06 July 2011

Identity Crisis

For as long as I can remember, I have always been a very intrapersonal person. Being intrApersonal is much different from being intERpersonal. When someone is intERpersonal, they are skillfully capable at conversing and reading other people. When someone is intrApersonal, they are skillfully capable at understanding and sensing their own "self." Out of all of psychology's categories of intelligence, this one has always been my strongest.

Lately, however, I feel like I don't know who I am anymore. I sense that many characteristics about myself have changed. I still think of myself and describe myself in terms of who I used to be, but I can't help but to wonder if that person is still me.

I remember taking the Myers-Brigg test in junior high and coming up with the rare personality combination of INFP (often called the "healer"). I thought that this suited me quite well. Four years later I retook the test and came out with a different combination: INTJ (the "mastermind"). I remember being a bit devastated that my personality had changed. Were the first results the "real me," or were these new results the "real me?"
Looking back, I can see how much life's circumstances had in many ways helped alter my personality. I can't help but to wonder if something similar is happening in me now.

Who is the real me? How can I know? Which scares me more: the fact that my personality has changed again or that it can (and probably will) change again in the future?

And then I can't help but to wonder who "I" am a priori. I frequently think of myself in terms of my personality. But if that can change, what is the true essence of myself? Is there a part of me that is unchanging? What is the part that makes me, well, me?

Do I miss who I used to be?

So many thoughts running through my head, and they all seem to come when I'm lying in bed trying to sleep. No matter how long I analyze and brew over the issue, I don't feel like I'm any closer to understanding the "new me."