Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Who are we?

Jung has classified me, through a series of binary questionaires, as a IIFP: Introverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving .

My Type----It was ridiculously accurate. And I was quite stricken by the fact that only 1 percent of the population has this archetype. I wasn't sure if I should feel special or freakish.

If you wanna figure out your type--you will be amazed at how simply you can be catorgorized.

Main Types---If you just want a synopsis of each type of person.

I already knew my tendencies for shyness, caution for others, and my preference for conversing with and entertaining myself. I enjoy staying quiet and watching others, listening to others, learning about and analyzing the characters within my field. I have a lot of friends, but never all together, at one time. It has always taken people a long time to grow fond of me. I like to pick and choose the people that I will love for life.
I am a letter writer.
I am a birthday rememberer.
I take and keep pictures with me everywhere I travel. And I travel a lot.
But I’ve never been popular. Never the lifeblood of a party, or even a situation. As Jung has determined, I am an IIFP.

Why would I tell you this, here and now, on this 26th of March, 2008? Why indeed!

Jung and his ideas took hold on me for the first time in religion class, 12th grade. My hippy teacher, who used to claim that her husband looks like Morrissey, made us all take personality tests. These tests were to determine which of the 16 archetypes we reflected in our daily lives.

I became disenchanted with the assignment when the calculated score reported that I was NOT a #4. I was not an artist. Up until then, that is what I thought of myself as. Though I was never terribly good at drawing or painting, they were always things that gave me great joy. In 2nd grade, I remember sitting alone in the sandbox, drawing intricate mazes. It gave me much pleasure to fill an 8.5 X 11 paper, front and back with tight corners and T junctions, circles and swirls, boobytraps---never allowing the path to reach an end. I remember my best friend at the time, Nicole, who was deaf, tore up my maze when she discovered my trickery. She’s the reason that I know the alphabet in American Sign Language. I’ll teach you if you’re ever interested.

Jung determined that I was a #2. Number 2, I thought, that’s shit!!!! Both literally and figuratively. The 2nd archetype was “the caregiver”. I never did, and still haven’t paid any mind to the emotional connections I have with myself and even less with others.
“This is shit” was my lasting impression.

And so I grew up a little. I went off to college, graduated, had jobs, traveled---and now, well now, I live in Japan. Working as an ALT, as a 28-year-old, is quite interesting. I am about a college experience, sometimes even an undergrad and graduate experience ahead of the majority of my peers.

However, to combat the age difference is the fact that I am extremely immature and childlike. My social skills have always been a bit stunted, so the age difference rarely affects my ability to fit in perfectly it these freshly-graduated youngsters.

But back to Jung! It was through him that I learned of the existence of archetypes. At the time when I was introduced to this concept, everyone was new. There were druggy extroverts, nerdy introverts, philosophers who were beautiful and popular, dorks with social skills, naturists, lovers, haters, everything and everyone---my adolescence and young adulthood had them all.

Or so I had thought. Then I moved to Berkeley. It took me all 4 years to come to an understanding of all the people I met in that city. And, there are still some that I’m still waiting to understand. Now that I live in Japan, I’ve become friends with both the visitors and natives. I have only barely realized that people really do fall into archetypes.

Obviously, it is ridiculous to say that just because a person reminds you of people from your past, that there is no originality or things to be learned from these new friends. People are still unique and lovely to meet, However, recognizing an archetype from your past in a new friend is one of the greatest gifts that can be given to a newfound friendship.

Because of this experience, you can understand the roles you play within each others’ lives much faster. It becomes easier to understand their life view, intentions, mannerisms, quirks, annoyances, etc. And the best part of it all, is that you can enjoy the characteristics of the company you used to enjoy with a past loved one yet again---without picking up a phone or mending a lost friendship. Finding the archetype of a long lost friend is one of the greatest feelings you can have while growing older.

Yes, it is one of the greatest things, but not the greatest thing. The greatest hidden treasure that you can uncover through age and experience and meeting new people is when you encounter someone unique, special, unexplored. Here and now, in my 28th year, I have encountered another soul who has come to reinvigorate my belief that my experience in archetypes is still unfinished. I have recently met someone who stands outside the realm of anyone I have ever met before.

Everything about her is different from what I know. Despite the obviousness of age and nationality—there lies much more. She’s just different, special, and unbelievably cool. I am amazed by my newest archetype, and I almost feel guilty categorizing her as such. I can’t help but wonder if I’ll ever meet someone like her again. Until circumstances reveal themselves, I will remain firm in the belief that she is the only one of her kind. You can’t help but love someone for that.

And so I continue my journey through this mysterious sea of people. It is incredible, and I know I will never be bored with life so long as there are still strangers out in the horizon.

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