Monday, September 3, 2007


Unable to sleep after taking a half dose of Excedrin at 3 a.m. for yet another migraine headache, I took a Harry Potter personality quiz for kids, based on the Myers-Briggs personality tests. According to that quiz, I'm a Harry Potter type, which is the same type as Bob Dylan is reported to be, an ISFP (Composer / Artisan).

When I first took a long version of the Myers-Briggs test in 1999, at age 49 at the urging of a college career counselor, I tested as an ISFP (Composer / Artisan). All these years, I had been under the impression that I had tested as an INFP (Healer / Idealist), but when I looked through my files recently and found the test results, I remembered that the career counselor had deduced that I was probably more of an INFP and encouraged me to think of myself as an INFP, i.e. a Princess Diana type or a Beatrix Potter type. Over the years, I have repeatedly tested as an INFP until recently when I began testing as an ISFP (Myers-Briggs - short version). Now I'm wondering if I was an emerging ISFP in 1999, persuaded not to explore that part of me that was struggling to be born.

It was in 1997 that I began looking for a new way to make a living because I was starting to burn out as a medical transcriptionist. I'm still in that process ten years later. The process of trying to find right livelihood until I retire sometime in the next four to seven years has been both frustrating and enlightening.

These are livelihoods where ISFPs (Composer / Artisans) tend to thrive:

Musician / Composer
Child Care / Early Childhood Development
Social Worker / Counselor
Forest Ranger

and these are where INFPs (Healer / Idealists) tend to thrive:

Counselors / Social Workers
Teachers / Professors
Clergy / Religious Workers

The territory is similar. Harry Potter does seem to fit as an ISFP, as does Bob Dylan. Princess Diana tested as an INFP and strongly identified with that personality type. Beatrix Potter appears to be a mixture of INFP and ISFP. I identify with her most, having just watched the DVD, ”Miss Potter”. That film takes some liberties with the events of Beatrix Potter's life but reminded me how much I love to draw, paint and write. It showcased the considerable beauty of the Lake District landscape. Beatrix Potter clearly loved the same kind of landscape I love. I share her eccentricity and ability to enjoy solitude as well as her ability to love deeply.

It is a given that I will continue to draw, paint and write. Blogging has given me the opportunity to write on a nearly daily basis and to have a public space where I can show my art work. I don't make any money doing this but find it to be intensely rewarding to be part of a blogging community of kindred spirits.

Currently, I am strongly considering studying to be a yoga teacher, given that I have practiced yoga since I was in my 20s and am passionate about yoga practice and philosophy. I wouldn't make much money as a yoga teacher but I would be doing something that I love and that I would love to share with other people. Being a yoga teacher would be compatible with being an INFP or an ISFP. The anatomy and physiology credits, which I hoped would be accepted by the massage practitioner program I was considering, weren't accepted. When I took several sample tests, I realized that I don't have the knowledge needed to pass the challenge exams required to enter the program in a few weeks.

So . . . how is this Harry Potter / Bob Dylan / Princess Diana / Beatrix Potter-type going to make a living? Yoga teacher? Forest Ranger? Counselor? Child Care Worker? Something not yet dreamed of?

By the way, my headache is gone. I will probably be in a caffeine buzz from the half dose of Excedrin for most of the day. I'm still fine-tuning the use of caffeine for these migraine headaches. It is only thing I've found that works, but I have to be careful to take it only in the early a.m. or risk being awake all night. A while back when I had medical insurance through my job as a medical transcriptionist, I had a medical workup for headaches but the prescription medications I was given didn't work. Besides, my current medical insurance doesn't cover prescription medications. I am hoping that I can stay in good health until Medicare or beyond. So far, so good.

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