Sunday, July 20, 2014

Personal Progress

What a week!

This has been a huge week for me from a personal development perspective. My approach to life, the universe, and everything has shifted allowing the unexpected (or long awaited depending on your view) to fall in place.

I am a believer in Myers Briggs typing. Yes, there are limits to any tool's effectiveness, that said, I have found the MBTI to be incredibly useful. In fact, this week it was game-changing.

I think I may have said before that I am an INFJ (introvert, intuitive, feeling, judging). I knew this, but I hadn't really taken that information to a useful place because I had no circumstance in which to apply it (not in my estimation, though that was probably a false assumption). My husband had taken the test several times and always came out differently so I was unable to use the information.

Then I got a crazy idea.

What if I took the test for him?!

I accepted the fact that whatever results I got would have to be taken with a grain of salt. The numbers probably wouldn't be accurate but at least I could uncover his type.

Now had I ever read all the types, I would have pegged him in a second...but that isn't how I roll.

Needless to say, Christian came out unsurprisingly as an INTP (introverted, intuitive, thinking, perceiving). Knowing Christian and reading what INTPs are like, I didn't have to retest. Because of the apparent accuracy of this result, I eagerly began devouring and sharing information about our types with Christian. Suddenly our differences and compatibility came into sharp focus. This blew our minds, especially when we read about relationships between our types.

It was like reading about ourselves.

While this opened up possibilities for growth in our relationship, that is not what I want to share here. Instead I want to point out a few things that I discovered about myself in the process.

Firstly, my type is sometimes called "the confidant" or "the counselor" or "the author." No joke.

Secondly, in case you weren't clued in by the above, some of the careers INFJs are suited for are writer, teacher, and counselor.

And thirdly, all of these things - info about my type, relationship issues, and my personal circumstance - brought back some other questions about life direction.

Our family cannot live on one income, not with present circumstance. I cannot stay at home all day because I go crazy. I have to work. I really love my baby, but in order to be a role model and provide for him I need to do what is best for my emotional health, our finances, and my professional goals.

Sometimes the old plan is the best new plan. Or maybe it isn't a plan, but at least a possible direction (I'm working on my spontaneity.).

When I was still in college I very strongly wanted a doctorate. The idea of putting the letters behind my name appealed. I liked the idea of being incontrovertibly equal with men (and surpassing others). It helped that "doctor" would further androgynize my name as Alexis can be male or female. The problem was I wasn't sure what I would do with a PhD or what I would study. I couldn't justify the resources on an unknown.

Recently a friend mentioned fully funded programs and suddenly it became a possibility again, or at least a consideration.

Other thoughts came to the fore. I am a good teacher. It feels like performance in the best way. It allows me to use all my strengths with purpose. I enjoy teaching, particularly adults. I really enjoy teaching adults subjects I love - like art, or public speaking, or writing.

Oh my GOD that took a long time to get there!

Yes. I could be a professor of literature and writing! I could hone my craft, teach, and be a mom. The variety of tasks and responsibilities suits my work style and temperament. It is something my parents have urged me towards for years.

Probably worth a gander at least.

So these next few weeks I plan to explore the possibility of a doctorate and all that will mean. It is an idea, not a plan, not for certain - just a good idea. We shall see how it pans out.

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