Shine On

by Dawn W

When I took my first Myers-Briggs personality test, I was 17. A senior in high school in the WORST AP Psychology class possible. I was still in my painfully shy phase and was therefore shocked when I came back with a fairly strong Extrovert score. How could I be an extrovert? Talking to people, even my friends, could send me into a tizzy of anxiety. Even my teacher laughed. Then again, he laughed at me often. He was not a nice man. (Remind me to tell you the spider story some day).

I’ve taken the MBTI test a few times since then and have still scored clearly on the Extrovert side of things. However, a closer look will show that I’m actually almost equally introvert and extrovert. Turns out, there’s a name for this. It’s ambivert. We’re a little bit of both. It’s nice to find a category that I actually fit in to. I feel energized by people, but sometimes I need to be alone. There are days when I need to observe people while not necessarily interacting with them. Crowded coffee shops and bookstores are an ambivert’s best friend. I’m surrounded by people but in my own little bubble. Life is good.

I’ve tried my whole life to fit in. I like things to be categorized. My calendar is color-coded. Things need to fit somewhere to make sense. I was no exception. I wanted to be labeled; typecast. Turns out, that’s really hard to do when you identify with more than one group of people. I always thought that was bad. I liked too many things, I had too many different personalities. There was no way I could be a fangirl; a professional; a budding theologian; an aspiring professor; a goofball; a sweet daughter; a quiet spirit; a good friend. I needed to pick something and be it.

Turns out, I was wrong. Just as I discovered that I was actually an ambivert; so too I found that I could be a person with as many facets as Queen Victoria’s diamond. Each change in the light shows a different kind of sparkle. No longer is being undefinable a fault; it’s a gift. If you find yourself ever wondering why you just don’t fit precisely into a category, remember, darling, that you are a diamond; shining with multiple facets.

Shine on.