So I did it. Summed up my entire existence in 150 words or less. Now there’s a humbling thing to do. Also surprisingly revealing. Think about it, if you have to use that few words, you are more or less forced to choose one aspect of your life to accentuate. And if you just start writing without really thinking and purposely choosing an aspect, it’s only when you step back and read what you’ve read that you see what matters most to you. Or, in my case, when you send the first attempt to your 17 year old daughter and she writes back, “You are way more of a family-oriented person than me, so it’s not what I’d write but it seems true to you.”
(First two thoughts that popped out at me: 1. How perceptive! 2. Why isn’t my daughter as family-oriented as me? Have I done something wrong?)
Oh and as even more of an aside, in my first draft, I said I had two “homegrown” kids and two adopted from SE Asia. This was Quinn’s reaction to the word “homegrown”:
homegrown? That’s pretty much the most weirdly graphic term for pregnancy I’ve ever heard, and makes us sound like Chia pets or meth or organic vegetables. I don’t know if that’s a normal word in the adoption community but it seemed weird.
Yeah, don’t think I’ll be using that word again! LOL. (btw… have I mentioned lately how much my daughter cracks me up? Seriously, sometimes I just want to walk around writing down everything she says, but I’d look a little odd following her around campus with a baby book in one hand, and a pen in the other.)
So I took that feedback from the first draft and thought “Am I limiting myself? Let me try again.” And I cranked out… gobbledygook. A whole lot of it. I’d try going in other directions, using other aspects to frame my life around, and either fail to tie it all together, or run out of words way before I was done.
And then I saw this humorous take on the Meyers-Briggs personality typing thing…
And that got me curious about my own personality type. I took the test years and years ago, the first time during pre-marriage counseling, the second time when my oldest was a baby and our church was doing a thing to help you find your “gifts”. I’ve changed since then. Or at least, I was pretty sure I had. So I took the test. (My daughter sent me that link. There may be better, more accurate versions of the test. But she’s quite adept at finding online tests that allow one to be introspective and procrastinate at the very same time! Handy when one is having a very hard time encapsulating one’s life in 150 words or less.)
So I was right, I have changed. Where once I was something like an ENFJ, now I’m an ISFJ. Which means like two whole letters in my personality changed. ( Click here for the descriptions of each type, if you’re curious.)
That link is not the same as the description I got when I took the test (I’d have to take the test over again to get to that explanation. And I’m too lazy)… the test’s description specifically said that for an ISFJ family is the first priority.
Given that even the personality test gods said so, I figured there was no fighting it. I decided to just stick with “family” as the core of my life story and go with it. So I did. (Also, why was it a surprise to me, a SAHM, that family is important to me? Isn’t that like a total DUH? Sometimes, I swear, I exasperate myself.)
Are you thinking that now I’ll show you what I wrote? ‘Cause I’m kind of thinking I won’t. I mean, I was going to, but then I realized no matter how many times I rewrote and edited, I still rather hated the stupid thing. I got to a point of just saying, “It’s good enough for my instructor and 16 strangers, but that is it! No one else!” Because I also figured out that my grade in this class is based on “effort”… meaning, I just have to turn things IN, they don’t have to be GOOD. Which is somewhat backwards and upside down from how school used to be for me, but is also very freeing, especially in regards to writing.
Aw heck. Okay, I’ll do it. But promise not to laugh. Or at least, not “OL”. And try to hide the sneer of derision while you’re at it. It won’t be easy, but do your best.
Mine is a story of family. I am the youngest of four. First came my sisters, both adopted as babies. My brother was born a couple years later, and I less than two years after that. My parents divorced when I was six. My mother moved with three of us to Seattle. Dad and one sister stayed on the East Coast. At 19, I took a break from college and moved back East to help care for my baby nephew. That same year, I met the man who only three years later would be my husband. After graduation we moved back to Seattle and started our family. Our first two children were born nineteen months apart. Four years later, we adopted our daughter from Cambodia. Five more years and we brought home a three year old boy from Vietnam. Mine is also a story of restoration.
Anyway, it’s done now. Done and behind me and I am moving on! Already completed two writing prompts this week. (Write for 15 minutes, on a topic given by the instructor, no thinking, no editing. And then put it away and don’t look at it again for a while. I think it’s my favorite part of the class, thus far.) And I had to respond to three Discussion Questions which I didn’t realize were technically due by noon today so I was late. But I got over it. I’m such a slacker! Check out my “devil may care” attitude! Ha. ha.
Meanwhile, as I sat here telling you how important family is to me, I’ve been brushing my kids aside and saying “go play!” to them. Which seems just a squidge ironic. So I’ll close the lid to my computer now and go upstairs and turn my words into actions. TTFN!