Enneagram

This is one of my lifelong best friends, Kim. She is a two. I am a two. I know that because I make everyone I know that the Enneagram test. We are soul mates, obviously. It's her birthday today. 

This is one of my lifelong best friends, Kim. She is a two. I am a two. I know that because I make everyone I know that the Enneagram test. We are soul mates, obviously. It's her birthday today. 

There are a lot of really embarrassing things about me. I'm feeling confessional (what else is new?), so here's a (very) abridged list:

  • You know how some people joke about how they talk to their cats? I actually talk to my cats. A LOT. Like, I ask them for advice. And when they don't give me advice, because they are cats, I kind whine at them loudly about how they are not good boyfriends.
  • Sometimes I practice British accents while wearing my tutu. And I think I look hot and sound really good, like Kira Knightley.
  • I REGULARLY order a whole pizza. For myself. And eat the whole thing alone in bed.
  • Usually when I'm eating the pizza, I am also watching "Gilmore Girls," which is my favorite show, even though I know that it's stupid and that it was ALMOST relevant ten years ago when it came out, but now it's not even good enough to be on ABC Family anymore. Also, I have seen every episode enough times to be able to quote ALL OF THEM. ALL THE WAY THROUGH. Once I did calculations about this, and discovered I have watched more than two straight weeks of this show altogether. TWO WEEKS OF MY WHOLE LIFE. 
  • I masturbate a lot.
  • Like, sometimes I leave work on my lunch to just masturbate and then come right back. "Come" pun intended
  • I make "come" puns. Sometimes at family gatherings.

And on and on. But one of the most embarrassing things about me, for which I am learning to be less apologetic, is that that I am totally into personality tests.

You know what I'm talking about. Probably at some corporate retreat at some point you were asked to take a watered-down version of the Myers-Briggs personality test, which uses elements of Jungian psychology to place you in four different boxes: extroverted vs. introverted; sensing vs. intuition; thinking vs. feeling; and judging vs. perceiving. Then you get a four-letter acronym for the personality that you uniquely hold, and you get to find out which famous people probably shared your personality type. I am an INFJ. Two people who were probably also INFJ's, for example, were Martin Luther King, Jr., and Hitler. I totally get off on everything about this. 

A few years ago, my roommates introduced me to the Enneagram, which is a little like the Myers-Briggs, but with less of the fuzzy science nonsense and more of this kind of spiritual pagan thing going for it. So, in other words, I'm basically obsessed with it and I want it to be my husband.

The Enneagram sorts you into one of nine categories, and the labels are so much better than the Myers-Briggs labels. Rather than a meaningless four-letter acronym, you are given a number (one through nine), and then a label that goes with that number. You could be a three ("the achiever"), a four ("the individualist"), or a five ("the investigator"). Don't those all sound cool? They are all cool. And luckily, if you feel like you're not just one thing, the Enneagram allows you to have "wings" -- where you're mostly-one-thing-but-also-kind-of-this-other-thing. I'm a two with a three wing -- "the helper" with overtones of "the achiever." 

Being into personality tests is embarrassing for lots of reasons. I spend my entire life trying to pry people out of boxes, and here I am in my free time, happily wrestling myself into one. 

What I'm feeling lately, though, is that I'll take whatever I can get to understand my weird self. Because then when I find myself buying lots of presents for someone because I am afraid they don't like me, I can recognize that that's something that I do a lot when I'm not feeling happy or stable, and I can sort of watch it and notice how it affects my life. It doesn't have to be this random occurrence; it can be a pattern.

Every day, the Enneagram sends me an e-mail with my "Enneathought of the Day," and I read them first thing in the morning when I wake up. Sometimes they're mean -- they say things like, "Maybe you're just being nice to people because you want to be acknowledged for it." And then I'm like, "Yeah, you're probably right." Those are the times when my Enneathought of the Day and I seem to be in a slightly abusive relationship.

But still, I like feeling like there are things about me that are true about other people too. Sometimes I feel so alone in the world, and so crazy and weird, that just knowing that a lot of my behavior patterns roughly fit into some kind of category feels safe to me. I enjoy the knowledge that somewhere else in the universe, someone is also baking 100 cookies to make this meeting less boring for people, and she is also ensuring that there's a batch that is vegan, and one that is gluten-free. 

And at the same time, it makes me feel kind of special. It makes me feel special, and it helps me to see other people as special. Maybe I'm a helper, and that's cool thing! But then I hang out with my friend who is an enthusiast (a seven), and that's also a cool thing. Then, when she acts in a way that I literally cannot understand for the life of me, I can sink into the realization that we are different people. We need and want and value different things. And actually, that's totally amazing and cool. 

So, I'm still embarrassed about my love of personality tests, and the degree to which I think about them throughout the day. ("That boy is super cute. Look at how he's kind of rubbing his mechanical pencil against his nose. That suggests that he's shy and not making a decision, and also has great taste in pencils. He is probably be a six. We might be really compatible. I'm Sherlock.") But then again, I feel grateful for the structure. I cling to it when it's windy; when it's impossible to know what anything is about, or what is going to come next. 

OK. I'm going to go watch "Gilmore Girls."