The Slippery Slope of Self-Definition


When I'm down, I don't get anything done. I don't clean up after breakfast. I don't pick up my clothes off the floor. I don't leave my tiny room. I watch Netflix and I listen to podcasts and I play Sudoku.

They're not the most destructive habits one can develop, but they definitely don't promote growth. They don't encompass what I feel like a really am.

I am an adventurer! I am a traveler! I am a teacher! I am interesting, fun, talented!

But when I'm down, I'm none of those things. Instead, in my head, I am lazy. I am boring and stupid. I don't like anything or anyone. I can't do anything.

But I think those are lies. All of them, even the positives. I am none of those things and all of them. A few months ago I took a personality test. I don't put much stock into these tests because people don't fit into boxes or 1,000-word descriptions. This one, though, was revealing. They described me as someone that needs to be "unique" and "different." I need to be understood as someone who can't truly be understood. I need to stand out as someone doing something new. It opened my eyes.

That is exactly how I feel! It included some less-than-flattering descriptions as well: that I am self-absorbed, dramatic, and temperamental. I'll admit to those, too. But I learned something important about finding myself in this little box.

The more I try to define myself, the more I fail to live up to those definitions. When I don't live up to the positive definitions I give myself, then I live down to the negative definitions. If I can let go of all of these preconceived ideas, maybe I can break the cycle.

How will I do that, you ask? Stay tuned, because I have no idea. Maybe I can't, but trying counts for something right? No matter what, I know that I am "unique" and "different" and "self-absorbed" and proud to be a four-wing-three!

If you want to take the test, google the Enneagram Institute, and let me know what type you are!

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