Blog by Yessica Maher, los Angeles Native.

She explores life after marriage, starting a career in her late 30's, relationships, breaking cycles of abuse, online dating, self care, fertility and depression. 

It's all over the place, but so is living. 

Testing, 1, 2, 3

I love tests.  It sounds insane because tests are usually terrifying and stressful, and believe me, I've had plenty of those that I didn't enjoy.  The tests I love are the ones you can't study or prepare for.  I like the ones that tell me more about who I am. I just watched a video that takes you through the 5 levels of the Stroop Effect test.  I was slower than I'd like on the last stage of the test, but didn't misname any of the colors.  You're given a set of words at a set speed and the words are written colors but the font is in a color other than the word you're reading.  It was a challenge and I loved it.

Briggs Meyer ENFJ-A

As a surrogate mother, I was having a moment of questioning if my motives were the right ones for wanting to carry another child for another couple.  I can't remember if it was my 2nd or 3rd surrogate pregnancy.  I felt like I was doing it because I loved being pregnant and it helped me to relive the joys of pregnancy without any of the fears and concerns that plagued my pregnancies with my children.  I felt I was being selfish. As a surrogate, I saw a therapist on a monthly basis with other surrogate mothers and she suggested I take the Briggs Meyer test. I don't think it mapped out an answer to my worries, but I my personality is a Diplomat and Protagonist.  I'm supposed to be charismatic and an inspiring leader but I'm still trying to get my sons to not pee on the toilet seat.  Honestly, reading the whole list of strengths and weaknesses in different areas of my life really hit me in waves and when the wave ebbed away, there was a clarity I didn't expect.  My personality type gave me closure with my marriage.  I was able to point at my personality as the reason why I held on for so long, and it gave me peace when I saw that I had decided to walk away and never look back.  It's who I am and there are others like me (President Obama and Jennifer Lawrence, so cool people all around.)

Core Values Index - Merchant/Innovator

My favorite part about job hunting everywhere is the testing.  Everyone wants to know how capable I am with various software.  I do very well, but so does everyone else because software is pretty user friendly, or it wouldn't be used everywhere.  Some companies insist on personality tests and another one I've taken is the Core Values Index by Taylor Protocols.  I'm a merchant/innovator which means I'm all about love and wisdom.  It's another set of insights where I can absolutely see myself in their explanations.  It tells me what motivates me and where I find fulfillment.

If anything, these personality tests make me feel like I should be more of what they say I am, and it's not a bad push toward being a better version of me.  I enjoy these tests because I love moments when I see more of who I am with a shifted perspective.

Just before I started writing this, I had edited my dating profile.  Again.  In all of my writing, this blog included,  I tend to write furiously to get it out of my head because if I don't write it, I'll lose it in the many other thoughts that crowd out my mind.  My brain doesn't shut off.  Typically I'll quickly post it and later go back to read what I've written. I then will read and re-read what I've written until I've edited it into submission.  This last reading of the "In my own words" section of my dating profile helped me see what I couldn't the first few times I read it.  I was writing parts to a specific person.  I got to a point where I started addressing the man I'm looking for and I wrote:

I want to be challenged and I want you to be unafraid to say something that will open my eyes and shift my perspective. Call me out when I'm wrong. I want to spend my free time with you. I want to get lost in your beautiful and intelligent eyes. I want to know what makes you tick and what makes you happy. I want to obsess over every observation I’ve made about you and I want you to be so great I’m driving everyone nuts because I want to share my secret so badly. I want you to be smarter than I am and I need you to challenge me on an intellectual level. I’m excited about the day a single random text from you will make me smile uncontrollably, giggling with giddiness, and seeing you will make every thought disappear. I'm looking forward to sharing a meal with you. I want to converse with you about silly things and major life. I want to walk through sifting sand along the Pacific with you and I want to learn how to play your favorite sports with you. I believe there are rights to exclusivity. If we're dating, you won’t find me entertaining someone else in the ways you’ve claimed as your right, and I expect the same assurance. I will never leave you wondering because I believe in transparency and have no reason to lie to you.

I wasn't writing to some idea of someone but I was writing to someone specific, echoing words I've already put into this blog so long ago.  Yikes.  With the shades of shame heating my cheeks, there's also a moment of pleasure because those memories are fond ones.  And this man isn't my ex.  Good times.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

The Commodification of Affection