I felt angry when I woke up, and very quickly knew why: I am going down a path that requires I reroute nearly every thought, perception, plan... I ever had.
I have waxed and waned following this path for over 20 years because to face that "I do not exist the way I was taught, and yes, sought--though I wanted a different sense of "self" than the one I was raised to ape.
It brought up anger, a hindrance, sure, but being aware of it is being mindful, so I got up, into the day, stayed on course:
I made tea and read from Gil Fronsdal's translation of The Dhammapada; then a little from Mindfulness in Plain English, and the bit from The Noble Eightfold Path.
Then I went and did range-of-motion, and 30 minutes of sitting meditation.
It's interesting to look at my "Personality Type" after meditating, and no surprise I have gotten so many types on tests, and also opinions of others.
I mean, really? I don't know that there is a type I have not focused on as my mental construct, or explored as another constellation (though never thinking of it as MBTI or such), or acted out... at one time or another.
Some, of course, came more naturally in terms of exploration, construction, acting out; some were more satisfying than others to try on; easy to take off, too.
I could sustain the thoughts, concepts, behaviors, goals longer according to some constructs than I could for others.
I got that around 1980 in the Career Planning Placement Division of a local junior college. Someone handed me a pencil, and told me to make sure to press hard so the answers I chose would scan properly--what we call choosing the correct 'bullets' now.
I was being led toward a career that would pay well and seemed to reflect traits of mine such as how persuasive, convincing, confident I appeared to others.
Marketing was a popular major back then much as computer programming is today.
Was I an ESTP?
So I went that route, taking classes that bored me, going on interviews to be given jobs I loathed and I grew bored with or turned off by quickly.
Then I would be off chasing another goal, ex. Journalism.
I became a reporter and editor: I was reporter for the school's daytime paper; I was editor and The Resurrecting One for the evening paper.
I cannot remember the daytime paper's name, but the evening one for part-time older students was called The Nighthawk. I didn't come up with the name; I did, however, change how it was organized.
I quit after a woman was raped in an underground parking lot on campus, and my article about it was not just censored, it was pulled.
I was told that if we printed it, we wouldn't get funding we needed; it would make us look unsafe.
I said, "Women needed to know..."
Someone higher up said I could just put in the paper how anyone who wanted an escort to their car at night could come to Security and get one.
I countered, "Without knowing about the rape, most women are not going to ask for an escort because they won't know they need one!"
My superior didn't budge; neither would I.
And then I organized a small band of women. We would drive each other to our cars, and keep an eye out for the last to get in her car: Me.
Next, I applied for and was accepted as a teacher's assistant in the Sociology department. I enjoyed that job; if funding had not run out, I would have stuck with it, perhaps for years.
Another type or two view the world from a reporter-like stance: ISTJs, ISTPs, INTJs in particular, but also ESTJs, and perhaps some ESTPs.
I changed my major back then a few times as professors and classmates, others said, "You would make an excellent psychiatrist; you would be a great detective; you'd make a great trial lawyer.
There wasn't much I didn't hear I would be good at, I was made for, I ought to pursue.
When my old car broke down and I didn't have the money to have it replaced, I took eight buses a day to and from school--including the ones I took to get my son to daycare. Temperatures changing daily: Snow, sleet, hail; muggy, more than 90 degrees--and I was born with some kind of circulatory problem: I faint if I get too hot...
A single mom. On welfare. 21-23 credits, and a father who abandoned our son; I came to think of him as his father did: My son.
So many situations, obstructions, doubts, and many caustic emotions too... led me away from, then back toward, away again, back to where I am, here/now:
Back to ranking first on the list: Focusing on a spiritual life.
But through the years a major obstruction was how the only one I was very familiar with was the very one that did not fit--no matter how I tried, I could not make it as a Christian.
The Dharma makes sense to me. Meditating suits me. And as for deconstructing the mental apparatus to find out what is underneath?
I want to do it just a smidgen more than I don't want to do it.
May that smidgen be enough, and no more trying on or 'mouthing' salad bar, eclectic spiritual beliefs, i.e. I can have it my way--experimenting or improvising.
A well-lived life doesn't have room for that kind of "random," regardless of my constructed personality type, whatever it is today.