Building supports

INFJ: “I know I could make more money as a consultant, but I’m still in the government because I can’t be bothered with selling myself. I need a structure to support me.”
—sidebar “Why Fs Are Underpaid,” p 71-72 of Type Talk: The 16 Personality Types That Determine How We Live, Love, and Work, Based on the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator, by Kroeger and Thuesen

I was reading Type Talk looking for something else, after wrapping up a dream where I had to carry not only my backpack and laptop, but Marty’s, because I’d been informed I was going to need it for something. We (the collective of the dream) were in large platform tents. I wasn’t using one of my dream-image references because, well, I can work out that one with just the aid of my literary degree. Probably you can, too, without one.

It’s funny; I don’t now remember what nuance I was trying to tease apart, what intersection of Marty’s and my personalities I wanted to leverage… and to what end. I found what I intended to, I remember that.

But what stuck with me was unexpectedly finding myself in, “I need a structure to support me.” I’m mostly over “I can’t be bothered with selling myself,” because in contemporary life one’s ‘personal brand’ is a very real requirement for appearing in the marketplace (of ideas, of items for sale, of much of anything). But the tension between everything in me that’s delighted with my life of thoughts, ideas, and conversation, and my deep need for (preferably external) structure is profound. It’s one of the chief elements I ruminate about here!

In fact, one of the reasons I’m wrestling with my very full life-plate right now is that I added one more grad-class when last spring’s pace didn’t tighten up my pace. There were still plenty of three-hour breakfast+newspaper mornings; still a head-shaking (to me!) amount of Facebook. Now when I survey my grid of days (built from Laura Vanderkam materials), I have nine potential focus blocks available in the work-week. That’s when blogging, homework, and facilitator preparation all have to happen… and/or errands and appointments, too.

I got what I (thought I) wanted! But actual structure hasn’t arrived automatically with my current edition of time crunch. I’m also out of practice in using time wisely and concisely (see “breakfast,” and “Facebook,” above). I still think my intuition is sound—that this choice holds the keys to both my being more structured and feeling more effective—and that what I’ve taken on is doable.

It’s just taking time (that I don’t quite have) to nail that down.

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