“I think I’m boring.”
That’s the text I sent to my husband last night while we were watching TV together.
In preparation for a class I’m taking through our church, I’ve been taking some of those personality quizzes. I have always LOVED taking these, so it’s the very part of the course I’ve most anticipated. Here’s what I can tell you about myself: Myers-Briggs says I’m an ISTJ; the Enneagram says I’m a 6; of Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies, I’m a Questioner; StrengthsFinder says my 5 main themes are Maximizer, Intellection, Input, Relator, and Responsibility; the Spiritual Gifts test lists my top three as Discernment, Teaching, and Knowledge. (I most agree with the Questioner label and the Enneagram, and I’m definitely a Teacher at heart. I question doubt the validity of the Myers-Briggs and StrengthsFinder results.)
You know what all of that means? I’m a very logical introvert who loves to think, I have a tendency to be an anxious perfectionist, I crave stability, I’m reliable, and I can teach.
I keep expecting to discover some new insight about myself from these tests, but they keep revealing the same patterns. This morning (after a discussion with my husband who finally read my text from last night), I realized the problem. They do correctly identify my dominant traits, but that’s only part of the story. I am at least 51% as described above – maybe even 75%, maybe even 90% – but that’s not all.
I’m logical, but I’m also a romantic.
I’m an introvert, but I also love hanging out with my Bible study friends.
I do tend toward some perfectionistic anxiety, but other times I couldn’t care less what other people think.
I crave stability, but I also crave doing something big and scary. You know why I’m not pursuing the chance to speak at more homeschool conventions this year? Because it turned out to not be a big challenge. I thought it would take years to accomplish that goal, but it didn’t. All I had to do was volunteer. And also, I’m sick to death of math. Now I’m pursuing another goal. It’s a big one – for me, at least. And I’m not telling you what it is because if I do, I’ll either (a) suddenly lose interest in it because I want to rebel against your expectation, or (b) I won’t be able to finish it because I’ll be paralyzed by the thought of so many people expecting so much.
I am reliable, but I also love doing things that are totally “out of character” – like getting bright pink highlights in my hair.
I am a teacher, but I’m not a coach, and I’m a terrible tutor. I’m supremely awkward right before and right after class time. With the exception of my own children, I don’t like teaching anyone under the age of 18 – or maybe 30. I’m very good at teaching tricky math concepts, but I’m also sick of it. I want to teach a really deep Bible study.
None of those quizzes point out that I have an extremely sharp wit. I’m funny. I love color – especially jewel tones. I prefer dressing up to being super-casual. It’s nearly impossible for me to be productive in pajama pants. I like British comedies from the 70s and 80s. All of my favorite songs came out in the 1980s. I preferred Luke over Bo, and Dylan over Brandon. My favorite book is Persuasion by Jane Austen. (It’s the only book where I’ve actually shed a tear at the end.) I generally don’t like going to movies. I love rules and structure, but ONLY if I’m the one who created them, and I reserve the right to break them at any time, for any reason.
My (formerly) secret dream was to have a hair salon in a little building behind my house. I wanted to hear all of the latest news over the smell of perm fumes and soap operas playing in the background while drinking a Coke BOTTLE from the machine in the corner. I wanted to be a trapeze artist at the circus – not the one who actually does the tricks but the one who stands on the platform with her arm in the air dressed all sequin-y. (I told David the trapeze one on one of our first “dates” when we were just friends. I think maybe he’s loved me ever since then.)
I keep expecting God to put some giant Calling in front of me. I grew up hearing about people being called into ministry, called to the mission field, called into this vocation or that. But I know that my overarching goal is “to know Him and to make Him known.” And you know what? I’m doing just that. At home. With my children. I just thought it would look different. Bigger somehow. Maybe it will someday. Maybe it won’t. I love being at home. I don’t really WANT to go and do anything else. I just fear missing something. I fear letting God down. The Parable of the Talents terrifies me. What if I’m burying something in the ground and I don’t even know it?
So there you have it. Or at least more parts of it. This is me. I don’t fit into a test category. I’m an LKPB.
So what’s your “type?” I’d love to hear about it.