the other side

Well, I made it. I’m on the other side. It has been, unsurprisingly, a reflective weekend.

Today I went for a sail with Grace, Whit, Matt, and my parents. We were on our way out of the harbor when I looked around the cockpit, wondering why there were only five people onboard when I was fairly sure there should be six. It honestly took me several minutes to realize that it was because I was not counting myself.

This strikes me as a fairly sad metaphor.

On Friday night Mum, Dad, Matt and I all did the online Myers-Briggs. I have long been a big Myers-Briggs (MBTI) believer and a committed ENFJ (a personality type represented by something like less than 1% of all HBS students, which explains a lot of my experience there). I’m all J (anal, on time, organized, rigid) and all F (feeling vs. thinking, classic heart vs. head). On E (extraverted vs. introverted) and N (intuitive vs. sensing, ie big picture/intuition/instinct vs. details/data/granular) I have always been closer to the middle.

It is emblematic of either enormous confusion or major tectonic plate-shifting that my Myers-Briggs type has actually changed since the last time I took it. On Friday night I came up as an ISFJ. It doesn’t surprise me that I am now officially an I (though still quite borderline). I find myself more and more internally oriented, though the MBTI description of E vs. I is more nuanced than classic introvert vs. extrovert (I won’t bore you all with it now, but suffice it to say many classic “extroverted” personalities are actually MBTI intraverts).

The one that troubles me is that I am apparently now marginally more S than N (still, only 1% over the midpoint, but I used to be quite N). This concerns me because it seems to hint at deep uncertainty and distrust of my own intuition, something I have always felt quite sure about. I need to spend some time thinking what it is that the test (admittedly a short, internet-friendly version) is picking up on. As much as the overall movement from E to I makes sense to me, that from S to N does not.

More thinking required on that particular topic.

What else from the other side of 35? Well, it was really really hot today. I ran 6 miles and my knee hurt less in the last 3 than the first, which I think means either something really good or something really bad (I suspect the latter, sadly). The children are overtired and cranky. Grace reminded me of myself today in a spooky way: on the boat she was reading down below and I kept asking her questions. She finally burst into tears and I looked at her, surprised, and asked what was going on. “Mummy! I just want to read!” she said, exasperated. I get it, kid, I really do.

Oh, and Aidan, your post touched me deeply, more than you know. Thank you so much for your kind words. I wish I saw myself the way you seem to; even as I read your generous descriptions I hear the voice in my head: well that isn’t true, of course not! I’m very grateful that our paths crossed out here in the wilderness and I simply cannot wait to read Blackberry Girl!!

1 thought on “the other side”

  1. Welcome to this side of the fence, Lindsey. I haven't been here long myself. I am kind of tickled that we are both Leos. I myself am a mostly life-long ENFP, even recently on a short Facebook version. Funny enough, I think I grew into my ENFP-ness, especially the E and the N, in high school. I probably would have been an ISFP before that.

    I wish I had known you better at school. I am glad that the vast Internet has brought us in touch. Despite your internal ruminations to the contrary, you are a pretty wickedly cool chick and I am desperately grateful to be able to find a voice that gives me food for thought, wonderfully layered quotes to chew on, and beautiful pictures of obviously gorgeous and intricate children. I'm really honored to have a window into your world. Thanks for that.

Comments are closed.