I have a friend that I met at a workshop I did in Nevada. We’ve kept in touch by email, and his emails to me often resemble poetry in the way he splits the sentences into small phrases. The other day he wrote:
“just got thru the rat story. You are not just another pretty face.
Lots of gooood background on research.
Eventually we will learn who you really are.”
It was that last line that got me. I don’t feel like I’m such a mystery, plus I always figure people will be more interested in the information I have for them than in me personally. I’m rethinking that now, based on my friend’s note, and on something I learned from the folks at the Southern Indiana Grazing Conference where I just presented last week.
The night before the conference I had dinner with some of the conference organizers and attendees. I’d spent an hour and a half driving on ice and watching vehicles slip off the road in front of me just to get to the airport, then two and a half hours flying, and then another 3 hours driving through winter storm “Nika” to get to our meeting place. So I was a little off my game when we sat down to chat. When asked to introduce myself, all I could really manage was my name. (My apologies to everyone there. You were very interesting people and I enjoyed meeting you.) The next day, as part of my talk, I shared some of the details about myself that they wanted to know, including that I’m a very shy person. One of the guests from dinner came up afterwards and said, “Ah! That explains so much about why you were so quiet at dinner!” He had the context he needed to understand me, and that means we’ll be able to work together better in the future.
It’s always helpful to give people a little context. It avoids confusion, and it helps us understand and work better with each other.
Thanks for reading!