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Thoughts on becoming a different person.
Wassup Traipsaholics! After a month of van vagabonding, I’m back in Bend. Feels great, even if I was just in time for smoky air. I’ve barely stepped outside in a week.
It’s strange to dread September, a month I previously loved. I’m so grateful to have indoor hobbies these days because five years ago, I bounced off the walls during smoky air.
At least my road trip was fantastic: solo time to ride and relax in the mountains, a family visit, visiting dear friends, a bikepacking trip, surf lessons (a new potential addiction, score!), and piano practice in the van with many a beautiful view.
Ahhh, there’s nothing like the freedom and serendipity of van travel. The only thing missing was my wife, who was home tending to our elderly cat! (I keep reminding myself to play life like chess.)
I’m back to home routines, hence this quote of the week regarding discipline:
Tolerant with others, strict with yourself. (Marcus Aurelius via Ryan Holiday.)
Smoking About, Edition 109 features:
My changing personality
Making friends as an adult
Where to move?
Stunning book art
BTW, speaking of being glad to have indoor hobbies, check out my before and after blog post from last newsletter if you missed it.
My changing personality
The Myers-Briggs test classifies personalities into 16 distinct types. It can help us understand why we are who we are and why we do the things we do.
In college, my results were ENTJ: Extroverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging… aka The Commander. Analytical, efficient, decisive, motivated to accomplish things. (And boooring.)
This week, my results from 16personalities.com were almost opposite, ESFP: Extroverted, Observant, Feeling, Prospecting, aka The Entertainer.
From the site: “The Entertainer loves vibrant experiences, engaging in life eagerly and taking pleasure in discovering the unknown. They can be very social, often encouraging others into shared activities.”
Fascinating: in 20 years, I’ve completely flipped my personality, minus the extroverted aspect. I should mention Chelsea is an ISFP (the Adventurer), my introverted counterpart!
Obviously nuances abound and these assessments aren’t spot on. Reading the descriptions, aspects of both still ring true for me depending on the situation.
My take: for my first test 20 years ago, I was a broke college student in engineering school about to embark into adulthood. I wanted financial security and emphasizing The Commander was the best way I knew for achieving that.
Two decades later, I’m in a much different place. I’ve circled back to becoming more like my parents: less money driven, creative, musically inclined, living in tight social community.
The Commander no longer serves my goals except in specific situations. Otherwise, he just cruises in the background, keeping tabs on things…and occasionally sniping at Chelsea for inefficiency transgressions.
This shift feels like a positive development! I only hope my creative, sensitive side develops further and the boring Commander recedes further into the background.
Making friends as an adult
It usually takes dozens low-key hangouts with someone to create a feeling of closeness. Hence the reason we often remain close to childhood and college friends even as interests diverge.
But how the hell do we make friends as adults? A comment from my friend Brady, who I met when he was in his 20s and I was early 30s, is useful:
After we met, you’d text me about something you’d read or done and I’d think, ‘who is this guy?’ Then I realized that post-college, this is how people make friends.
Ever the open-minded dude, Brady shook off the awkwardness and we became good friends. In fact, he took that same approach when he moved to Germany, making an effort to hang out with people. Necessary since he wasn’t brushing into the same people in class or at social events. It worked!
Another anecdote: when Chelsea and I moved to Bend, we built a social group from scratch via a similar concerted effort. If you create events or invite people to do cool stuff, friendships will follow. It just takes effort.
Related reading: this excellent More To That post about what makes a friend.
Ready to move?
I’d be lying if I said five years straight of wildfire smoke in Bend hasn’t brought up thoughts of, “where else might we live?”
Set criteria for home prices, politics, distance to the ocean, natural disasters like earthquakes or wildfires, and much more…and voila! Recommendations abound.
I entered my criteria (sans wildfires) and my results were: Bend, Steamboat Springs, CO, and Driggs, ID. It seems we chose right back in 2016…assuming we travel out of the smoke in future years. *sigh*
Old book art
Fungi sprouting from books, butterflies launching from a chewed up cover… These sculptures by Stephanie Kilgast, built on and around old books, are so cool.
And so concludes Traipsing About newsletter #109.
This week’s unsolicited advice: treat your personality like a work in progress, not something that’s set in stone. For me, that means locking the Commander up!
Til next time…ciao ciao.
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