Finding Out My Personality Type (my personal experience & book review, in one)

Finding Out My Personality Type (my personal experience & book review, in one)

Like many of us probably have, I’d taken the Myers-Briggs personality test before. I took it originally as a class project in high school and, though it was interesting to compare my type (INFJ, or so I believed then) to my schoolmates, I didn’t glean anything else from it at the time. It was another busywork assignment among the multitude of busywork assignments that I quickly finished and then moved on from.
 
It wasn’t until I recently found myself a college graduate with no successful job interviews (and thus stuck with the job that I find neither stimulating nor worthy of my time) that I began to rethink my dream job field. Do I really want to be a copywriter? Am I suitable candidate for a writing job at all? Through all of my time spent at college, four whole years of my life, I believed, as I had always believed, that I wanted to be a writer. I majored in English, took classes, read books, and wrote stories. But by the end, I, of course, realized that writing by itself would not get me the job that I wanted. Per my high school English teacher: “You can either teach or you can write with a degree in English.”
 
But writing isn’t lucrative these days, if it ever was. Anyone can write, as they say. And many, many people are. More than the market can handle, really, especially with the current and impending switch from hard copy to digital. And maybe I’m not cut out to be a good competitor in this field. I knew that I would need to have some other sort of career to make a living. As an introvert with mild social anxiety, I realized that writing for a career might be more difficult than I originally perceived. Newspaper writing? With interviews? That’s out. Copywriting? While wonderful, I found out after an internship that Copywriting = Writing + Marketing, an area that requires skill with social media and conversation. Out. And most jobs like these require extensive experience, regardless. So doing something in editing and publishing is difficult unless you know the right people. I don’t.

This all led me, of course, to a book. Much like Hermione, in Harry Potter, I like to go to the library when I’m stumped and need more information. (Though my library turned out to be Amazon.com.) This is where the book review portion of this post comes in.

Do What You Are
Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type
By: Paul D. Tieger, Barbara Barron, and Kelly Tieger

And I was once again re-intro’d to the Myers Briggs Personality Test. Except… this wasn’t so much of a test. Instead of a 20-questions-or-so test that tried to guess my personality type based on how I would react or feel in certain situations, I was allowed to evaluate all of the personality types myself and then choose the one that I felt most suited me. Even the process was enlightening, as I was forced to consider my thought process, both at work and in my social life, as well as my true wants and needs in the office. In the end, I figured out that instead of an INFJ, I am in fact an ISTP, nearly the opposite of the type I had always believed I was. (Perhaps, if I had known this before starting college, I would have realized how little I focus on the “Intuitive” in everyday life – a quality that a writer usually possesses.) But no worries! It’s never too late to begin again, and it’s not like I can’t be a writer anyway. Screw the test! Haha. But seriously though, better late than never. If you’ve ever felt as though your job might not be quite right for you – this book could re-evaluate your work life for you. And it might not even mean switching companies, rather merely switching roles within the company you work in to better fit your needs and goals in life.

Okay, enough rambling on about myself. This book covers each of the sixteen different personality types presented by Myers-Briggs, using four different categories:

1. Extroverted vs. Introverted,
2. Intuitive vs. Sensing,
3. Thinking vs. Feeling, and
4. Judging vs. Perceiving.

You can find detailed explanations, examples, and evaluations in the book, enough that by the end of it you should feel perfectly confident of which type you are as well as what that means for you and your career.

I also found a certain inspiration in reading this book. I’ve found that not everyone falls into the job that they want; I’m not alone in having gone to college for something that I may not need for my career. This book allowed me to feel happy with who I am and what I want in a career. It gave me the motivation to continue looking for the right career for me, and push myself to excel, gain the skills I will need, and live my life the way I want to live it. It’s never too late.

The only concern I had with this book is that it can be difficult to choose what they would consider your one right personality type. You have to have a sense of who you are, at least, and be able to identify whether your more of a thinker, say, than a feeler. It takes time and, though they warn about this and about how hard it might be to fit yourself into one category when you might feel like both a thinker and a feeler, it can seem like your trying to fit all of yourself into a category that might not completely define you. At the very least, it’s important to remember that your career choices are yours alone, and that it’s very enlightening even to read the other personality type chapters that you feel similar to, and therefore round out your career options a little more, and hone in on your personality and the career you might be good for. More than prescribing which career you should take, this book focuses on giving you all of the information necessary to form a better, more informative opinion on your career options.

Have you read any books that inspired you or changed your life goals lately? Let me know in the comments!

May your life have many creased pages,

‘Manda

Book Commentary: Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen Degeneres

Book Commentary: Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen Degeneres

Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen Degeneres

“Laugh. Laugh as much as you can. Laugh until you cry. Cry until you laugh. Keep doing it even if people are passing you on the street saying, ‘I can’t tell if that person is laughing or crying, but either way they seem crazy, let’s walk faster.’ Emote. It’s okay. It shows you are thinking and feeling.”

I’m not going to do a too-serious review of this book, as it is more of a feel-good, funny, make-you-laugh book than a serious, informational dialogue on Ellen and her life. Literally, some chapters are only sentences long, and a few chapters don’t even have sentences, but are rather picture outlines or made-up words.

As far as Ellen Degeneres goes, I absolutely love her (and I think, from many of the reviews I’ve read of this book) that a lot of other people feel the same way. She’s just such a genuinely nice person that I can’t believe all of the bad press she gets just for being outside normal gender/romantic boundaries. She’s gay. So what? Her marriage seems so much happier than many “normal”, heterosexual marriages are. Anyway, I’m getting side-tracked. She’s just awesome. I think I love her most for her dislike of judging others or putting them down. (Even Justin Bieber – who has certainly done justifiably “roast-able” things in the past.) So much comedy these days is based on making fun of other people. Stereotypes. Negative qualities. But Ellen just seems to rise above that, and I respect her for it.

Now, a lot of people love Ellen but generally dislike this book, as it isn’t serious at all – except for the odd section or two. And I agree with the sentiment that I would have liked to read more about Ellen, her life – especially with Portia (they’re just so cute), and how she sees the world. But instead, we’re just given a lot of uplifting, silly, (somewhat) insubstantial advice.

Yet, regardless, I laughed so many times throughout the book. (I honestly wasn’t even going to buy this book, but I read the back cover one day, and then proceeded to devour the first couple chapters before realizing I was still standing in the Target Books section.) Ellen’s intention with this book was to provide humor, laughter, uplifting comedy… and she certainly accomplished that. ~It was just the expectations for what the book could be that spark the negative commentary.

I enjoyed each chapter. I felt as though I was more self-confident and positive by the end of the book. I was able to put aside my own dark thoughts and worries and just have a good time for a few hours. And, to me, that makes this book worth reading.

“Find out who you are and figure out what you believe in. Even if it’s different from what your neighbors believe in and different from what your parents believe in. Stay true to yourself. Have your own opinion. Don’t worry about what people say about you or think about you. Let the naysayers nay. They will eventually grow tired of naying.”

Other books by Ellen Degeneres

Comments and opinions are welcome!
Have you read any other comedy/humor books recently? If so, please share! I’m always looking for more to read!

May your life have many creased pages,

‘Manda

Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (A Must-Read!)

Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (A Must-Read!)

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

rating5

This is Paula Hawkin’s first novel. It debuted on January 13, 2015 and is, as of this post (two weeks later), No. 2 on USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list.

Synopsis

“Maybe it was then. Maybe that was the moment when things started to go wrong, the moment when I imagined us no longer a couple, but a family; and after that, once I had that picture in my head, just the two of us could never be enough.”

Through several different points of view and many twists and turns, The Girl on the Train encompasses a sinister plot, a deadly romance, and the darkness in a seemingly peaceful domestic life. Rachel, one of the main characters, is an obese, twenty-eight-year-old who has been divorced for two years, yet still dreams of the married life she left behind. On her lonely train ride home each day, she passes a young couple, upon whom she paints an imaginary life of domestic bliss. But one evening, she sees something from the train window that sets her on a tangled and distraught path. She goes to the police with her story and becomes wrapped up in an investigation. But will she do more harm than good?

My Likes:

“It gives me a little frisson even now, walking past that house – butterflies suddenly swarm in my stomach, and a smile comes to my lips and colour to my cheeks.”

Writing Style: Hawkins’ writing style is the best part of this book! It was very readable while also being complex enough to keep me entertained. As soon as I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. It demanded to be read, compelled me to keep going, sentence after sentence, until I found myself at the end. Yet still the novel was nicely paced and didn’t seem rushed despite the continual forward movement.

Character: The characters in this novel were both real and relatable. Every character had a depth of personality and wasn’t merely two-dimensional. Not only that, the characters were so real that they left an impression and gave me insight into my own character. The imagination and precision that went into the characters in this novel was astounding. (If the characters in my still-in-the-works novel turned out half as good as these, I would be beyond happy.)

“At night when I lie awake I can hear it, quiet but unrelenting, undeniable: a whisper in my head, Slip away.”

Suspense: I appreciated the ability of the author to create such a tangle of suspicion that it left me completely in doubt as to who the true criminal was. (Although, I – typically, unless the novel is completely simple and sub-par – tend to go along with the narrator in her quest for knowledge. This allows me to be just as surprised as she is, though it takes out the fun of pretending to be the detective.) But in this particular novel, I was able to do both – though there are probably those more skilled or paranoid than I am who figured out the culprit. But I can gladly say that I was both surprised and intrigued by the ending.

Everyday Life: I like that this book took something incredibly simple and every-day (a train ride home from the city) and used it to incorporate a complicated and sinister plot.
The author goes into some detail about ordinary life: the people Rachel seems from the train in their domestic environments. And it’s touched on in such a way that it makes me feel as though, by not paying attention on my bus ride home, I’m missing something tangible in life. I might miss an entire story by just reading a book or surfing through Facebook instead of staring out the window at the houses and people that pass by.

My Dislikes

“It’s not until I get home that I realize I cut my hand when I fell, and at some point I must have rubbed my hand across my mouth. My lips are smeared with blood.”

Character Differences: Rachel and “Jess” do have some similar personality traits, vices, and expectations, yet they are also fundamentally different people, with different needs, values, and complications. Yet the two different points of view often seemed too similar in thought (and writing style) that, if I hadn’t had the name at the beginning of the chapter to go by, I wouldn’t have known which character was which. [ For instance, Rachel is incredibly needy and obsessive throughout the novel. “Jess” on the other hand, seems to be more aloof and independent, but seems to slip into a neediness that mirrors Rachel’s, without reason. ]

“It’s a dream, I think. I keep trying to grasp at it, to hold on to it, but the harder I struggle, the fainter and the further away it gets.”

Introduction to “Jess” and “Jason”: I felt as though the beginning introduction to Jess and Jason wasn’t quite long enough for me to feel as acutely that sense of loss that Rachel experiences at the end of the novel, when her entire world has fallen over onto itself. I felt her disappointment, but I couldn’t quite share it with her.

Warnings

This book has very mature themes and some graphic content, including both sexual and violent. Read at your own risk.

All in all, few dislikes! I adored this novel. I started reading it late into the evening, and literally could not put it down until I had finished it (which ended up being some four or five hours later in the early hours of the morning). I feel no shame! Haha, but seriously, this book (as most, if not all, of the previous book reviews have certainly mentioned) is definitely worth your time. (Trust me, you won’t need much time on this one. It’s a fast and thrilling read.) I was locked into the character’s lives as resolutely as if they had been my close friends.

Thanks for reading!

What were your thoughts on the book? Were you surprised by the ending?

May your life have many creased pages,

‘Manda