Tuesday, 18 March 2014

My G

Have you ever seen a TedTalk talk?

I was introduced to them when we were in Yokohama at a parent/teacher night when the guest presenter showed a TedTalk on education. Can't recall the speaker, but I was hooked on TedTalks!

I have been following them ever since and love sharing them every chance I get.

There's a TedTalks facebook page that's worth liking, as it keeps you updated. You can also subscribe to Tedtalks directly at this link. When you subscribe, you can create a profile and select the topics you are most interested in so that the relevant talks are sent to you in a weekly newsletter.

The first TedTalk was in 1984 bit it didn't work. But the guys didn't give up and the first TedConference in California six years later was a huge success and well, the rest is history.

I download my TedTalks to my phone and listen/watch them at the gym. The hour or so goes so much faster!

Some days, when I'm watching them online on the laptop several hours can easily pass, so beware!

Every now and then, a talk resonates deeply and I am compelled to share it. Sir Ken Robinsons always do. He is my Education Hero.

This TedTalk on sleep by Adrianna Huffington is great fun, and very insightful. While I wished I had Dan Meyer as my maths teacher. Shane Koyczan bought me to tears. I've learn about the human brain, mental illness, education, cool science stuff that I'm not usually into amongst many other subjects.

Susan Cain's talk on introverts was one of those rare talks that really touched me. It wasn't that I simply really enjoyed it. What she said was so powerful, so real and raw that it inspired me - to do what I'm not sure yet, but it has. It's in the back of my mind still.

It's that good,  it's had over 7 million views.

I suggested to G, that he might listen to it.

What happened next has hit me so deeply in my heart'n'soul that I want to shout out to the world what an incredible man I'm married to (see, there's the extrovert again) and how damn lucky I am that despite everything, we are happily together as man and wife, parents to MissM and best friends.

This is what my very private husband shared on his FB page (see, even that's a huge leap for him, he has a FB page)

For those of you that know me, you think I am just quiet ...

I am an introvert. I am an introvert and I am successful. 

Whilst my own modesty does not have me shouting off rooftops, giving charismatic podium speeches, or even collecting countless awards; in my own introverted way I lead and inspire people to do the unachievable.

My talents may be overlooked an go unnoticed by some due to the lack of exuberance and self promotion. Nonetheless, my achievements are clear and evident for all those to bare witness. An introvert, able to lead and inspire others to achieve the unachievable.  

An introvert, influencing a broad and diverse base of individuals to come together and change the way the world communicates. Whilst you may not notice me standing out from the crowd, I am there. I am the crowd. An individual in the crowd. An individual that is respected by the crowd, not preaching to it, but able to shape and guide the crowd in a common direction; a common message; a common goal.

I take time. I reflect. I process. I digest. I comprehend. I think before I speak. I have an ability to see through the myriad of confusion and noise and find a path; a path to lead others to a collective future. 

I am a leader. I am successful. And I am an introvert.

You can only imagine the tears that flowed (I was in the supermarket at the time) as I read this honest, self appraisal of someone who sounds angry at the way some people might judge him, tho so comfortable in his own skin.

We met at work.

I have always seen the quieter side of his personality and at times it's damn annoying. Most of the time it's his quiet, reliable, steady character that keeps me safe and grounded. When everything in my life is going pear shaped, he's the one to get me back on track. He's held me tight while I've balled on several occasions.

His Linkedin page is overflowing with the most amazing testimonials.

Like Susan Cain, he's very content just to be; and he has taught me how to just be, even tho I've still yet to master it, I'm a lot better than I used to be (believe it or not).

The extrovert in me shouts his accomplishments to anyone who'll listen. Not many wives do that I know, but we are expats only because of his career, and when good things happen, it's worth reminding people why we do what we do. If we were 'home' we'd share good news, right? OK, maybe not. 

Susan Cains TedTalk has helped me understand G, and all the introverts I come across just that little bit better, and G's comments confirmed what an amazing man he is.

I think, after 14 years together, I will finally let go of the notion that one day he'll come willingly to a large social function, or that we'll dance the night away together. 

I have happily accepted and learned to love quiet dinner parties with a small group of friends, where conversation and connecting is the glue to the evening. That spending time chilling at home is a welcome chance to regroup, and doesn't mean we are boring.

We've learnt a lot from each other over the 14 years we've been together; we've compromised a lot too in the early years as we learnt to navigate our differences, but thru it all we've loved and respected each others differences and allowed them to be our mutual strength.

They say opposites attract, and we most certainly do.

With friendship


  1. Hello there! Today's post deeply resonated with me -thank you so much for sharing. I too am an Introvert living and working in an extroverted world - sales of all things! I can deeply understand where G is coming from as I too have experienced frustration and anger when people just don't get me and my need for time alone, reflection and enjoying deep conversation with just one other, rather than loud group activities. My husband is an extroverted type so I see the world from his perspective too - opposites do attract :)
    G might like the Introverts are Awesome page on FB - all the best, B xxx

    1. Hello Anonyomous. I spent my career in sales, so I can appreciate where your coming from. Some of my best sales teams consisted of introverts. I always enjoyed their peace and the strength they brought to the team.
      How lucky are we to have found such solid partners, in our opposite self. x

  2. I was always the introvert ... until I became an expat. Then I HAD to extrovert myself (forgive the grammar) because otherwise I would have stayed at home alone and miserable. Now, people don't believe that I'm the quiet one in the family! What I've learned about myself is invaluable and I would like very much to believe that I'm now a combination of intro/extrovert: happy to meet friends and strangers, engage in new experiences, and stretch myself - balanced by quiet nights at home with a big book and a glass of wine, or a laptop and some inspiration to get down on paper. Sounds a bit like you???? :-)

    1. Expat life will do that to you, amongst other things. There are times this lifestyle gets too much for me, so can appreciate how difficult and frustrating it must be for those who are quieter in nature. You're very good to acknowledge you 'had to extrovert' extrovert yourself and I'm so glad you did, otherwise we'd have never met. Gosh yes, finding the balance ........ x