Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dallas Days

An update on life.
Well, I have been married for a month now. I've been living in Dallas for about three weeks and I now know about a 1/4 mile circumference around my apartment. I'm proud of myself for that! We are living in a huge apartment complex that has so many twists and turns that I get lost within the complex at least once a week. Not even kidding! We live pretty close to downtown, so all of the streets surrounding us are pretty busy. We were really blessed and fell in love with a church only 7 or 8 minutes from our apartment. The problem is I still can't find my way around- GPS and all! Derek and I go to church first service, then he works with 5th graders the second service. I haven't had the chance to get involved yet, so I have to drive home after first service and then come back and pick him up after second service. I pushed the "go home" button on my GPS and tried to follow it, but how do you keep right when there are several rights? And how is it possible to have an East Northwest Highway?
Anyway, I miss the comfort of Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas, but I think being married is the greatest thing. This past month has been the happiest few weeks of my life. I wouldn't change them for the world! That's the basic update! I will write more later. I have to go make some chocolate chip waffles. :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Personality Types

I am a huge fan of personality tests. I love knowing all about my personality (scientifically speaking) and all about others personalities.
I remember when I was in 8th grade I was finally allowed to get on Instant Messenger. AIM was just about the coolest thing in the world because it allowed you to talk to your friends, but more importantly flirt with boys. The internet opened up this whole new world where you could say the things that you would never have the guts to say in person, but not only that- you actually had time to plan what you wanted to say. I'm pretty sure that without Instant Messenger I would have never had a good majority of the boyfriends I did... On second thought that might have been a good thing!
Anyway, I am getting off the point. My world had expanded with Instant Messenger, but I soon found a new obsession via the internet. Free online personality tests. I would spend hours analyzing the person I was according to how I read, interpreted and answered a series of questions. If I didn't like the outcome, I would go back and try again. I don't know exactly what is so appealing to me about learning more about myself, but it's an obsession I have fought for the past 11 years or so.
At church we took a class all about your personality, which plays into your spiritual gifts, which of course leads to how you can serve God and others. When the teacher did an overview of the different personalities he asked if anyone knew a Harmonizer- at least 5 of my friends made a big scene pointing to me. I played it off and pretended I wasn't pleased, all the while beaming inside. You see, a harmonizer is a people-person, an extrovert, someone who creates harmony out of chaos. They are the ones who everyone gets along with and confides in. In my eyes, a harmonizer was a perfect person. Why wouldn't you want to be the nice, likable, bubbly person? That is who I am and I wanted everyone to know it, but without having to flaunt it myself.
We took the actual personality test and sure enough I was a harmonizer. However, the test showed I had a good deal of persister in me too. A persister is someone who lives by their morals no matter what. They are also known to be very stubborn. (My dad is a full fledged persister). Now, being a persister was a little bit of a shock to me, but I knew it was true. The more I thought about it the more I agreed with and liked the idea of being a Persister. I mean a really nice, bubbly, fun, and moral person is a wonderful thing to be! Right?
Of course, we learned with the positives always come negatives. Harmonizers tend to be irresponsible (unless it has to do with people), hence my perpetual lack of homework that was due. They keep their anger and hurt pent up until they explode on the people closest to them in a fit of emotion. Persisters are stubborn and have a tendency to take other's failure to do the right thing very personally. For example, when a couple of my friends drank alcohol before they were 21 I felt like my world was falling apart. Dramatic, I know, but I couldn't understand how they could change everything they stood for and do something so unethical. Every time a friend made a mistake it was like someone drop-kicked me. After finding out that one of my friends made a mistake, she told me I didn't feel like I could tell you because you would be mad. She didn't understand I wasn't mad... I was crushed. I felt like she had failed me and changed who she was. Then, not only did that hurt, but her comment sent the harmonizer in me into overdrive. She didn't feel like she could talk to me? That's the worst thing in the world to a harmonizer.
The more I learned about the positives and negatives of different personalities, the more I realized how important all of them are. If all of us were harmonizers we would get nothing accomplished. My highschool boyfriend was an Achiever. I have no achiever in me. As time went on our personality differences became horribly evident in our relationship. He placed so much of his worth in his work and what he had achieved that I couldn't understand him. I was convinced he had it all wrong. It's not what you can accomplish in life, but the people you influence that matter. I felt like every time he chose studying over me, it was a personal jab that he valued those things more than me. It just didn't make sense. Recently, one of my best friends said "I don't understand how you can be okay with not getting your degree. I want to get published and make the world a better place through research." I told her, " I don't see it that way. I think I can make the biggest difference in the people I meet, the relationships I have, and the children I teach. Getting published means nothing to me- the people I influence mean everything."
I can't change who I am or what I feel are the true accomplishments in this life. I can't change the fact that I am going to bend over backwards to make people happy and I don't want to change that. I'm not a doormat; I'm passionate about the people I love- and I love easily and fiercely. I can't change that when someone walks away from me it hurts for years. I can't change the fact that it hurts me when other people make a mistake. What I can change is how I perceive other people's personalities. I've learned, and struggled with, what other people put their worth in. It's not wrong to desire a higher degree, higher paycheck, and recognition for your accomplishments, and it's not wrong to desire to be there for other people above all else. The biggest mistake we make is judging people for what they aren't. No one is better because they have a higher paycheck or more friends; the best people are the ones who can recognize that we all have different aspirations and desires and accept people for who they are- flaws and all.