Thursday, July 30, 2009

Personality Types

People often tell me I am a mystery to them and I usually get people trying to typecast me according to my birth order or star sign - to which I always get the same response - you don't fit the typical Virgo mold.

I do agree that environment and other outside factors have some influence on personality, but I also think that a lot of personality is predetermined. I've never really found anything that describes me so well until I stumbled upon the Myers-Briggs personality test that a friend wrote about in a recent blog.

After reading her post, I was curious and decided to take the test myself. I soon found out I was an INFJ, or an Introverted Intuition Feeling Judging personality. According to the results this personality type appears in only 1% of the population.

As I read the traits associated with the INFJ personality, I was amazed at how much I feel I relate to my personality type.

Here is what Myers-Briggs says:

INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types.

INFJs place great importance on havings things orderly and systematic in their outer world. They put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly define and re-define the priorities in their lives. On the other hand, INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions. This is something of a conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not being as organized as other Judging types tend to be. Or we may see some signs of disarray in an otherwise orderly tendency, such as a consistently messy desk.

INFJs have uncanny insight into people and situations. They get "feelings" about things and intuitively understand them. As an extreme example, some INFJs report experiences of a psychic nature, such as getting strong feelings about there being a problem with a loved one, and discovering later that they were in a car accident. This is the sort of thing that other types may scorn and scoff at, and the INFJ themself does not really understand their intuition at a level which can be verbalized. Consequently, most INFJs are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it. They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand. INFJs hold back part of themselves, and can be secretive.

But the INFJ is as genuinely warm as they are complex. INFJs hold a special place in the heart of people who they are close to, who are able to see their special gifts and depth of caring. INFJs are concerned for people's feelings, and try to be gentle to avoid hurting anyone. They are very sensitive to conflict, and cannot tolerate it very well. Situations which are charged with conflict may drive the normally peaceful INFJ into a state of agitation or charged anger. They may tend to internalize conflict into their bodies, and experience health problems when under a lot of stress.

Because the INFJ has such strong intuitive capabilities, they trust their own instincts above all else. INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential. INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves - there's always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them. They believe in constant growth, and don't often take time to revel in their accomplishments. They have strong value systems, and need to live their lives in accordance with what they feel is right. In deference to the Feeling aspect of their personalities, INFJs are in some ways gentle and easy going. Conversely, they have very high expectations of themselves, and frequently of their families. They don't believe in compromising their ideals.

INFJ is a natural nurturer; patient, devoted and protective. They make loving parents and usually have strong bonds with their offspring. They have high expectations of their children, and push them to be the best that they can be. This can sometimes manifest itself in the INFJ being hard-nosed and stubborn. But generally, children of an INFJ get devoted and sincere parental guidance, combined with deep caring.

In the workplace, the INFJ usually shows up in areas where they can be creative and somewhat independent. They have a natural affinity for art, and many excel in the sciences, where they make use of their intuition. INFJs can also be found in service-oriented professions. They are not good at dealing with minutia or very detailed tasks. The INFJ will either avoid such things, or else go to the other extreme and become enveloped in the details to the extent that they can no longer see the big picture. An INFJ who has gone the route of becoming meticulous about details may be highly critical of other individuals who are not.

The INFJ individual is gifted in ways that other types are not. Life is not necessarily easy for the INFJ, but they are capable of great depth of feeling and personal achievement.

If you have a chance, take the test yourself. I'm curious to see if anyone else feels the same about their results.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dreams and Recipes for Soup

"This is a bag filled with dreams & recipes for soup & he's deciding right now which he's really hungry for. -Story People"

I came across this the other day while re-reading one of Brian Andreas' Story People books. He always has the best way to describe exactly what I'm thinking.

This particular story jumped out at me because I've been thinking a lot about what it is I'm really hungry for lately.

I love my job at the moment and I know I am getting to do so many things that most people never get to do but at times I fear that I won't ever get to have what everyone else has either.

Living in NYC is fun at times, but it means living paycheck to paycheck. Forget about vacations...I can't even afford to visit home. I don't own anything, not even a couch, and won't anytime soon since moving is a huge pain. Our apartment is so small that my old love for throwing dinner parties is out of the question, not to mention the fact that all my friends who loved attending them don't live anywhere in this time zone.

At almost 30 this is not the way I envisioned my life.

Which makes me think that it may be time to decide if I'm still hungry for the dreams or if it's time to be happy with the soup.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Finally, something I do <3 about NYC

Last night I finally got to experience one of the famous NYC summer events that everyone always talks about - the New York Philharmonic was giving a free concert in Central Park complete with fireworks. I love the symphony, the park and great weather so when I heard about this I couldn't say no. Last year over 63,000 people attended the concert so I knew I had to be prepared for the crowds. I ended up being incredibly lucky in the fact that my coworkers friends were able to get to the park around four to reserve us all a spot.

I stopped by the grocery store after work to pick up dinner and then met up with another friend. We arrived at Central Park around 7 and began hunting for the orange balloons my friend promised marked their spot. We walked around the Great Lawn and saw people of all ages. There were groups eating everything from sandwiches to plates of cheese and wine. People had marked off their areas with anything they had and we saw many large flags and mylar balloons, which made finding the promised orange balloons a bit difficult, but my friend had given us good directions and we found them fairly quickly anyway.

At 8 pm the concert started. A selection of Beethoven and Bach filled the air as the stars began to come out. The concert ended with a beautiful fireworks display.

At that moment I was reminded of how much fun it can be to live in NYC and to be able to take advantage of something so unique.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Excuse me, do you have any spare change?

If I had a dollar for every person that has asked me for money in this city I could probably stop working right now.

This morning as my roommate and I waited for the bus a man approached and asked us for change. When we told him no, he started cursing us out as he walked on to disturb the person next to me. The truth is, I don't carry change around and I rarely even carry cash. In a plastic world I use a debit card for everything so I wasn't lying to him as he suspected.

The other day I was walking home from work with my headphones on to purposefully avoid having to talk to the bums and charity workers that always try and stop me on the streets when a man comes by and taps me on the shoulder. I reluctantly removed my headphones and he asks me if I speak English. I warily answer yes and he begins telling me some story about how he's been stuck in the city all night, lost his wallet and needs money. I gave him a dollar to send him on his way but couldn't help but walk away feeling angry.

The thing is, he may have been telling the truth but in a city where you get bothered every single walk you take, you lose patience quickly. And I know this makes me a bad person, but in a city that never shuts up sometimes you just want a peaceful commute.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My Bucket List

A long time ago I started a bucket list of sorts. It's been a running list of all the things I would love to do in life. Since moving to the East Coast I have been able to check off three or four things - in addition to adding a few more :)

I now have one more to check off my list - camping in Acadia National Park. I have always heard stories about the beauty of Acadia. It's been somewhere I wanted to visit long before moving to Boston.

The park is a 6 hour drive from Boston and while I lived there I never had the chance to see it. So this year when I heard I had a long weekend for the Fourth, I took advantage of it and started planning a road trip.

Four friends and I left Boston very early Friday morning. I was excited to see the park, excited to see my friends, excited for a road trip and excited to get out of the city.

The drive was easy and traffic free. We arrived in Bar Harbor around 2pm and headed to our campground. Attempting to assemble rented tents was a bit of a challenge, but we soon had a home and headed out for dinner. We found a little seafood restaurant with a beautiful deck and decided it was nice enough for a drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain where we were lucky enough to see an amazing sunset from the mountaintop before heading back to camp.

Driving up Cadillac Mountain

View from dinner

The next morning we awoke freezing and to a thick blanket of fog. We headed to Jordan Pond and began the 3 mile hike around the lake. We headed down the path blindly and we surprised when we ended up back where we started a few hours later to see the famous Bubbles had been next to us all along!

Jordan Pond

The next stop was Sandy Beach. We had a picnic lunch before napping on the beach for a bit. We saw a few more sights before deciding to head into Bar Harbor for the evening fireworks.

We found a patch of grass in the town square and patiently waited for the fireworks to begin. They were beautiful but the rain hit at the very end and we soon found ourselves dashing back to the car.

We headed back to the campsite knowing there would be no marshmallow roasting for us. We bundled up for bed - seriously, I was wearing four shirts, two pairs of pants and two pairs of socks in JULY!!

The next morning we awoke to the sun and we sadly started packing up our gear. We made one last stop in the park at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse before getting back on the road.

It was a wonderful weekend and I'm already looking forward to a return visit when I can stay longer!