Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Steal This Book*
According to the Meyers-Briggs personality index, I am an INFJ.** Though the "I" (introvert) causes me some degree of trouble out there in my culture of extreme extroverts, even more challenging is being a "J". As a judger, I tend to take things quite literally, always a problem, and too I construct for myself millions of rules that, if not followed, create in me such a sense of failure or at least stress, even though these rules come out of my own head and serve no real purpose.
Lately, as a result of re-working certain stories of my life, my habit of rule-making has become completely transparent. My revisioned personal history has given me a more flexible foundation to stand on, allowing me to loosen my habit of rule making. I don't know how to explain it. It sounds so weird to say that knowing I had fun in high school has reverberated throughout my life, but it has.
You would not believe how much more relaxed I feel. It's this ability to relax that has helped me realize it isn't crucial, for instance, to first slice the banana, then add the granola, and lastly spoon in the yogurt, when making breakfast. This combination can be assembled in any order I like, with no harm done. What a revelation for a rule-bound person such as myself!
My immediate environment has reflected this recent loosening of self applied rules. Out of the blue my roommate suddenly this week replaced my front door. The "ex" door wasn't fancy, but it served the purpose, closing and opening as needed. The new door is super cool, sleek. Doors are potent symbols, marking as they do the boundaries between one thing and another. Having a brand new very cool door means something, at least to me. I love my new door!
Yesterday my roommate told me he has also ordered new windows for my room. Custom windows that will open and close smoothly and easily. First, a brand new door and next, new windows to the world? Wow. I know it's early yet, but so far I am really liking 2009.
**Don't give me that look, Coffee Messiah, for labeling myself. In this case, the label helps me understand my tendencies, rather than pigeonholing me.
*A low bow and serious gassho to Abbie Hoffman, a quintiscential rule breaker. I salute you.