INTJ, MOFO!

They call me an enigma. At least one person did. Or maybe it was a paradox. But it might also have been a dichotomy. I was flattered, even if I don’t remember the exact phrasing of what I interpreted as a IMG_3967compliment.

We all want to think of ourselves as unique little snowflake whose patterns and folds aren’t like anyone else’s. Or maybe our individuality lies not in how we are formed, but how we tumble from the sky–helter-skelter, hell for leather; bobbing merrily on the wind; or tipping gently this way and that.

Of course, there are too many of us bellowing lustily for attention for us all to receive as much as we suspect is our due. But the presence of billions of other people on Earth doesn’t mean I shouldn’t derive joy from the ways in which I confound people. Self-knowledge is next to godliness, or something.

And the truth is, in this society that likes to neatly divide and compartmentalize–INTJ, MOFO–it has been brought to my attention that certain of my interests and traits do not dovetail as neatly as people might like. At the risk of sounding like an Alanis Morissette song, I attempted to pinpoint and document the eccentricities that confuse my coworkers and, I think, make people uncomfortable around me.

(Most of my coworkers, when asked to contribute to this list, brought up the fact that I project myself as a total badass who is actually quite “sympathetic.” And maybe there’s some truth to that. Managing writers is like parenting perpetual teenagers … with cars and access to alcohol. It’s impossible and thrilling and simultaneously brings out my best and worst, so I’m not all that surprised that they’re sometimes confused by the boss who sometimes threatens them physically but also babysits their cats and serves as their sober driver.)

I am a NERD and a JOCK.

I am a VEGETARIAN and HATE VEGETABLES.

I am PRETENTIOUS and “DELICIOUSLY LOW BROW.” (This last bit was said, snottily, by a coworker.)

I am COMPETENT ENOUGH TO WRITE A BOOK and AFRAID OF THE OVEN.

I am an AGNOSTIC and LOVE CHRISTMAS.

I am a CYNIC and LOVE DISNEYLAND.

I CURSE LIKE A SAILOR and HAVE A FAIRLY EXTENSIVE VOCABULARY.

I DON’T DO DRUGS, EVER and WANDER AROUND MY OFFICE EATING FROSTING OUT OF THE CAN.

I am a HOMEBODY and LOVE TO TRAVEL.

I am UTTERLY FEARLESS ABOUT MANY THINGS and TERRIFIED OF SHARKS AND NEEDLES.

I am ANTI-SOCIAL and ADORE ANIMALS.

I am INTROVERTED and a LOUD-MOUTHED LEADER.

I BULLY MY WRITERS MERCILESSLY and PLAY THE ROLE OF OFFICE MOM.

I LIVE FOR HAPPY ENDINGS IN FICTION and DON’T BELIEVE IN HAPPY ENDINGS IN REALITY.

I am TERRIFIED OF STANDING OUT and TERRIFIED OF BEING LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.

I am a 29-YEAR-OLD who OWNS A TRAMPOLINE AND CLIMBS TREES.

I HATE BULLIES and LOVE A WELL-TIMED, WELL-DELIVERED INSULT.

I am SINCERE and SARCASTIC.

(I would like to note that, while creating this list, Rhys Heyden, a staff writer at New Times, aded: “We’re all hypocrites, really.”)

Maybe a lot of this boils down to the personality I project to the world–or part of my personality–at odds with who I really am. But I really don’t think it’s that simple. I sometimes think that I’m so invested in fiction–books, movies, television–because reality falls so incredibly short of my ideal. And what happens to an idealist and romantic in a world in which the divorce rate is nearly 50 percent and a woman was stoned in Afghanistan for owning a cell phone? Nothing very pretty, I assure you.

But you don’t stop being an idealist. You just develop a fine angry crust–must like a deep-fried Oreo whose delicious cream-filled center is now well-protected by an oily battered crust. You fight bitterly and constantly for the world you want. You yell at your writers for not showing up to work on time, even though you spent the entire morning worried that they didn’t show up on time because something terrifying happened to them. And you hope, deep down, that somehow you’re helping. That even if the world doesn’t and won’t meet your ideal, you’ve done or said or written something that made it a little bit better for even a second. And then when you’ve exhausted yourself mentally and emotionally with all that hoping and worrying, you go to the gym for cross-fit. Because your writers still need someone to kick their asses into shape.

 

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the nice post … and deep thoughts as usual…….

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