A few weeks ago during my cyber sabbatical, I met with a mentor of mine to help me wade through the mess in my head. It was hard for me to sort out why what I had once loved so much and done so well with (business and social media), was now becoming a source of great stress and overwhelm even beyond the physical pain I was experiencing.
As I listed all that ailed me, she (a retired counsellor and an introvert herself), told me that although she has known me to be an extrovert the past 19 years (we met when Paige was just a few months old), what I was expressing sounded a lot like introversion and the stresses that accompany it.
So as per her suggestion, I did the Myers-Briggs test (an awesome personality tool that most of us did in high school or college or maybe even work) and lo and behold, she was right! I have made my way to the other side of extroversion and have grown into an INFP (just like my bestie) and never in all the years that I have done this test did introversion ever come up.
Keep in mind that we are all are a mix of both aspects, but we usually have a predominant way of operating in the world. It's not like I didn't have an introverted side all these years because I definitely have (all my writings, romances, and forest dwellings nurture this aspect), and it's not like my extroverted side is no longer (it shows up really well with people I adore, in cyberspace, on radio, and on subjects I'm passionate about), but now it seems that introversion has taken center stage in my life. Here's some more of what I discovered:
"INFPs have very high standards and are perfectionists. Consequently, they are usually hard on themselves, and don't give themselves enough credit. INFPs are usually talented writers. They may be awkard and uncomfortable with expressing themselves verbally, but have a wonderful ability to define and express what they're feeling on paper. INFPs also appear frequently in social service professions, such as counselling or teaching. They are at their best in situations where they're working towards the public good, and in which they don't need to use hard logic. INFPs who function in their well-developed sides can accomplish great and wonderful things, which they will rarely give themselves credit for. Some of the great, humanistic catalysts in the world have been INFPs."
This is affirming and explains so much. And that's just a small portion of what I learned about this personality type.
All the fiery magic I put out into the world the past 7 years was through my extroverted self via my reflective self, but over time and unbeknownst to me, I have simply grown even more solitary and private and uncomfortable with so much of what once felt completely natural for me to do.
Up until now, most I what I have done has put me in front of a cyber audience and that's precisely where I no longer want to be, yet here I am. I don't have a solution to this dilemma because I am a public writer and still want to be, and I'm not yet independently wealthy and able to go completely off the grid forevermore (I fantasize about this daily), but lately I keep trying to find more ways to remove myself from the world instead of ways to engage with it, which is kinda hard based on what I've been doing and loving for so long, and kinda stupid considering the power and connectivity of social media. Facebook has been the most incredible space to explore and express myself and find my voice as a writer while connecting to other beautiful souls. I have loved this medium immensely.
So who knows. Many of my previous dreams and goals seem to just no longer apply because they don't resonate with who I am now, and I honestly have no idea what I want to do at the moment and I guess that's ok.
"There’s no shame in saying “things have changed,” then taking the actions necessary to allow you the space to redirect your energy toward something better aligned with who you are, what you want out of life, and how you wish to contribute to the world." Jonathan Fields
Things really have changed and I'm not the woman I used to be. I don't know what's to come, but I hope and imagine it will be lovely.
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