Learning About Myself

As part of a leadership training program in my organization, I took the Enneagram personality assessment. If you're in to that kind of thing, follow the link and learn your type. Because used a paid site, we got in-depth results. Turns out, my score for Type 5 (the Thinker) was only three points higher than my score for 9 (the Peacemaker).

Interestingly, these types have a lot in common: the shared traits with which I most strongly identify are the tendency to withdraw and become isolated and the difficulty connecting with and expressing emotions. Apparently, Nines (which I grudgingly concede I probably am) often have trouble discerning their true type because their identities are so tied to other people.

Anyway, I've found one bit particularly fascinating: for both Fives and Nines, part of the advice for personal growth is regular exercise.

"[Fives] tend to be extremely intense and so high-strung that it's difficult to relax and unwind. Make an effort to learn to calm down in a healthy way... Exercising or using biofeedback techniques will help channel some of your tremendous nervous energy. Meditation, jogging, yoga, and dancing are especially helpful for [Type Fives]."
And for Type Nine: "Exercise frequently to become more aware of your body and emotions... Regular exercise is a healthy form of self-discipline and will increase your awareness of your feelings and other sensations. A body awareness will allow you to concentrate and focus your attention in other areas of your life as well. Exercise is also a good way to get in touch with and release aggression."
I've experienced this. When I was running regularly and eating well, I was so much more aware of my emotions and less overwhelmed by them. I cried more often but felt better. I didn't have the frequent headaches and nausea and fatigue that are probably related to the emotions I've been covering with food and suppressing with hours of television instead of feeling and releasing.

So, maybe part of the reason I'm afraid to get back at it is that I don't know which emotions are going to come up when I do. I'm not giving up, though, so I guess we'll see.

Did you click the link? What's your type? Did the description ring true?

Stop the World!

It's been close to three months since I've written. Everything keeps moving and I'm fighting hard to keep going forward at the same pace as my life. Let me tell you about it.
  • I went to Los Angeles and did my part to help with The Justice Conference, an event that World Relief helped found just a few years ago.
  • After LA, I headed up to Seattle for five days of vacation. Yay for a $120 trip to Seattle!
  • Upon my return, I learned that my roommate was moving out and I began the hunt for a new roommate to share my apartment. The hunt was, ultimately, unsuccessful, mostly because I didn't feel like living with someone I'd met through Craigslist.
  • My promotion, that took effect February 1, was announced to the organization. I moved up from Administrative Assistant to Marketing Coordinator. 
  • I learned that a friend from work had bought a house in Baltimore and was going to be looking for a tenant. I jumped on that train.
  • Once the decision was made to move into the city, I started sorting, purging, and packing my belongings. I also started daydreaming about building my own tiny house one day and took a few steps to start saving toward that end. Building a tiny house will also involve even more sorting and purging over the next few years.
  • Throughout April, I moved things to my new home. It took two full carloads and one cargo van to move all my things, including my furniture. For some, this doesn't sound like much but I'd like to be rid of at least one more carload, maybe both, by the end of 2015.
  • Last weekend was the final move - furniture and the last few boxes. On Monday, I spent about seven hours cleaning my old place. It's amazing how messy things can get after almost 2 1/2 years.
Things I haven't been doing include running (or any other exercise) or eating healthfully or socializing with people. Instead, when I wasn't packing or cleaning, I was lying around, watching various television shows, and trying to pretend I didn't need anything from anyone.

I wasn't keen on living in the city but there are some really good things about it, chief among them that I will be able to commute by foot every day. Soon enough, I plan to be a run commuter, making my morning trip to work my mileage for the day. I'm looking into a good pack for this purpose so that I can comfortably transport my clothes, breakfast, and lunch for each day.

Another good thing is that there are no fast food restaurants on my route. And, even if there were, I am much more reluctant to walk into a fast food place than to patronize the drive-thru. So, I'll be avoiding a lot of my poorest eating habits. For the moment, we don't have a kitchen in the house, so I'm pretty much eating raw veggies and fruit and pita chips because they're easy.

Also, I'm considering going car-less. It's much more expensive to have my car in the city and it's getting old enough that sooner or later it's going to need some major repair or another that will wipe out my savings. If that happens before I decide to sell it, I'm going to donate it somewhere instead of getting it repaired.

Life is changing and I feel like I've finally let go of the illusion of control enough to be moving at the same speed it has been. Stay tuned for more updates.