Personality Part Two ~ Blogging Rocked My World

My Personality in Mothering & Homemaking

If I recall correctly, it was a while ago now, I started my journey into knowing my children (and myself) better with a book on love languages. I'm not a naturally emphathetic or intuitive person so a book like this was very helpful for me.

My journey of discovery has not been a voracious, "clean out the pyschology section of the library" quest. I'm a busy mother with other interests besides parenting and personality.

My pattern has been to read a little, apply what I've learned, sometimes chewing the meat and spitting out the bones. Eventually, picking up another book, or more lately reading on-line articles and posts, and repeating the cycle.

There is a resource list coming in a future post but there are many more books, I'm sure, on this topic of knowing me, knowing you.

What matters most to me is not reading all the right books but building relationships. Books have helped me do that, by opening my eyes to different ways of thinking. But just as powerful is learning to step back from my expectations and listen.

This has been one of my huge life lessons in mothering. Learning to listen.

Learning to listen to the still small voice of the Spirit. After all, what did people do before there were personality tests and parenting books?! Learning to listen to my intuition. Learning to actually listen to people and not always lead, direct, organize, and otherwise "get my way".

Learning to listen has helped me grow the empathetic side of myself and make changes to my routines and structures that allow relationship to grow and blossom.

Specifically with my children but also with other people in my life.

Motherhood rocked my world, upending my expectations and generally shaving the hard edges off my personality. But mothering and homemaking also gave me the opportunity to flourish in my personality strengths and gifts.

I feel like I was made to do this job. Motherhood and homemaking is not just my vocation, it's my mission.

Our home runs really well because of my management skills. it's a welcoming and safe refuge. I'm happy to supervise and devise systems for keeping things in order, which makes for less overall stress for my family.

I'm a natural born guardian and I am totally a mother bear - don't you dare mess with my cubs. I will give my very best to what I am committed to. And I am committed to my family. They know this and it gives them security and confidence.

My attention to detail and careful money management has helped us make the most of Damien's earnings over the years.

I am community minded. I have strong organizational skills and leadership qualities. These have all helped me serve family, friends and strangers over the years by starting and operating buying clubs, offering free (or nearly-free) soapmaking and homeschooling information sessions and cooking meals for people in need.

I'm good at what I do. I'm happy at what I do.

After years of building my skills, gaining experience, and learning to listen I'm confident in the realm of mothering, homemaking, and homeschooling. I'm also adored by my family, and have no shame in sharing that because the feeling is mutual. This is a secure place for me and seeking security is one of my personality traits.

If everything's so hunky dorey Renee, what's the point of all this navel gazing?

A couple years ago something happened. Something that rocked my secure little world (in which I was queen). I discovered the world of photography, blogging and grew into being a writer.

In discovering that world and discovering parts of myself I didn't know existed I opened the door to insecurity. Big time.

How Blogging Rocked My World

This new-to-me world was equally exhilarating and terrifying. Years of self-confidence flew out the window as I was given a peek (a selective, highly edited peek I've come to realize) into the world of other homemakers, mothers, homeschoolers, simple living gurus and crunchy-granola types.

Discovering blogging, especially photo blogs, awakened in me a desire to chronicle and share the beauty of our family life with photography. This has grown into something I don't simply love but is now a natural extension of who I am.

Discovering blogging, gave me an avenue to publish my thoughts, which run the gamet from what I'm creating to what I'm feeling and everything in between. It gave me a way to share my love for (and some of my experience and knowledge in) homemaking, homeschooling, and mothering. Community involvement in a much broader space.

Discovering blogging also unleashed in me a torrent of insecurity, the likes of which I hadn't experienced since junior high.

I found women who not only elevated homemaking to a creative art form but they seemed to do it so much better than me.

These women blogged with so much grace and warm fuzzy feelings. Like their life was wrapped in soft flannel edges, with a lot of flow and rhythm (and yoga). Whereas I spoke the language of routine and schedule (and brisk walks).

I felt so pointy, opinionated and extreme next to these soft hearted, open minded, and moderate women.

My edges are too hard, my colors too bright, my voice too loud.

I discovered the world of business mommy bloggers, managerial marketing types who were up-front and unapologetic (you go girl) about blogging for a business. But that didn't fit either because under my pointy edges and straight shooter honesty I am a beauty seeking creative at heart.

Just to be clear, I love these gentle edged yoga women. I'm attracted to their calm presence and have much to learn in the art of chill. I am also privileged to call savvy business women friends and I love learning the ropes from these talented mavens.

But finding where I fit in the spectrum has not been easy.

Can I Be a Creative Mompreneur?

I am not a business woman. I am a mother. I know those are not mutually exclusive but for me mama is my mission, not business. I'm not a yoga practicing, deep breathing zen mother either. I'm fairly high energy and success driven. I just have happened to channel those traits into family living for my whole adult life.

I have found joy, fulfillment and meaning investing myself in mothering and homemaking. I am comfortable in this skin.

Writing and photography was a whole new world to me and I didn't even know what my skin looked like in that world, never mind feeling comfortable in it.

These women - the creative geniuses, the marketing mavens, the graphic design gurus - were working from home, making money doing what they loved. And this inspired me.

I wanted a piece of the action. I had reached the point in my mothering career where my children didn't need me so much on a moment to moment basis that I could actually consider joining these women.

As I watched the success (I'm going to dive into what success means to me a in a future post) of these amazing bloggers, writers, photographers, and artisans I wondered how I, Renee Tougas, could turn my own passions into profit.

I wanted to find that sweet spot of earning money doing something I love, "something" born out of who I am and what I have to offer as mother, homemaker and homeschooler.

But the big question was - would the world-at-large accept me, as is? Could I just "be myself" in this world of creative mompreneurs? My sometimes pointy, colorful, opinionated, service minded, attention to detail, non-conformist self.

The bigger question yet, would people like and trust me enough to pay for what I had to offer?

What did I have to offer?

And so started my second round of understanding myself better with personality tests, inspirational books and on-line resources.

I started to get a sense of what I had to offer. I have skills, knowledge and experience that I have been (happily) offering for free for years. I also have a story to tell that is interesting and inspiring. I started to form a vision around these pieces.

Putting myself out there, "selling" myself - because indeed at the end of the day what I have to offer is me, feels so vulnerable. Stepping out of the warm cocoon of family life - where I know what to expect, where I'm loved and accepted. Where it's cosy, nourishing, organized (smile) and safe. The little world I've created to raise these children and love my husband.

And so, what started as a desire to know the unique people God gave me to raise turned into a desire to understand the unique person God made me to be.

Which brings this story to the present. The place I've been "living" for the past year or so. Figuring out who I am and what I have to offer the world.

I know everyone's journey is unique but can you identify with any part of this story? (Hint: I'm looking for people who are likewise insecure in stepping outside their comfort zone)

What do you feel you offer the world?

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  • Lori

    Lori on Dec. 28, 2011, 1:41 p.m.

    I am going to make this new year the one for stepping outside my comfort zone. I have many comfort zones (I'm a comfy sorta person), but my big one is my home. I'm literally very comfortable here, homeschooling and working from home. I need to get out more. We had a lovely Christmas, but at the end of the day, I told my husband that I didn't think we were thriving as a family as much as we could be. The next day we researched the area (we've been here 3 years), and found a hiking trail. We used to be hikers, and thanks to your blog I decided that we must make a hike a once a week deal. It's the only way we will not let it slip into a once a year, "we should do this more often deal". So we did it and it was great. Then yesterday I spent quite a bit of time reading the hiking posts of you and your husband. You guys are an inspiration, and I thank you for sharing what you know so well. It helps others.
    So, I don't have an answer for "what do I offer the world", but I offer my family a lot, and I know I can do more. This year I am going to channel that energy into doing more, instead of just thinking about it. I'm excited.


    • renee

      renee on Dec. 28, 2011, 1:59 p.m.

      Yay! How ironic. I just spent part of the last 2 days updating our Family Outdoors resource page and will be linking to it next week to encourage people to make this the year they get outdoors more with their family. I am a comfort zone person also. And I remind myself when I'm scared of stepping "out there" professionally that I've backpacked and hiked and done things I didn't imagine myself doing. If I can do that, I can do this next thing (whatever it might be!)


  • Katja

    Katja on Dec. 28, 2011, 2:17 p.m.

    I just love this post!" And so, what started as a desire to know the unique people God gave me to raise turned into a desire to understand the unique person God made me to be."...that sentence made my soul saying "Jeeej!".Thanks.


  • Constance

    Constance on Dec. 28, 2011, 3:41 p.m.

    LIke you, I am beginning to put myself "out there" now that my kids are more self-sufficient. I also look longingly at the mommy blogs that are all fuzzy feelings and feel like we're not living up to it all but I'm learning to accept our family for who we are, not some idealized vision. Right now, we're working out how we want our family to be since, like Lori, we're not entirely happy with how things are now. We are stuck on the merry-go-round of society's expectations! I often say to myself, "Why are we doing this?" and the answer is too often, "because it's what people do." I guess in answer to your question, I offer the world generosity with my time, organization skills and listening skills. I try to show people that you can be different, you don't have to follow the prescribed schedule for life until it's finally over (get married, have kids, drive kids to various classes, work hard to pay for all your stuff until you retire three days before you get a fatal illness). I find that last one hard, a sort of two steps forward, one step back thing but people like you are a great inspiration to me. This is the year I hope to add more "Tougas" to our life! On Boxing Day (Dec.26), I thought of you since we went hiking and it was the best day of our holidays! I tried not to be too cynical when we drove by the outdoors store, the parking lot was full of bargain hunters looking for stuff for their outdoor lifestyle and it was the most gorgeous day outside. Anyway, sorry to go on! Thanks again for sharing your family's life with us and Happy New Year!


    • renee

      renee on Dec. 28, 2011, 3:54 p.m.

      A second Yay! Hiking on the holidays (especially Boxing Day or the Day after US thanksgiving) is one of our traditions. This year though it was skiing (smile).


  • Tina

    Tina on Dec. 28, 2011, 4:18 p.m.

    Renee, (sorry, a bit off-topic, but I've shifted into the organizing/decluttering mode) I first found your blog through Heather's "Beauty that Moves" blog and love your posts, your thoughts and your writing style. I am very intrigued by your Home Management binder, and even more so by the top page on your clipboard. Is it some sort of homeschooling recording sheet, or some other daily record? Have you blogged about this, or your Home Management binder, elsewhere on your blog where I can read more? I've been trying to design some sort of daily list-making, homeschool record-keeping sheet forever, and can't seem to come up with something that totally fits my needs. Would love to see a closer peek at what works for you...Love your blog--thanks for taking the time to share!


    • renee

      renee on Dec. 28, 2011, 4:24 p.m.

      Stay tuned Tina. Next week I'm talking about organizing. And if for some reason I don't, I'll try to remember to come back here and leave a little comment to explain what I use. For now, check out my organizing posts on my Home & Garden Resource page. There are even some downloads in there.


  • Brandi D.

    Brandi D. on Dec. 28, 2011, 5:02 p.m.

    Can I relate? Oh yeah. OH YEAH.

    I don't think I've ever commented on your blog before, though I've been reading for some time, so let me just say that finding FIMBY was truly a relief for me. Like you, I feel a bit hard-edged and loud (and, perhaps, a bit too controlling) when I read many of the mothering blogs. I enjoy those blogs, and I've learned so very much from them, but I can't re-create them in my own life because I wouldn't fit!

    I'm still learning myself, learning what it is that I'm meant to do in the world. I don't really know what I have to offer just yet, but I'm trying to allow myself the time and space to figure it out. (I'm anxious to read your resource list!) I'm an impatient, let's-do-it-now type of person, and this has resulted in trying a few different things that just didn't fit right and were sort of doomed from the start. Then I felt insecure because I wasn't finishing things that I'd started. Ugh. It's been messy. :)

    Thank you for putting this out there, for allowing your readers to come along on your journey and learn from you along the way. Your blog has been an invaluable resource for me and my family.


  • Kika

    Kika on Dec. 28, 2011, 6:01 p.m.

    Your new resource links on side-bar look great; so pretty.

    I am enjoying your personality series and want to read more. I have always loved your posts (and books I read) which encourage self-reflection and personal growth. How fabulous that you can say, "I'm good at what I do. I'm happy at what I do." I used to have this confidence... not sure where it went! I have hit a stage of life where I need more or different but am not quite sure what that is and what exactly it is I have to offer the world. I feel a desire to be studying again and moving more outside the (beautiful) walls of homeschool mom and family caregiver. The past fifteen years this was my dream and I feel blessed to have lived it but now I need something more.I don't know if it is partly brought on by simply turning 40 or because my oldest child will be leaving the nest in the next couple years?!

    I can really relate to the idea that I sometimes feel I have skills to offer but then, if I compare myself to authors or bloggers I feel intimidated - like, I am not as good as them so why bother. Or, hasn't it all been said and done before? Do I really have something unique to contribute? One thing that feels hard, too, is that after spending so many years in University to become a teacher I know that I have zero desire to work in that world. And, even my French, which was a unique (where I live) skill is drastically deteriorating with disuse and so now I have to work on that.

    I feel like good is ahead, though, but I always have to wrestle hard to make breakthroughs in my life. Thanks again for putting yourself out there, Renee, and sharing even your thought processes with us :)


    • Kika

      Kika on Dec. 31, 2011, 3:58 a.m.

      I am registering with CSNN this month to work towards becoming a Holistic Nutritional Consultant. I am so very excited. The investment of finances and time/energy is a little daunting but I am thrilled to have finally made the decision, with my husband's wholehearted support, to move forward in this new dream.


  • Tracy

    Tracy on Dec. 28, 2011, 6:57 p.m.

    I have been reading your blog in the last months as I have gotten to know you through Simple Homeschool. On your suggestion I picked up Nuture By Nature. My husband and I have always been into Myers Briggs and are complete opposites. Our "stepping out" has involved working together on an optometry practice that serves children with vision related learning issues. Our office is in a little cottage in the property adjacent to our home. We are in the never ending process of figuring out home/work/homestead rhythm. I am needing to learn how to use my ultra organizing skills in rhythm with my people loving patient serving, but not so organized husband. We are also reading the book as a way to better understand our two spirited kids who also seem to balance each other. Love how God creates family. Thanks for these posts about yourself and your journey as they help me also examine myself and my evolving role in our family and work. I truly enjoy your writing style and content.


  • shelli

    shelli on Dec. 28, 2011, 7:50 p.m.

    Renee, you are always such an inspiration. It's hard to imagine that you would ever be insecure with all you have to offer and what a wonderful, beautiful home and family you have to showcase. I'm much in the same boat as far as trying to figure out what I have to offer. I hope I can make another step in the direction of figuring out what my "vocation" will be this year and balancing that with homemaking and homeschooling as my boys get a little older.


  • Heather

    Heather on Dec. 28, 2011, 8:25 p.m.

    Wow, did this strike a chord with me. The last few years I've felt that pull, the "what's next?" pull as my children have grown older. Like you, I love being a mother and homemaker, much to my surprise and the surprise of my extended family. This isn't who I was supposed to be. I was supposed to be a successful business person, likely too busy to even have children, never mind stay at home and raise them. Funny what happens as you get older and start releasing some of those expectations. :) But having walked away from that me, then I have to find another one don't I? Or maybe "find" isn't the right word. Maybe it's more like "reveal," and once I've done that, how does that translate into a vocation? Because I've had jobs, I have a job now. It's the vocation that's a little tricky. Looking forward to your resources post also. A few more tools for the journey...


  • Liane

    Liane on Dec. 28, 2011, 11:17 p.m.

    Happy Holidays! I wasn't planning to comment on this post, but suddenly felt compelled...

    You certainly seems to attract a common theme amongst mothers- stay-at-home, homeschooling Christians. Of course there are exceptions, but this is a theme I've noticed in your comments. Which is wonderful, as people get inspired by those like-minded.

    So I ask myself why I keep reading your blog when I am not any of these? I was once a stay-at-home mom for 3 wonderful years, but recently went back to work 2 days a week. I am a naturopathic doctor and I now work for a foundation that gives free health care to people in need. I find this work incredibly fulfilling and feel absolutely lucky to go to work (albeit not everyday, so that's lucky to).

    I used to homeschool my children. Then I realized that my daughter was severely dyslexic and began to look for other resources for her. What I discovered was an entire world of professionals and technology that can help her. I once thought that as a mommy I could teach my children and that would always be the best option. For us, it wasn't. We clashed, she didn't learn, I cried because she still wasn't reading a sentence at 9 years old. In 3 weeks in a program for dyslexic children she was reading. It is incredible to watch and humbling for me who thought I was her best option. Her teacher told me "with some kids, it's best to just be their mom, not their teacher too." It was sad to let go of something I felt strongly about, but to now see my daughter flourish and watch her confidence grow I know we're on the right track.

    And I am not Christian. Spiritual yes. Christian no. Yet I read your words and the strength you get from reading the bible and know we're still speaking the same language- we just get our inspiration from different places.

    So all in all, even though I am perhaps different that many of your readers, I still get so much from your honesty and self-reflection. Our family has already picked up and travelled the world for a few years and lived with very little "stuff". We've spent a great deal of time together and done alot of outdoor adventures. We're raising our daughters to love nature and not ignore it. We don't live in the norm of society- we don't have a TV, read aloud alot and knit together instead of shop! Yet as a mom, I'm always looking for new ways we can express ourselves as a family and gather new ideas. So really, we're probably more similar than different, no?

    I am jealous of all your snow- here in the Rockies we haven't had fresh snow for weeks! Santa brought snowshoes and we're itching to try them. Off to the mountains tomorrow to find some! We've been skating up a storm daily at different community rinks here in Calgary and having a wonderful holiday together. All the best to you and your family...


  • Catherine Forest

    Catherine Forest on Dec. 29, 2011, 12:19 a.m.

    Oh my God, Renee! The more I read you, the more I recognize myself in you. So many sentences I could have written word for word: I feel like I was made to do this job. Motherhood and homemaking is not just my vocation, it's my mission. I'm good at what I do. I'm happy at what I do. And: My edges too hard, my colors too bright, my voice too loud. And so much more. Stepping into the unknown as an insecure is totally me. Leaving my little well rounded world behind to go explore the world with my family is a huge step outside of my comfort zone.

    I feel like I offer inspiration to the world, I want people to know that we can follow our dreams, that it is possible to spend our days with our children without feeling like we don't ever have time for ourselves, that we can raise conscious children in this crazy and beautiful world. I think I offer inspiration and reflexion and support too. Just like you in a way...


  • Beth Wagenius

    Beth Wagenius on Dec. 29, 2011, 12:29 a.m.

    I can definitely relate to what you are saying about stepping outside our comfort zones. I've been trying to do some of that myself. It's been hard and yet I've enjoyed it. Looking forward to your next posts.


  • Michelle

    Michelle on Dec. 29, 2011, 1:11 a.m.

    Well Renee, if these positive comments aren't confirmation enough for your relevant voice in this community I don't know what is. Your words are definitely needed out there. You are on you way!!


  • Hillary

    Hillary on Dec. 29, 2011, 1:38 a.m.

    This post was almost uncomfortable for me to read because I've felt so much angst over this topic. I've always felt a little envious of the women who were just able to throw themselves in to the business side of mompreneuring. I've always wanted to keep my blog very independent and non-commercial and yet I need to support my family. I'm finding my way though and I'm always very appreciative of your perspective and sharings.


  • Gabbie

    Gabbie on Dec. 29, 2011, 2:35 a.m.

    Renee, l blogged about my fear of 'putting myself out there' earlier this year in February. Not very eloquently (LOL!) but l do have a fair bit of fear related to marketing myself and my soaps. (you can see the blog post here:

    l always seem to come from the 'gently gently' side of things and tend to 'hide' behind the anonymity of the internet - l so admire those people who are more 'in your face' and incredibly confident with their talents. But having said that, l also appreciate the nicer parts of being a little bit shy, and l am slowly, very slowly getting better at putting myself out there.

    I only just recently discovered your blog, and absorb every single new post. l'm not a homeschooling mum, (so l'm not sure how l even stumbled across your blog) but being from Australia, l am fascinated by your location, (snow!) your lovely photography, and just the general lovely 'vibe' l get from reading about your day to day lives. Thankyou so much for sharing!


  • Andrea

    Andrea on Dec. 29, 2011, 3:27 a.m.

    Yes! I really feel this post.I am glad to know there are other women out there that feel the same way. Often times I read blogs and feel like "why can't I do that? my house is a mess and I have so many other things to do!" Which leads me to feel jealous of other peoples homes, style, talents etc. I feel like I haven't really turned in to a grown up yet even though I have 4 kids and I am 33 years old. I am chaotic, cluttered,shy and have no idea what I want to do with my life. I want to do what I love but what do I love? I am really enjoying this series.


  • Francesca

    Francesca on Dec. 31, 2011, 1:38 a.m.

    You write very well about yourself, and with clarity. Your strengths and qualities are unique precisely because you are the person you are, and not one of the other bloggers you compare yourself to. In this world, and on the internet, there's room for everyone - except, possibly, for clones. Hooray for diversity! You have so much to offer! To answer your question, I think that fundamentally I'm an insecure kind of person, but age and life made me make peace with lots of things, including my personality. When I fist began blogging, I had a vague idea to dedicate my writing to change the way people felt (i.e. dismissed) pregnancy loss - I've moved away from there, and I'm not sure where I'm heading -- indeed, what do I offer to the world? Happy New Year to you, Renee, and to Damien, Celine, Laurent and Brienne.


  • FishMama

    FishMama on Dec. 31, 2011, 6:25 p.m.

    But the big question was - would the world-at-large accept me, as is? Could I just "be myself" in this world of creative mompreneurs? My sometimes pointy, colorful, opinionated, service minded, attention to detail, non-conformist self.

    You've been such an encouragement to me -- to be myself. Thank you.


  • Jen @ Anothergranolamom

    Jen @ Anothergranolamom on Jan. 1, 2012, 1:58 a.m.

    I think you should be giving yourself a great big pat on the back for being a strong, strong-minded mama. There aren't so many of us in the world. Instead of "voice too loud, colors too bright," you should think about how you are living your life out loud while others are living in whispers, and rejoice! By the way, your weekly hiking has been an inspiration to me in my "life out loud," as well. We are lucky enough to live close to Utah's canyonlands, and are able to escape the snow to hike some of the winter. But, just today, we tried out snow hiking, and I think we might be hooked! In a world where I know no one personally who would be interested in doing the things I do, it's great to read about someone else who sees the necessity of taking her family outdoors.


  • Shelley R.

    Shelley R. on Jan. 1, 2012, 3:40 p.m.

    I've contemplated exercising my writing side in the "blogging" world--and it's terrifying thinking about organizing my thoughts and honing a vision for what is made public. So, most of the time I'll note to myself how it appears as if there doesn't need to be one more voice in the blogging world. (Even if that voice is creative and vibrant.) Also, I'm convinced that the nourishment I take through reading needs to be full of vitality--not drivel--for my time is precious and most of it is poured out toward my husband and kids. So, I'm not willing to venture into writing until I've figured out if my contribution would be a place of vitality.

    If anything, your writing has encouraged me the most in this way: finding that there are other vibrant women in the world who mother, create, guide and learn alongside their children, and who are anchored by a faith in God; who are not in the "typical" group of stay-at-home mothers and wives. I've never been one to fall into the status quo anyway. And, that it is good and life-giving to source our contentment from the family that God has knit you into. Our family does need to be a place of security, and a place to take risks in discovering how we are wired. It is evident that your family is such an environment for you, and what a blessing! Thank you for being loud and colorful!


  • Kyce

    Kyce on Jan. 2, 2012, 9:36 p.m.

    After I read Mitten Strings for God by Katrina Kenison this summer I felt a strong sense of purpose to create a mothers' circle focused on some of the themes in it--things like simplicity, reverence, spirit, and simplicity again. Though we are guided by readings, it's not really a book club but more a place to share, to be creative (sometimes we journal, draw, sing), to build community and nurture ourselves. It has been a huge stretch for me (I'm not exactly a trained facilitator, but this is the role I play in guiding our little group) and very gratifying.


  • Erin B

    Erin B on Jan. 3, 2012, 5:14 a.m.

    Renee, I have been reading your blog regularly over the last month or so - I tuned in to see what the move was all about, and I have since been so inspired by you and the way you and your family are moving through your lives. I, too, am at a transition time, and taking stock of myself and where my values are pointing me for my next steps - so although I'm neither a momma nor a home manager, I find plenty of encouragement by these glimpses into your life. For me your life speaks of the capacity we have to truly create our reality - which can be a beautiful and surprising thing, when done with consciousness as you are doing.

    I'm grateful to be able to share in your thoughts as you contemplate what you have to offer the world and wanted to thank you for your courage to move out of your comfort zone and do this blog - it has allowed you to come back into my life so serendipitously and significantly broadened the scope of my dreaming...


  • Amy Jane

    Amy Jane on Jan. 3, 2012, 6:40 a.m.

    This feels like what I'm growing into: I don't have the camera-connection/access yet, but I feel like I have so much I want to teach, colliding with all I haven't got together yet.

    I've actually been looking for a place I can "uniquely contribute," but having found it, I found myself overwhelmed by how many steps there are to begin building something, well, mercenary, is the ugly way to put it.

    I think understanding personality is important, though. I don't like it called navel-gazing because that's dismissive and invalidating, especially to those who need it but are afraid of it.

    The way I see it, personality theories are a vocabulary to understand differences, a way I train myself to see differences not in a hierarchy.

    And the other thing understanding ourselves is good for is understanding others. Really. Mine is the only skin I'm allowed into. If I can figure out how I tick, and have the confidence I am not utterly unique in this world, I am also learning how (at least some) other people work. That excites me.

    (And, hi. I think this is my first comment. I found you over the weekend and loved the post about your three "not-little" kids sharing a single room. I needed that story for me. Thanks.)


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