I can still remember walking into my English classroom my Freshman Year of High School and feeling my heart drop to the floor when I found out that my assigned seat for the trimester was at the front of the classroom. I really loved English, but I really disliked being up front. I much preferred being in the back, able to observe the class and fade from any attention. The only solace that would eventually come from this horrible seating arrangement was meeting the quiet girl that sat behind me. I saw a keychain on her purse one day when I was grabbing something out of my bag and asked her about it. It was two fish who look to be swimming in opposite directions and underneath the fishes it read the word: PISCES. This struck up the first of a million conversations between us over the next 15+ years. We became best friends quickly, and soon enough spent all our time together, even writing in a notebook and passing it to each other between classes. We talked about everything from music, boys, teachers, our parents to just about every silly or random thought that ever passed through our minds. She introduced me to astrology and I was utterly fascinated to read as much as I could about my sign, Cancer and enjoyed learning all I could about the other signs too. We would comb through every detail in hopes to find ourselves in the midst of all our teenage angst.
She felt, thought, searched and longed for meaning and purpose as much as I did and we spent the next almost 2 decades growing, learning, and helping one another become the women we are today. We struck a bond that I was sure would never fade, and when it did, to say I was ill prepared for it, would be quite an understatement. It was her choice to walk away from the friendship after a huge personal blow knocked her off her feet (that had nothing to do with me). Now that time has passed, I can understand how she felt the need to disconnect and I am happy to say we are now amicable, but at the time, my heart was completely shattered. I just never expected it or saw it coming, she was my hetero-lifemate, how she could she cut me out of her life one day completely out of the blue and go radio silent for over a year before I finally heard from her? I had so many questions, I cried many tears and had zero answers. It made me question myself, our friendship, and everything I thought I knew. It also came at a time where I was very emotionally raw. A little over a year before this happened, I had lost my brother suddenly to an undiagnosed heart condition and was still struggling to accept his passing when the quick demise of my most treasured friendship (that also felt like a death) happened. You don’t realize how much you truly depend on someone till they are no longer there and it was incredibly heartbreaking to lose 2 people I never imagined living without, especially knowing that one was by choice.
It was no secret that my best friend and I were each other’s security blankets and I can understand in retrospect that we both needed some time to grow up and stand on our own two feet instead of depending on one another like we had since we were kids, but it was one of the hardest times in my life. She was the person who didn’t make me feel different from others. I didn’t have to think about how I was never interested in going out to bars and chatting with strangers, or for not having the same enthusiasm as other did about attending social functions. Never thought about how I rather dive deeply into philosophical conversations about life and it’s meaning at home in my pjs instead. Didn’t realize how much I dreaded small talk and fake interactions. She never made me question my words as soon as they came out of my mouth, she understood me. Suddenly I started to notice how out of place I felt around our social circle and it slowly began to eat away at me. I felt almost like I was out of control with my emotions and it wasn’t just because I was so upset about the end of our friendship, it was because I was truly having an existential crisis about who I was. The person who had always made me feel “normal” was suddenly gone and I had honestly never felt so alone. It was as if there was a magnifying glass being held up to my other relationships and I noticed how difficult it was for me to communicate in a way that they could authentically relate to me and it felt extraordinarily isolating. I really had to dig deep and search my soul to find who I was going to be without this huge person in my life. It was an extremely difficult time, but the day I find out that I was an Introvert I realized I had gained a HUGE piece of the puzzle.
One day I was getting lost on Pinterest reading some beautifully deep quotes about life (There is just something about the way other people can phrase their words for my pain that just amazes me) and found a couple quotes about Introversion and down the rabbit hole I went. Little did I know I was about to start my journey to finding some inner peace. One of the pins I had clicked on sent me to a site that gave a free personality test, and I smiled with joy. I love love love anything that helps me feel like I have a deeper understanding about who I am and at the time, I desperately needed some answers. So away I clicked on this free personality test (https://www.16personalities.com) where I diligently read the questions and answered as honestly as I could and soon enough I found out that I was an INFJ, (Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging) the rarest of the 16 personality types. As I read through the description, (then went to other sites to take their test and read their evaluations) I was truly blown away. Everything fit, everything made sense and I was so grateful to feel understood again. I started reading more about Introversion and it was like the clouds parted and the sun finally started to shine. I felt more at peace with who I was than I had in a long time. Reading about my personality type and how I deal with emotional things helped me to cope with the pain I felt losing “my person”. It helped me to heal while I gained more confidence in understanding more about myself through my eyes, instead of through someone else’s.
Shortly after finding out my personality type, my best friend reached out to me and we began to make an effort to reconnect. I asked her to take this test because I knew there was no one on this earth that would enjoy this as much as I did, and she happily obliged. At little to no surprise to me, we found out she was also an introvert (an INTP to be exact) and I quickly shared with her all the goodies I had learned from my studies about introversion and about both of our personality types (As any good little INFJ would. Helping others to find meaning is all I could ever wish for after all). It also helped me understand her and her actions by learning more about her personality type which really sped up the healing process 10 fold. Though I had felt so hurt by her actions, there was something about her confirming that she was an introvert that warmed my heart to her again because it reminded me why we were drawn to each other in the first place so many years ago. We were just two young introverted teenagers who found a kinship with one another and it was with that bond of understanding that we created a safe little world around us to keep us safe for almost half our lives. It was so hard to lose her and the friendship I cherished for so long, but when I look back and I’m grateful to have experienced the pain because it all lead to so much personal growth.
I highly recommend anyone looking to dig a little deeper to go to the website https://www.16personalities.com and find out your personality type. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, knowing more about yourself (and your loved ones) will grant you some peace of mind and that’s priceless.