Have you ever taken any of those personality tests? You know the ones, they used to be pretty popular in the end-start days of Facebook as more and more people were trying to avoid the Farmville and Mafia wars by taking quick quizzes about their former life personalities, what super hero they are, and what color they should be. These tests are also used in the work force, business consulting for career directions, and personal therapy or growth sessions. One of the more reliable, in my opinion, is the Myers-Briggs test, versions of which are readily available online. This one is based on the theories of Jung and as far as I can tell seems to hit closest to the mark and allow folks to better understand themselves. (I suppose based on the results they may be better able to understand others, but I didn’t get that result.)
I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs tests and their variations so many times during my lifetime that I’ve lost track. Beginning in the early teen years in high school psychology classes and most recently as last week. I guess I took one last week “just to test” to see if I’d changed in the last couple days as the holiday season came upon us. (It was easier to find that test than a blood pressure cuff, and since I knew I’d be happier with the personality test results, I chose to go with that one.)
Almost every time I’ve ever taken the test I’ve gotten the same result. Sometimes the percentages of each of the 4 letters varies a bit, but for the most part I’m pretty consistent, or stubbornly adherent to my personality if you want to look at it that way. So far only one time I took it I did not get that result. That time was about a year after becoming a mother
It’s true, having a baby changes everything. Thing is, it’s hard to tell what it changes to.
I didn’t get a result on that test. I didn’t know how to answer ANY of the questions. Who I was before then and how I viewed this no longer revolved around everything I knew about being a person. Suddenly every decision, every question, every thought required double checking on how it would affect him as well. And it wasn’t just on this test, either. My favorite color was no longer purple, it varied between the light pink color of his cheeks as he came to the end of a colic fit, or the light brown color of his hair as it fell on my arm as he slept quietly. I got close to purple with the lightest blue glink of the soft bruise on my arm where the bottle-turned missle made contact after being launched from my future baseball star of a child to inform me he needed a refill. But when someone would ask me a direct question it seemed all I could be sure of was my name and social security number, and of course how many months old he was at any given moment, and when he went poop last.
It was a bit before I was able to face the MB test again, and was reassured I was still me, solid and consistent in my personality as before. (When I say solid and consistent in my personality, I mean type. I am not suggesting that my ACTUAL personality is solid and consistent. I wouldn’t ruin your fun of trying to figure out which personality type I actually align with. I’m not about denying sleuthing for those who give a crap.)
The point is, who I am as a person has not changed at the core by becoming a parent. It’s true, I still make most decisions with him in mind, but he is, in a way, an extension of who I am so that doesn’t change me. (I don’t mean that he’s part of me, although he kinda sorta is, but more that he is my child, and being a parent is part of who I am, and I parent based on who I am.) And believe me, it’s one hell of an interesting journey. It’s nice to have one thing consistent throughout it all: my personality type.