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Here I am. On a Saturday. With students as they prepare to compete in the World Affairs Challenge. And I’m thinking about professional relationships.


That space between being myself and making my peers and colleagues feel better.

It took me a long time to find my voice – who I really am. Not who others wanted me to be. Not who others saw me as. Not the personalities I cultivated while in high school and college to cope with my insecurities and fundamental lack of self. While I discovered my self, I began to discover my voice as an educator as well. I am more comfortable in who I am and what I believe, but I still struggle. Mostly, I often wonder how I am supposed to act in my professional spaces.

Often acting on who I am and what I believe creates clashes with others.

For the past several years, this truth has become quite painfully clear.

I really like myself (seriously) – who I am, what I believe, my strengths, passions and even my weaknesses. And that only exacerbates current conflicts with several key relationships.

I understand that positive relationships are the single most important element in productive educational spaces. But I also know that being true to myself is the most important element for my personal happiness and successes.

When do I temper the real me when it might create conflict with a colleague? Where is that line?