Chances are if you’ve ever experienced grade school, you’ve been exposed to personality tests such as Myers-Briggs. You know, those things in which we are all supposed to be sorted into convenient binaries. Analytical/Artistic. Introverted/Extroverted. Emotional/Logical. These tests tell us our fortunes: how we behave, what our eventual career path and lifestyle will be, who we should hang out with and who is most likely to piss us off, what we should do to be happy, etc., etc.
Hmm…all this sounds familiar. You know what else is supposed to tell us all that? Astrology. Your star/animal/whatever sign depending on what month/year/whatever you were born in defines your personality, lifestyle, friends, enemies, behaviour, and what you should do today to prevent calamity. But since the former is wrapped up in science-y language, it’s supposed to be a legitimate version of astrology.
I used to believe in those tests. I was classified as analytical and introverted, with my destiny geared towards math and science. So I defined my life that way for a while. Come high school and onwards, I realized I felt unfulfilled staying in my little box. I had other interests too: philosophy, political/social issues, music, among other things. Keeping my thoughts to myself and be withdrawn from everyone only made me feel isolated and depressed. And of course, no stupid test should tell me who I am supposed to like. Being open, kind, and understanding isn’t limited by whether you are introverted or extroverted. Everyone has their own way of expressing themselves.
In the end, I realized I was a mix, falling in the personality intersection. Maybe I would be inclined one way, but I would feel incomplete without all aspects. Binaries are merely an approximation of the human condition, and piss-poor ones at that. And by breaking out of my neat little box, I expose more of my true self and come closer to finding personal fulfillment.