Internet Famous

If I make some silly rhymes
If I post at different times
If I add a trending tag
Will I have it in the bag?
Will I make it to the top
If my tweeting doesn’t stop?
Will I finally get success?
Will I stop at nothing less?
Will that fill this empty void?
Will my haters be annoyed?
Am I happy and fulfilled?
Am I meaningfully skilled?
Does it matter, oh who cares
As long as I get stranger’s stares
If they follow and subscribe
If they choose to join the tribe
I’ll have love and I’ll have fame
And I will crush this fucking game.

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Internet Famous

visceral

years ago
a Stranger dug a pit
in the soft earth of my mind
and it was in that excavation
where the branches of events were thrown
and burned
charring the pit beyond recognition
or repair
and now
when I return to that site
everything returns
the anger the hope the hate the embarrassment the shame the sadness
everything returns but the branches themselves
because that’s how the universe
and the arrow of time
function…
entropy and chaos and
forward,
always forward

visceral

Had Enough?

What’s one more poem one more pot
One more I with one more dot
One more drawing one more book
One more thing at which to look
One more scarf or one more cake
One more picture of a lake
One more house, one more show
One more online store to go
One more place to spend our cash
One more added to our stash
The collection now is growing large
Swipe that card for one more charge
Consume more music, books, and art
Make more things, add to your cart
Are we that bored, that lost, that sad
Is what we’re doing all that bad?

Had Enough?

. . . t i m e . . .

Time is minutes, seconds, hours, days.

Time is duration.

Time is movement, time is change.

Time is the beating of my heart, the pulsing of blood through my veins.

Time is scars, wounds, scabs.

Time is mechanical, time is fluid.

Time is bodily.

Time is a subjective experience.  Time is an objective reality.

Time is measurable, quantifiable.

Time is incomprehensible.

Time is the rotation of the earth, the movement of the planets.

Time is the changing of the leaves, the wrinkles in skin.

Time is the holes worn in clothing, the decay of buildings.

Time is the space between moments.

Time is the fourth dimension.

Time is long and short.

Time is waiting, time is living, time is breathing.

Time is eternal. Time is temporary.

Time is t; time is a variable.

Tim e is the ticking of a clock.

Time is a human construct.

Time is a social agreement.

Time is cyclical. Time is linear.

Time is regret, hindsight, planning, anxiety, remembering, forgetting.

Time is felt.

Time is overlay, layering, building, destroying.

Time is a canvas.  Time is a stage.

Time is a song with many tempos.

Time is an abyss.

Time is energy. Time is chaos.

Time is god.

. . . t i m e . . .

The Freedom of a Wasp

I think we have a wasp nest near our apartment. Every once in a while some lone wasp makes its way into our home and I watch it crawling on the window, trying to get out. The wasps I have seen don’t frantically or haphazardly run into the glass over and over again like the flies do. They are more calm, more methodical. And they don’t take a break to go meander lazily throughout the apartment like flies do. They stick to their search for freedom, dedicated. I don’t know how long they would continue in their quest, if they would die trying to try to free themselves or eventually abandon their attempts to escape. I don’t know because I always end up rescuing them. I grab a glass and a piece of paper, gently trap them and then release them on our balcony.

I paused today after one such rescue mission, watching a wasp reach its antennae and then its front legs into the open air in front of it. It quickly realized it had a free path and took flight into the crisp autumn day. I paused and wondered why I always chose to help them when so many would ignore or squish such a disliked insect. It’s not like it was a butterfly or a ladybug. It was a wasp. Infamous for stinging, for frightening children.

As I thought, I realized that I free them for two reasons. One, because of their poor reputation. Wasps are made out to be these horrible creatures with their only aim being to harm. But that specific little guy hadn’t hurt me and it only would have hurt me if it had felt threatened by me, as self defense. It’s not a beloved creature; It’s the bumblebee’s ugly cousin, and even the bumblebee can be loved despite its sting because of its role in honey production. But it’s still a living thing, it still has a role to play in our ecosystem, and it still is beautiful even if it isn’t in the same way a flower or a horse are beautiful.

And secondly, it pains me to watch such a small thing be trapped, captive. To be held back from the one things it wants. I felt in that a moment a great amount of affinity with that wasp. Because isn’t that what we all want? To move unhindered toward the thing we love, be it the sunshine or otherwise. Don’t we all get stuck behind the glass of insecurity, depression, anxiety, only wishing we could be on the other side where all the beautiful, sunny things are? Where the freedom is.

The Freedom of a Wasp

I’m not here! (12 of 30)

(aka Why You May Not Be Finding Your Personality Type)

Sometimes when talking about personality typologies, I have heard the response “I don’t connect with any of the types.” Or another similar response of, “I see myself in many of the descriptions.”

As I have been thinking about it, I have realized that there are a few different reasons as to why these responses come about:

1. Incomplete (or inaccurate) information

There are a LOT of online tests and quizzes, websites, articles, books, and podcasts about personality typology. It is very easy to go online, take a random quiz that “tells you your type,” read the description, think that it doesn’t describe you at all, and declare the system stupid. The problem is, most of these systems were not designed to be reduced down to ten multiple choice questions analyzed by a computer.  Psychologists have spent decades writing books upon books about these topics and so if you are relying on a 5 minute quiz, it’s very possible that it will (a) not give you an accurate result or (b) describe the type in a quick, shallow way that feels oversimplified.  None of us like being reduced down to a number or combination of letters.  I know I even resist tests that seem to categorize based solely upon external behavior.  And rightly so! We are so much more complex than that!  My husband and I can both agree to go to an event, for example, and it be for entirely different motivations. Our behavior may look the same, but the complexity of our decision isn’t necessarily outwardly reflected.

So, what to do in this situation? 

Do More Research. I suggest, if you are really serious about determining your type, that you look for some resources that are less pop psychology and more academic.  I’m not saying you have to go read the original writings of Carl Jung, but maybe find someone who has. Find a book/site/podcast that specializes in the system you are looking into.  Better yet, find a few.  Compare and contrast the ways they describe the types and take note of the depth of their analysis. (Note: be prepared… you will actually have to READ, not just take a quiz.)

Look for Subtypes. For example, some people who study the Enneagram (a typology system) have different ways of looking at subtypes. One may focus on your wings (the types adjacent to yours) and the other may focus on instinctual variants.  Is one more accurate, nuanced, detailed? Is one more helpful? More beneficial to your understanding of yourself and others?  Or even, is there a way you can synthesize the information and learn from both? I can’t give you the answers… That’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself.

blue


2. Blindness

Not physical blindness, but a blindness to your own ways of operating, your internal mechanisms, your wiring.  Some of the typology systems deal with things you may have never thought about before (your way of taking in information, for example. See the perceiving functions in Myers-Briggs) or emotions you may be avoiding or repressing.  We all repress, to some degree or another, certain thoughts or feelings.  Subconsciously we may deny our loneliness, shame, anger, neediness, etc. because they are not enjoyable feelings.  This can make it very hard to fully identify with a type if it is describing struggles you deal with but don’t consciously recognize.  If you aren’t connecting with any specific type in a system, consider that it may be your understanding of yourself that it causing the disconnect. Thankfully, this is one that doesn’t require a library full of psychology textbooks…

So, what to do in this situation?

Pay Attention. Start to cultivate self-awareness.  Watch how you interact with the world and pay attention to what is going on behind the curtain.  Try meditation or journaling. It can be quite difficult to see your subconscious motivations, to be self-aware of your triggers, emotions, thoughts, etc. We pick up so many habits and automatic ways of functioning from childhood that often times we really have to dig into ourselves to see them.  Plus it can be really intimidating to get in touch with these parts of yourself! And so my next suggestion…

Find a Counselor or Therapist. Seeing a mental health professional can be incredibly helpful for unearthing the deeper parts of yourself.  It can provide you with a safe space to explore and a guide to come alongside you through the process.  Sometimes having someone else there can bring a lot of clarity and point out things you may have never seen (or acknowledged) about yourself before.  You may even be able to do this with a spouse or close friend, just make sure it’s a safe and honest place.  And at the end of the day, it is you who has to see (and accept) what is going on inside of yourself. Again, we all do things for different reasons.  Other people can guess at what is going on in your mind and heart, but only you can truly discover and know that.

black


3. Type Transcendence

If you are having trouble identifying with a type in a system, and have already fully and honestly considered #1 and #2, there is a possibility that you have transcended type!  I believe that one of the primary aims of systems (like the Enneagram in particular (yes, I know I am bringing it up a lot… it’s the one I am currently deep diving into so it is on my mind!)) is to identify areas of growth in order to work towards developing balance.  Theoretically, with real and sustained personal development, one would successfully transcend type.  I personally haven’t known anyone who is at this place, just given the fact that it would take immense amounts of courage, self-awareness, persistence, and time to achieve this state, but I definitely won’t deny the possibility!

So, what to do in this situation?

If this is you, honestly I am surprised you are on this little blog of mine! You probably have read quite a bit about personal development and therefore know a lot about yourself and humans in general.  In this case, maybe you should consider starting your own blog/website/podcast/book.  You could share the things that have been beneficial to your journey and come alongside others (myself included) as we try to work towards a whole, balanced, and healthy self.

There is one final reason I have been able to think of for why you may not identify with a certain type in a personality typology system…

complex


4. It may not be a useful system.

All personality psychology up to this point is theory.  And sometimes theories are wrong. It is entirely possible that you can’t find yourself in the system because the system is an outdated or incomplete way of looking at humanity. Because in reality, of course all of these systems are going to be incomplete. Humans are incredibly complex. However, I would recommend using this reason as a last resort.  Before you write off an entire system, make sure you fully understand the nuances (NOT the pop psychology version), make sure you have taken an honest look inside of yourself to see if you are overlooking or suppressing anything that may be linked to the disconnection, and understand that growth, balance, and transcending type can be a marker of a healthy person.

And a final note, while it is completely okay and understandable to not find a certain system beneficial for you, remember that other people may be growing and developing because of it.  And isn’t that what this is all about?

(Actually, you may find yourself wondering, what are typology systems about?  Check out this post for my view on the subject. Thanks for stopping by!)

I’m not here! (12 of 30)

How to Deepen Conversations about Personality Type (11 of 30)

Recently, I have found that the more I dive into and learn about personality typology systems (Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, etc.), the more I tend to get frustrated when I find myself in conversations that are using them simply as a means for surface-level identification and differentiation.

Conversations like these:

“I’m a ENTP, what are you?”
“I’m an INFJ.” 
“Oh, cool.”
“Yep…”
“What about your Enneagram type?”
“I’m a four.”
“Sweet. I’m a seven.”
“Nice. Good to know.”

[end of conversation]

I find myself wanting to scream, “We aren’t using these in the way they were intended to be used!” But then I remind myself that I am part of the conversation too.  I am not letting on that I have been digging into cognitive functions stacks and instinctual variants, listening to podcasts and reading books. I am not asking questions that further the conversation or bring depth or to it.  Plus, I have to remember that not everyone has the time or desire to dig into the depths of personality psychology like I do.  Some people are content identifying their type and moving on, and that’s okay.  And some people would love to deep dive, but don’t know there is more depth to it or even if they do, they may not know where to start.  Because it honestly can all be incredibly overwhelming and convoluted, especially at the beginning.

And so today I have been brainstorming ways that I can engage more deeply when a conversation about personality type comes up.  I have come up with five questions that could help further the conversation:

Questions to Deepen Personality Type Conversations

  1. What do you feel like your type says about who you are?
  2. How do you feel your type impacts the way you interact with the world and the people around you?
  3. Has knowing your type helped you to see things about yourself that you hadn’t been aware of before? Can you think of any examples (and would you be willing to share them)?
  4. Has knowing your type helped you to plan steps in your personal development or identify ways you wish to grow?
  5. Are there ways you feel like you don’t fit with the stereotypes of your specific type? Parts that may not resonate with you?  Is there another type that you have mis-typed as in the past or tend to identify with?

And ideally asking these questions (or similar ones) would help to deepen the conversation, opening more doors for getting to know one another, more avenues for sharing and conversation.

For example, I am an INFJ. As an INFJ, my highest leverage point of growth (according to Personality Hacker, a site I am semi-obsessed with) would be developing my Extroverted Feeling (or Harmony as they have nicknamed it). So if someone asked me question 4, I could respond with something like:

“Through understanding more about my type (and myself) I have realized that I am not very great at having healthy boundaries with people.  I tend to go for quick and easy fixes to avoid conflict, instead of pressing into real solutions in order to find true harmony. I have been getting to dig deeper into my psyche to find where that originates, and through self-awareness I am working to establish more sustainable boundaries and a more healthy relationship with conflict.  What about you? Do you find you’re able to engage in conflict? Are there any specific ways you hope to grow or traits you wish to develop?”

Ideally, this could either continue our conversation about type if they have a knowledge of the system beyond the pop psychology aspect, or, equally compelling, it could launch us into a more general (yet still deep) conversation about life, struggles, ambitions, and growth.


So, what about you? Do you have answers to any of the questions above? Do you think they would be helpful for deepening a conversation about personality type? Are there any more you would add to the list or any strategies you have found for deepening conversation?  Let me know in the comments below!

How to Deepen Conversations about Personality Type (11 of 30)