I woke up this morning thinking about people who I admire for a number of different reasons. This blog post was already formulating in my head, when I checked Twitter and saw this tweet from Chris Brogan:
Hit the breaks. Flip a U-turn. Proceed down the other side of the fork in the road. This blog post took an entirely different direction.
I was going to write about how I admire my parents for riding the waves during 40 years of marriage. I was going to write how Tara Hunt holds a special place for her tenacity and ability to see light in difficult situations. Or Tony Hseih for being a visionary and an extremely generous person. Or Hugh MacLeod for his ability to make art out of business ideas.
But… do I really know them?
My parents, yes — as much as any child knows their parents. But Tara, Hugh, and Tony? Am I really seeing them for who they are?
Here lies the curse of being an introvert / INTJ / aspergirl / whatever the popular designation of this condition is at the moment. I know who these people are publically, either from social situations, or blogs, or other various encounters. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to get to know these people — or any other people I admire — better to see how they work, their mental processes, human flaws, or where they draw sources of inspiration, but I find it physically taxing. I become overwhelmed, especially if small talk is required, such as in many social situations.
Getting to know people takes time, a puzzle piece discovered and placed. Some we keep for ourselves. Some we give to only our closest confidants. Other pieces are like a 3-year old’s Easter egg hunt: colorful beacons in the un-mowed grass. Do we ever know another person as we know ourselves?
Would I want to be someone’s admiration? I’m not sure. I’m quite content knowing that I can make a difference in the background, but there are also times that I’d love to get at least a small bit of recognition for the work. It’s a lot of work to ‘let people in,’ and — for as much as I need that at times — something I’m working on.
I’m not here to make my voice heard. I’m here to make the world a better place, one person / place / idea at a time. I’ll take the puzzle piece from my parents for strength and love, the piece about tenacity from Tara, Tony’s generosity piece, and Hugh’s passion for art and cobble them together to form my own impact on the world. And if that makes me someone’s hero, so be it. As long as there’s a positive outcome.