Tag Archives: Change

I Used to be an ESTJ

Since I’ve been home recovering from my head injury, Hope and I have had a chance to spend some time together. Oddly, we haven’t gotten on each other’s nerves too much. We’ve enjoyed resting and lounging; of course, this is what Hope has been doing all summer, but I digress. I have a great kid.

Last week we threw on some sweats and hit the neighborhood IHOP while the housekeepers got the house together (how is it that I feel like I’m intruding in my own house when they are there???). Over pancakes and bacon, Hope and I got to talking about personality types. Hope mentioned that they did a Myers-Briggs test in school last year. Intrigued, I inquired what letters she got. Of course, my daughter and her short attention span and poor memory couldn’t remember.

Curious I did a quick Google search on my phone and pulled up a test for her to take over breakfast. She read the questions, occasionally asking me to clarify the questions for her. I mused over her answers, thinking for at least half of them that I wouldn’t answer the way she did based on how I observed how she moved through the world. She turned out to be an I/ESTP. She presents differently to me.

Um, way, way, way, way, way, way differently to me, but um, ok…if that’s how she sees herself.

I definitely pegged the Introvert/Extrovert borderline, but the rest of it was like no, these descriptions don’t describe my kid at all. I am intrigued by the way Hope sees herself. While I’m not totally going to change my parenting style based on a free version of the Myers-Briggs I found on the internet over breakfast, it does make me think about trying to see Hope as she sees herself.

Artistic, independent, adaptable, practical, self-directed and energetic. This sounds like a great kid too. I hope that one day everyone can see her this way, including and especially me.

After reading her results and chatting about them, I reset the test and started taking it myself. I know that we can change over time. I have been an ESTJ (Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging) for as long as I can remember, and none of these indicators were even close to the borderlines all the previous times I’ve taken the test—both formally and informally. I hadn’t taken one of these tests since I became a mom, so, since we were chatting about our personalities, I jumped on the test train.

Low and behold, I have changed. The only thing that stayed the say was my tendency for extroversion. Every other indicator was firmly hugging the borderline. Apparently, I have become more Intuitive, more Feeling, and more Perceiving since I became a mom. Who is *this* chick???

I guess that’s a good thing, right? As I told Hope, none of these letters are particularly good or bad; they just are.

Still, I am fascinated by the changes. I suppose motherhood required me to develop and flex these aspects of my personality. I’d like to think that I’m more forward thinking as I dream about Hope’s future, and I certainly have added consideration of feelings along with my data in decision-making. I’ve had to let some of my judginess go and be more flexible and adaptable in this phase of my life.

So, I guess it all makes sense, but much like I thought I saw differently than she sees herself, what I thought I knew about myself turns out to be different than the possible reality.

It’s odd because there was some pride I’d long taken in being an ESTJ. I don’t know why; maybe it was how definitive the scoring suggested these letters represented me. As I mentioned earlier, I know that personalities can change over time, but um, that was *other* people…not me. Is it odd that my initial reaction was feeling a little grief and loss—I mean, here was another indicator of how motherhood has changed me and even though I traded in my cute Mini Cooper 18 months ago in favor of a “family” car, I’m still not-so-secretly mad about that. Did I really have to “lose” my STJ too?

I’m mildly comforted by the fact that my scores at least hug the borderline; maybe I’m still an ESTJ at work and just different at home.

Of course, I am glad that my personality has shifted to meet the need I have in my life now. Hope certainly benefits from me being less rules-oriented (Oh, we have rules though) and more emotionally in tune with things.

So here we are; Hope sees herself as radically different than I see her, and I have changed from the me I used to know.

This isn’t bad, but I can’t help pondering these pieces of information well past the bacon and pancakes. It’s interesting and I wonder what new surprises about our personalities will reveal in time.

Has your personality changed since becoming a parent?


No New Friends

So apparently there’s a Drake song called No New Friends.  I tried to read the lyrics, and I came to the conclusion that yeah, apparently hip hop is dead.  Ick.  Just horrid.  Still the title is apropos for this post.

Hope is mad.  Her words, not mine.  Actually she’s furious and she’s scared.

I thought she was still mad about the detention/sentence fiasco from last week.  Sunday, she barely spoke to me.  Yesterday, after a little reassurance (receiving some pictures from our trip in the mail) she blurted out:

“I don’t want to move.”

I clicked off the TV in the background, and turned off the light so that I could really focus on what she was about to say.  I also took a deep breath so I could steal my nerves and hold back tears.

Hope explained that she didn’t want to leave her friends; she’d left so many friends with each previous move. “Sometimes I don’t make any new friends, and it’s sad.  I don’t want to leave anymore friends. I don’t want to move.”

Oy.

I told her I that I heard her, and I understand.  Intellectually I get it, but I never moved when I was a kid so I have zero frame of reference.  As an adult, I’ve moved to go to college but I’ve lived in the same city for now more than 20 years and have accumulated friends throughout that time.  I’ve had friends move away, but I never did.  On that core level, I can only imagine what a nightmare moving again must feel like to her.

Hope also explained that she was afraid of starting a new school where she didn’t know anything and where they are very probably working on things she’s not working.  She didn’t want to fail school on top of everything else.

Oh great, no new friends and performance anxiety.  I’d be pissed too.

I dropped her therapist an email this morning to let her know that Hope was pretty anxious about the move.  Within two hours we were setting up a two week trip to Virginia for Hope and me.  In fact, we’ll be dining on turkey and all the fixings while plotting and scheming for Black Friday next month.  That’s right: Hope is coming home for her first Thanksgiving.

Not only will she be able to have some time in what will eventually become our natural environment, but she will get to meet some family and do some sightseeing and shopping.  Most importantly, we will have a chance to visit the school she will attend in the New Year, get set up at the local recreational center, have an opportunity to create our own traditions and rhythms and just have some extended time to bond.

She’ll then get to go home for a couple of weeks before she heads back here for good.  Hopefully this will help.

I’m excited for us.  I’m feeling fortunate to be surrounded by a supportive agency and to work with a jurisdiction that is so responsive to our needs.  I never anticipated that my email would result in such an amazing development.

I hope she once here for more than just a few days that she realizes that she will have more family than she’s ever known and the basis for some good friendships to nurture when she returns in December.


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