it is that over the years I have cultivated a wonderful inner life and am just more comfortable in my own skin.

I like this book. But, I’m not reading it in the quiet way, turning pages. I am listening to it as an audio book, I like the engagement of the reader. When I answer the questions posed, I have an almost equal number of yes and no checked off.

They say as you get older, you start to look like your partner. (Or is it your pet?) If that is true, I am one lucky gal, and am happy to be more like Ken in this regard.

I shall stand in the middle.

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