I have good news. I now have at least one follower of my blog, which should provide some of the necessary “motivation” for me to continue with this quest. Like me, and Dr. A.J. Drenth (http://personalityjunkie.com/), my follower Xenogirl (http://xenogirl.com/), likely an INTP as well, have come to the realization that some sort of writing/blogging might provide the much needed outlet for what I can only describe as almost constant “mental diarrhea”.
I have to say however, that I almost abandoned the idea (see 1 month gap in posts). As the memories from my last and most painful “grip experience” were fading, it seemed less and less likely that I wanted to go back to revisit that period in my life. Also, although I enjoy writing impersonal journal articles (when not in intense emotional pain and suffering from “emotional fog” as I had to do while writing my thesis), the sharing of my thoughts and feelings with the world does not come naturally. It will, however, occur almost subconsciously when I like you (usually if I sense that you like me or my ideas), up to the point where I’ll be surprised and almost shocked when I finally realize I’ve created some sort of deep emotional bond/psychological connection with the person (females and males alike). So, let’s hope I start loving you “personal blog” or else your future seems doomed. Also, deep down I’m terrified some more “action-oriented” personality will stumble upon this blog, steal my ideas and get all the glory for producing a potentially rushed and inferior theory. However, I’m coming to the realization that “action-oriented” personalities (there are two ENTJ’s in my lab with whom I’ve shared some of my ideas) are way more interested in developing their own ideas (and trying to convince me to work on their ideas) than suddenly getting interested in something outside-the-box and different from the mainstream. So, unless some other tortured INTP studying cellular neuroscience takes the same convoluted journey as I did to get to these ideas, I think I’m safe, at least for now. Also, for all I know, someone is already working on it.
I’m also scared that once I start writing (and liking it), I’ll never stop.
Since at this point in my life journey the mental diarrhea might actually prove useful to the outside world at some point in the future, it’s probably a good idea for me to keep some sort of permanent record, even if my perspective/ideas change over time. It can only help. So far, my ideas about love, life and the universe are all inspired by a sort of ” oh my gosh, this must be THE underlying principle/theory that explains why and how humans behave the way they do and I must be the one to figure it out” mindset. But really, it’s just a bunch of random (but totally logical) connections between a lot of different fields of study that have slowly melded themselves together in my mind. And it totally makes sense!!! Unfortunately, only to me at the moment. Hopefully this blog will provide the much needed stimulus for my mental clarity.
Over the past few months and even before encountering typology I’ve wondered: what was I obsessively thinking about before this present-day “grip experience”? I can come up with a fairly easy answer: 1) Being the best (achievement in studies and work) and 2) Finding love and a need to constantly love and be loved (I’m definitely the poster child for unhealthy INTP behaviors). So my thoughts were basically self-centered and revolved around my greatest need, which was to keep my mind busy working on a set of ill-defined “personal goals” and constantly entertained by both ideas/thoughts and people that loved/admired me. I guess I “thought” that this would help me achieve some arbitrary notion of “happiness”. I can also attest to the fact that the greatest fear is definitely that of “being bored”.
It’s certainly been a weird journey “growing up” in an academic setting for the past 7 years and slowly coming to the realization that although it seemed like the end goal was for me to become an academic (although consciously, I said to myself “we’ll see, it all depends on if I can get that coveted Nature, Science or Cell paper”), I was becoming increasingly disillusioned/jaded by the system/ideas and politics of it all (my boss recently told me that politics were just as important as the science itself– speaking to others in my field, it looks like I was the only one who’s neurons were firing like crazy over that one). I also noted that as my opinions got darker about the state of neuroscience (really– we are going to record from every single neuron in the brain and map out all the connections and this is how we are going to figure out how the mind works???? see http://bluebrain.epfl.ch/ and http://www.humanconnectomeproject.org/ ), that I started to keep most of them to myself. I was clearly on the outside with these judgments. I guess because the undertaking of such an expansive project will create jobs for neuroscientists for like a gazillion years, and at the end of the day we will still be left wondering “but how does it work?”. I’m looking for an answer that is less complicated, more intuitive and easy to wrap my head around (I hate when people make ideas more complex than they really are!) and more likely to create a big impact in the least amount of time.
I’m “happy” to say that my mind, which had an obsessive need to search for “the answers” regarding my odd, out-of-character and inexplicable behaviors, led me to some very interesting places in the past few months, finally settling on coming up with some sort of “grand theory” for how different levels of “stress” interact with the 16 Jungian personalities to influence decision-making and human behavior. But, more on that as we go along. I’m happy to say that my Ne has been fully satisfied by this new personal growth– I now set very limited daily “personal goals” in order to plan ahead for the random walks Ne does during the day to satisfy my need to create even more connections between my idea and the world wide web.
Note: All words in quotations are usually seen as being hard to define and fairly subjective, but I’ll try to define them objectively, sometime in the future, using an interplay between my ideas, insights and current neuroscience research.