Back when I was in undergrad, I had wanted to be a forensic psychologist. I admit it: the power of CSI had gotten to me. Unfortunately, I was growing anxious about a future which included compartmentalizing relationships, setting up boundaries, and potentially isolating myself (for safety reasons). It was winter break during my junior year, and I was dreading going back to school. This idea of what I wanted to do was way more glamorous than the reality, and I was having a hard time adjusting.
At the same time, my father was retiring from a career in the Navy and moving into the private sector. He and I were almost at the same point: both navigating a professional world hoping to find areas that wouldn’t just serve us, but would actually interest us, as well. He had been working through his career transition with a number of aids, one of which was the book Do What You Are : Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type. Since I was so anxious, he thought we should look at the chapter with my own MBTI type: ENFJ.
“ENFJ: The Public Relations Specialists”
DING DING DING! We have a winner! It turns out, I’m a people person who has messages to share. (On a side note: I had been doing PR for our sorority, especially building relationships with the whole Greek community. When I announced I was going to shift into marketing/PR, everyone said, “I thought that was what you were always going to do.” Apparently I was the only one who didn’t know that.)
Fast-forward a few years, and I’m in an Organizational Behavior course as part of my MBA program. We’re reading another book about personality, Please Understand Me: Character & Temperament Types. One of the chapters combines elements from the MBTI with Hippocrates’ temperaments into Greek God classifications: Apollo, Dionysus, Prometheus, and Epimetheus. As an NF, I fall under the Apollonian temperament, defined as the state of becoming.
If I am to be in a constant cycle of self-actualization, naturally I will also have a desire to share in my search for meaning. According to the authors Keirsey and Bates, NFs are quite influential because of the power of communication and the nature of needing to share messages. It is inherent that I share insight, experience, advise, and opinion through my words. If I am to influence the most people, I must therefore become a writer.
In reading about this side of my temperament, I never once question whether being a writer demands that I am published or considered an authority in anyway. It seems before we had a line drawn in the sand between writers and bloggers, the written word was just that: the written word. I had started calling myself a writer a little over a year ago, but in some cases I didn’t know if I really was fulfilling that element of my nature, or if I just didn’t like getting the strange looks on peoples’ faces when I said I was a blogger.
Perhaps I needed that little passage from a book published in 1984. That was a good year you know…as my own birthday approaches, maybe this is a sign from the universe telling me to continue sharing my message. After all, this may be what I’m born to do.