What I learned in May

posted in: Writing | 4

what I learned in may

When reflecting on what I learned in May, two things stick out. 

First, May felt like not only one of the busiest months ever but the….longest……..month…………….eeeeevvvvveeerrrrr.

Seriously, May could not have crept by any slower than if it were a turtle with a broken leg and using a tiny, turtle crutch. My May was filled to the brim with activities, which normally would make the time fly by but in addition to the activities, there was a lot of anticipation. Mainly, the end of the school year and especially the fact that this was the end of Addison’s elementary school career. Winding down May with the end of 5th grade meant more end of the year activities than normal plus a lot of reflection. 

The last week of school was especially painful even though it was only 4 days long. By Tuesday of the last week of school, I was certain that it was Friday. Every morning, before I would open my eyes I would think to myself:

What day is it? Thursday, it’s the last day of school. Wait, yesterday was only Monday. That means it’s just Tuesday. For the love. I need coffee. 

Each morning started that way until we finally got to Thursday. Each day was filled with some sort of preparation, class party, shopping for class party and various sundry mishaps along the way. When you are chomping at the bit for something to be over because you just can’t take it anymore, time seems to slow down. Teachers, parents and students were all phoning it in and wondering why in the heck we had to be at school that week anyway. Except for the parents who are experts at finding things to gripe about. Those precious folks wake up with a singular purpose; to find something wrong with everything and everyone. Bless.

Second, I learned more about my own personality.

I’ve taken this online personality test before after Dear Husband took a similar one for work and wanted to see if I fell into the category that he had picked out for me (which he was completely right about, by the way). But the last time I took it I didn’t really read through my evaluation properly. This time, for some reason, I really read through my personality type and was blown away at how spot on it was.

Turns out I am an INFP-A. For those who are scratching their heads right now, that stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Prospecting and Assertive. If you’re still scratching your head, the overall category INFPs fall into are Mediators and Diplomats. I have read through my personality profile several times and it’s like a lightbulb has gone off over my head. I finally understand why I feel so passionately about some things and want to do my part yet get so frustrated at the disparity in the world. 

I am beginning to understand why some people don’t seem to “get” me and recognize my tendency to isolate myself from people and only truly open up to those closest to me. And this whole writing and blogging hullabaloo – no wonder! I can’t help but do this. 

Here are a few brief excerpts from the INFP overview

“INFP personalities are true idealists, always looking for the hint of good in even the worst of people and events, searching for ways to make things better. While they may be perceived as calm, reserved, or even shy, INFPs have an inner flame and passion that can truly shine. Comprising just 4% of the population, the risk of feeling misunderstood is unfortunately high for the INFP personality type – but when they find like-minded people to spend their time with, the harmony they feel will be a fountain of joy and inspiration.”

Ahha! So that is why I volunteer so much and can’t understand why others don’t seem to value it as much as I do. INFPs are just trying to make the world better and bring out the good in others at the same time. I also understand why I can go through periods of frustration and deep disappointment in society when, despite my best efforts and how I feel people should make decisions that deeply impact their lives, the lives of others and the world around them, they continue to muck everything up.

“Being a part of the Diplomat (NF) personality group, INFPs are guided by their principles, rather than by logic…When deciding how to move forward, they will look to honor, beauty, morality and virtue – INFPs are led by the purity of their intent, not rewards and punishments. People who share the INFP personality type are proud of this quality, and rightly so, but not everyone understands the drive behind these feelings, and it can lead to isolation”

Sooooo…that is why I can’t even comprehend voting for a certain presidential candidate even if I were a member of that candidate’s party. And that is why I can’t understand it when those who would share my same morals would admit to voting for that person.

“INFPs to communicate deeply with others, easily speaking in metaphors and parables, and understanding and creating symbols to share their ideas. The strength of this intuitive communication style lends itself well to creative works, and it comes as no surprise that many famous INFPs are poets, writers and actors.” 

Music major; check. Blogger; check. Writer; check. Ability to compartmentalize, put on and take off masks, hide true emotions yet wear heart on sleeve; check.

“Unlike their Extraverted cousins though, INFPs will focus their attention on just a few people, a single worthy cause – spread too thinly, they’ll run out of energy, and even become dejected and overwhelmed by all the bad in the world that they can’t fix. This is a sad sight for INFPs’ friends, who will come to depend on their rosy outlook.”

This explains why I’ve promised myself that I won’t be PTA president again. Not because of the work load but rather, my disappointment in the parents whose children we are serving. As badly as I want to help our school and do great things for our teachers and kids, the apathy of those who don’t share my passion has drained my spirit. 

Interestingly, Dear Husband is the exact opposite of me. We don’t share any personality types. This must be why we work so well together. He can keep me grounded and focused and maintain a steady course when I’m ready to ride off the rails. He is able to step in when I’m ready to tap out when parenting our boys becomes difficult. 

That’s what I learned in May. What did you learn? Do you know what personality type you are? And what have you learned from that? Or what have you learned in general? It doesn’t have to be earth shattering. It could be as simple and joyous as a new flavor of ice cream that you recently discovered. Bliss is the first bite of homemade ice cream made from fresh peaches.

 

4 Responses

  1. Wow, Stephanie! For as jam packed as May turned out to be, you sure walked away with alot of learnings! Thanks for introducing yourself to me yesterday … that was just plain sweet.

    It sure is good to meet you … and I look forward to connecting more!

    ;-}
    Linda Stoll recently posted…On Figuring Out How to Be Hospitable Again * Creating a Haven :: 5My Profile

  2. Same here! May has been real busy for me.. Glad it was over.

    • Stephanie Clinton

      Me too! Seems like May is crazy busy for a lot of people.
      Thanks for reading.

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