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January 2020 Wrap-Up!


Oh my goodness, I can’t believe January is almost over. In a little less than a week, it’ll be February- and my birthday! (It’s on the 13th, if you didn’t know. I'm almost a Valentine’s baby!). I wanted to try something a little different this year, and do a once a month wrap up of the month, to update you on any interesting or fun things have happened to me. Will it be a hit or amusing to read for anyone? Who knows! Will I keep doing this till December? Don’t know that either! You let me know! But for now, let’s give it a try!

What I’ve Been Doing in January

I’ve been working on my blog! Basically, using my own advice from this blog post. I'm rewriting/revamping old posts to make them fresher and more current, reformatting, making new headers, and making more Pinterest graphics (even though I’m terrible at them!). I may not write as often as other bloggers (I only post once a week. For now), but I’m going to try to make my blog as functional and stream-lined (and pretty!) as I can until I can start posting more. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I'm trying to my hand at minimalism! Thanks to Julie over at Dark Blue Journal (Hi Julie!), she's inspired me to go on this journey. I want to be less cluttered and more focused. And far less attached to things. So I’ve been going through my drawers to see what I can donate (as far as clothes, trinkets, etc.). It’s honestly been so liberating so far!

I’m looking into donating books to prisons and am also donating my old bridesmaid dress! I have a few advanced readers copies (ARCs) of books that I’ve received for free from Goodreads and you’re not allowed to sell ARCs or even donate them to the library because they could be sold later. So I thought, why not donate them to people who don’t get the chance to have as much choice in what they can read and could use some new books? So right now I’m currently looking for prison programs who will accept the ARCs! I’m also going to donate my beautiful bridesmaid dress (after I dry clean it, of course) from my best friend’s wedding to a local charity that gives away free prom dresses to students in the community. I figure, if I’m going to give things away and declutter, I might as well give back to the community and let someone else enjoy these things as much I did when I used them! 

I’ve decided to grow my hair out so I can donate it! I’ve always had short hair (one disastrous haircut in first grade can really make or break your hair length for life) and I thought last year that it might be fun to grow it out. But then I thought, What if I grew it out so long that I then could cut it and donate it?? So that’s my new goal! For the next year and a half (I’m about at 4 inches now, if my hair were tied in a low pony, so I have a ways to go!), I’ll be taking extra good care of my hair to make it nice and long and healthy. Plus, I’m trying NOT to shampoo it as much to make it extra healthy! (I used to shampoo it everyday but now I’m going for every two days. My hair is a complete greaseball aka book Snape on day two, but hopefully my oils will even out soon and I can go for every three days!)

I’m reading my 11th book of the year! Or it could be 12th or 13th by the time January ends. My reading goal this year is 60 books! Last year it was 50 and I ended up reading 109 books! I’m excited to see if I can reach 60 or even more this year! (Though I’m not holding my breath that I can beat 109 from last year!) But I think 11 books in January is still pretty impressive! (At least in my opinion!)

I got the birth control implant in my arm! It's good for three years, covered by my insurance, and it may make my period go away! Wuhoo! It's a silly thing to be excited for, but I am. Personally, I feel like everyone should have access to birth control, but obviously not everyone feels that way (Ahem. And that's all I'll say on the matter). But I also wanted to add this in because when I got the implant, I was pretty relaxed, but right afterwards, I felt really dizzy and ended up fainting! I was so embarrassed, but my doctor and the medical staff were so nice that I probably need to bake them cookies to thank them for being so nice to me. Why am I a fainter?? It didn't even hurt and there wasn't even blood! And why do I still want to try to donate blood?? What is wrong with me??? (Also, it's kind of fun to have people touch my arm where the implant is because you can feel it under the skin and it grosses people out. Win-win!)

I may be getting a new kitten soon! (Fingers crossed and knock on wood!) As you may know, if you’ve read my blog from last year, I lost my cat D.W. quite suddenly and haven’t wanted to get a new cat for a while. D.W. was so special to me that I was almost sure I didn’t want another cat. But then a friend of a friend said she was fostering two kittens and I went to go visit them and I just fell in love with both! I know I can only choose one, so right now I’m trying to pick which one would be best for me and our family, but my goodness, they are both so adorable! I will keep you updated on what happens. A (possible) new kitten aka a tiny floof to love!!!

And that has been my January so far. Seems not that exciting to some, but it's been keeping me busy. Also, there will be a lot in store for February, since that is my birthday month! And no, I will not tell you how old I'm turning because I am obviously ageless and immortal! So check back next month for my February wrap-up!

So what did you all think of this type of post? Like it? Ambivalent to it? I thought it was pretty fun, but I'd like to know what you think! Also, if you have some tips on how to make killer Pinterest graphics or keep your hair healthy and good charities in the US to donate your hair, I'd love the suggestions!

Stay Weird,
Emily

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My Story Of Living With Emetophobia


*Trigger Warning!*

In this post I will be talking about emetophobia. If you’re easily triggered by talk of vomit or other words I may use instead of vomit (because honestly, using that word is going to get boring and I’m going to bring in some synonyms to mix things up), skip this post and read one of my other happier ones.

What Is Emetophobia?

Some of you may know what emetophobia is. But some of you might not. Here’s a hint:

“Emesis” comes from the Greek word “emein,” which means “to vomit,” and “phobia,” obviously means an irrational fear.

Put "emesis" and "phobia" together, and what do you get? Emetophobia, the fear of vomiting.

I suffer from emetophobia. It started when I was around 11 (we’ll get around to the story soon, I promise), ruled my life for many years, but is now lying dormant, just waiting for a stomach bug. It’s an awful fear to have, because as gross as barfing is, it’s very hard to avoid it. Sometimes you get sick, sometimes someone else gets sick. Sometimes you even throw up because it’s your stomach’s own defense mechanism if you eat something bad for you or possibly poisonous (aka the dreaded food poisoning!). Basically, puking happens in life and you can’t avoid it forever. Unfortunately.

Emetophobia can be being scared of vomit or vomiting, and of being around others who vomit. The sight, sounds, or even the thought of vomit or vomiting can send a person with emetophobia into anxiety or a panic attack (or both!). I mean, no one likes throwing up (it’s super gross and awful, we can all agree on that!) but people with emetophobia will avoid all situations that can in any way possible lead to vomiting. Mention of the stomach flu? Avoid! Food that’s been in the fridge too long or near or past its expiration date? Throw that out! Going out drinking with the possibility of blowing chunks? Nuh-uh! Not gonna happen!

I didn’t always know that emetophobia had a name or it was an actual thing. I didn’t even know that other people had it! I honestly thought I was the only one in this very awful and exclusive club. I just knew that I had a strong and extreme fear of vomiting. It hurt my life for many years and led me to avoid so many situations and experiences just because I was scared of the possibility I might vomit. Because of this, I want to share my experience with all of you in the hopes that I can educate people about this phobia and hopefully help someone out there who reads this to know that they aren’t alone. (Because you aren't!)

It’s taken me a really long time until I discovered the Twitter community to realize that other people had this emetophobia thing too. I was inspired by Naomi over at Inching Forwards, to write about my own experience, since she wrote about hers, and I was so grateful that someone else understood. She also has some great tips and resources in her post (much better than mine), so please check out her post.

But my journey to emetophobe (aka a person who suffers from emetophobia) began with what I call "The Pizza Incident."

The Start of My Fear of Vomiting, or "The Pizza Incident" 

It all began, like I said, when I was 11. My mother is a great at making homemade pizza, and we’d have it often. So for lunch one day, my mom made an extra good pizza and my older sister and I chowed down. My sister has always been able to eat more than I have, so I felt a little like I was competing with her to eat as many slices as I could. I remember having several pieces and feeling rather full. But the pizza was yummy so I honestly didn’t mind.

A little while later, I started feeling a little sick. I wasn’t quite sure if it was my stomach or intestinal discomfort, but all I knew was that I felt very queasy. I decided the best thing to do was to plop myself down on the toilet (I know, TMI) with a book and just wait to see what would happen. Whatever end it came out of, I’d be set! (Listen, TMI again, but all bodily functions are gross and we all do them, so let’s just get over it, okay?) But the longer I sat there, the more queasy and sick I felt, and the more my heart started to race. I started sweating and thinking, “this hurts so much! What’s wrong? What’s going to happen? Why is this happening???” I felt so scared and confused. I didn’t realize it, but that was my very first panic attack. And the next thing I knew, I grabbed the trash can next to me and threw up into it. I remember my mom and sister coming in to check on me in the bathroom, with me sitting on the toilet, pantless, shaking and crying.

Even I could figure out what happened. Emetophobia usually comes after a traumatic incident involving vomit or vomiting. I knew that my first panic attack was connected to the idea of barfing, and they would forever be connected. Worst of all, I couldn’t eat pizza again for years. (If that doesn’t tell you how awful this fear is, then I don’t know what else will convince you!)

From there, the panic attacks would start and sneak up without warning. I remember waking up one day, early, and feeling panicky and nauseous. I wouldn’t eat anything, since I was afraid of throwing up again. I never wanted to feel that panic again. My mom would coax me with smoothies and gentle foods she promised wouldn’t upset my stomach. I eventually started eating again, but that fear remained and to be honest, I ate a lot less in case I overate and got sick. And continued to do so for many years to come.

The Peak of Fear

I had become obsessed with not vomiting. Or being around vomit. Or seeing vomit. Or hearing someone vomit. I even become obsessed with the idea of barfing and puke in general, despite the fact that it scared me so much I would obsessively check the labels on food to make sure they weren’t spoiled or else I would get food poisoning. I couldn’t watch any movie that had a puking scene in it. You know that one iconic scene in The Sandlot? I used to be able to watch it and laugh, but just the thought of it would make me go crying into my room. Even comedic scenes with throw up in them would send me in a blind panic, making me pull out my hair. I took to checking a website for parents that reviewed all the inappropriate things in movies to check for scenes of vomiting to make sure I could watch the movie in peace.

I ate less and less- just in case. When my acid reflux acted up, I carried about a plastic bag in my purse just in case I needed to puke when I was out. I flinched and freaked out when the words “vomit,” “barf,” or “puke,” (words I’m using now in this post) were even mentioned casually. I never tried alcohol as a teen because I was afraid just a single drop would make me hurl. I insisted on having food with any medication, just in case the medication shouldn’t be taken on an empty stomach. My life was consumed with not barfing, seeing vomit, or anything that had to do it. It was physically exhausting and emotionally draining.

This lasted for many years and coincided with a dark depression that started when I was around 12. I went to therapy. A lot of therapy. A lot of medications. No one I saw had any great ideas to help me with my Extreme Fear: Vomiting Edition except for talking about it. Which in all honesty, didn’t do too much, since we weren’t making any progress. Looking back, I was just wasting my parents’ insurance co-pays on substandard therapy sessions. Also, in retrospect, those therapists sucked and had no idea how to help me.

Eventually it got a little better when I was around 18, but unfortunately, another traumatic experience involving the idea of vomiting sent me on another dark route that I won’t get into now (or maybe ever, on this blog. Sometimes some things are too personal to share). But after many years of suffering, crying, hair-pulling, panic attacks, and anxiety, finding the right medications, and therapy, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. An unexpected, horrible light that would kind of really help.

The Thing I’ve Been Fearing the Most Happens (And It Kind of Helped)

Like I said earlier in this post, puking is kind of hard to avoid in life. Unfortunately, even if you have an irrational fear of it, it’s going to happen to you. It’s not like a “normal” fear, like of being murdered, where the percentage is incredibly tiny. Vomiting is going to happen to you at some point. And it finally happened to me.

After years of avoiding the regurgitation monster, it happened. I remember one night I got really dehydrated, and ended up getting very sick, gastrointestinally speaking, in the bathroom (we already discussed bodily issues earlier, so don’t get grossed out. You know it’s happened to you, too!). My body was losing a lot of water and I was feeling shaky and sick from all the trips to the bathroom. It was early morning and I thought if I possibly had a cracker (pita chips, to be exact) and a drink, it might settle my stomach.

It had the opposite effect. Being dehydrated can cause nausea and guess what happened after I ate? I threw up! For the first time in so many years, my worst fear happened to me. But it was so quick I almost barely registered it. Afterwards, as my mom helped me clean up the couch (sorry, couch), she smiled at me, hugged me, and whispered in my ear, “you did it.”

And she was right. I did do it. Well, technically, my stomach did the work for me. If I could have avoided barfing, I would have. But that’s the thing. Sometimes the thought and anticipation of throwing up is worse than the actual act (not that the actual act is pleasant. It’s the total opposite). Because the anticipation is really the fear of the possibility of throwing up. It’s that fear of losing control that somehow forms and clamps onto something physical that is really the problem. And I finally faced that fear without intending to!

Where I Am Now With My Fear

I can’t say that I’m “cured.” I don’t think there really is such a thing as being cured from a lot of things, especially mental health issues. I know people use the word “recovery” a lot, but I actually like the term “remission” better. I feel like a lot of my mental issues will always stay with me, but they will ebb and flow (more on the ebbing side, I hope!), and I feel that way about my fear of throwing up.

But after my unexpected hurling session happened, I learned that I could survive my worst fear. It didn’t destroy me. There wasn’t total blackness after it happened like I always expected there would be. I was still here, I made it through. Was it a horrible, gross experience? Of course it was. Again, no one likes throwing up. It just proved to me that I could work through my fear and survive something that is gross and scary, but not let that fear take over my life again.

Am I still scared of vomiting? Heck yes! I still panic when I hear a family member barfing, but I’ve come a long way. I’m able to pull myself together. Even though I do try to avoid the situation, I force myself to put that fear aside and focus on the person and what they’re feeling, not the act of barfing itself. I’ve even cleaned up some puke. Talk about self-imposed exposure therapy!

So for now, I try not to think about myself barfing unless I actually think I might. My current (and wonderful) therapist told me about anxiety is that there is no point in worrying if nothing has actually happened yet. After years of living with this and suffering from it, I feel like I sort of have a handle on it. But I’ll update you the next time I throw up on how it went! (If you really want to know, you twisted freaks. I’m kidding. I love you all. Thank you for reading this!)

Where to Find Help for Emetophobia

If you suffer from emetophobia, I highly recommend you find a therapist to help you deal with it. A therapist who deals with phobias and anxiety is the best option (not like the ones I went to who just wanted to take my parents’ money!). It will be incredibly hard to do, I’m just warning you, because the last thing you want to do when you have a fear of something is to talk about it and learn NOT to avoid it. But it is really worth it, if this fear is keeping you from living your life, like it did for me.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy are a few ways that therapists can help you face your fear of throwing up. I never did exposure therapy officially, but in a way I made myself face that fear by watching movies and videos with vomiting in them and dealing with barfing family members, as mentioned above. I’ve even heard some people say they’ve found websites or books to help them with their fear. All of these can help and have helped people (or so I’ve heard), but I would definitely try to find a therapist to help you instead of doing this all by yourself (I’m sure you can still use the books or websites along with therapy). I wish I had had that support back then, but hopefully you can have that support now.

You can get help with your fear. Don’t let it hold you back from all the good things life has to offer you! I missed out on so much because my anxiety and panic attacks influence me so much and I let my fear rule me. No one should live like that. I can’t promise that you’ll ever be “cured” (like I said, my status is currently “in remission”), but getting a hold on emetophobia and not fearing the vomit or the idea of puke can really change your life (and honestly let you watch more movies!). So with the help of a mental health professional and support from family and friends, you can learn not to let this fear rule your life. I promise you that it will be worth it!

Because guess what? Pizza and I are on good terms now. Take that, emetophobia!

This was a very emotional and hard post for me to write. I feel like most posts regarding my mental health are! Sometimes it can be painful to go back to such dark times. But I’m so glad I wrote it if it helps educate and help someone else who may have emetophobia. Thank you to everyone who reads this for listening and understanding. Please let me know in the comments if you’ve ever dealt with emetophobia or you’ve even heard of it before! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Stay Weird,
Emily

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The Versatile Blogger Award


The Versatile Blogger Award

In honor of this new year and decade, I’ve decided to (finally) do another blogger tag that I was nominated for! Hurray! I know I always say this, but I really am so flattered and humbled when someone nominates me for a blogging award. That means they either like my blog, me, or both! (Hopefully both!) Either way, I thought this would be a lovely way to start off the new year. (Plus, I’m super behind on all of the awards I’ve been tagged in. Oops! But I have all of 2020 to make up for it, right?)

The Versatile Blogger Award Rules
  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Share seven facts about yourself.
  3. Nominate fifteen other bloggers.
I was nominated by the spectacular Naomi over at Inching Forwards. Her blog is a wonderful mix of real life issues, mental health, and so much more. She writes about a little bit of everything and really wants to help others improve their lives, by focusing on mental health, self-care, and by making positive changes in the world. (I mean, how cool is she??) Her writing is so honest and interesting, but she also brings up such important subjects and handles them with such care. But she’s not afraid to be herself and I admire her for that! If you’re looking for a one of a kind blog by an amazing blogger, you need to read and subscribe to Inching Forwards. Plus, she loves cats, just like me! Thank you so much for the nomination, Naomi! As a big fan of you and your blog, I’m so, so honored! (Plus her little description of my blog on her tag, helped remind me that I am a decent blogger and I was so encouraged by her lovely words about my blog. It really has motivated me to keep blogging!)

7 Facts About Me
  1. I am incredibly stubborn! I don't like people telling me what to do or choosing for me. I get very upset if my choice has been taken away! Also, fun fact: I’ll most likely do something you want me to do if you tell me not to do it. Yep, even I know that people have to use reverse psychology on me! (By the way, no one get any ideas! I know how I work!)
  2. I’ve had a lot of odd jobs over the years, but the one I’ve done the most has been dog-sitting! The ironic part? I’m more of a cat person! Not that I don’t like dogs, they just aren’t my preferred pet. Oh, what I do for a few bucks!
  3. When I was younger, I either wanted to be a veterinarian or an artist. Then I found out all the sad and gross things a vet has to do to treat animals (I’m very squeamish and don’t like seeing animals in pain) and I also realized I didn’t have much artistic ability, despite taking many art classes when I was younger. Oh well!
  4. I was home-schooled from 4th grade all the way up to high school. And yes, my mom taught me. And yes, I do have friends and was properly socialized. Just in case you were wondering! (Let’s break that stereotype, people! Home-schooled kids are- usually- quite normal! Minus me, of course)
  5. I have a huge sweet tooth (or maybe all of my teeth are sweet teeth!). I love anything (milk) chocolate. So I’m obsessed with candy bars, cookies, brownies, and pies too (apple is my favorite!). I could literally go on! I really have to reign myself in and try not to go too overboard when sweets are around! This past Christmas was really hard for me, you guys.
  6. I tend to watch way too much Youtube! You know how some people binge-watch Netflix? I binge-watch Youtube! The channels I’m most obsessed with now are KoreanEnglishman and Jolly. They're run by two British guys, Josh and Ollie, who love South Korea and share their experiences there and in England too. It’s really educational but also lots and lots of fun! Plus, you get to meet (and love) Josh and Ollie, their families and friends, since they share visits to Korea, Korean food, and lots of other Korean things with them. South Korea is now on my bucket list thanks to them!
  7. I’m so embarrassed to admit this, but I am an interrupter! I honestly don’t do it to be rude, I just sometimes get excited when someone brings up a topic that I’m interested in and I just kind of open my mouth and the words just fall out as someone else is talking. I’m getting better at it, and I apologize often for doing it, and then let them finish talking. Again, I’m not trying to be rude, but it’s almost like if I don’t speak, then I’ll forget what I wanted to tell them later! But I think I’m getting better at letting people finish speaking and trying to remember what I wanted to say after they finish talking! I'm a work in process.
My Versatile Blogger Nominees

Julie from Dark Blue Journal
Camila from Plaid and Sugar
Beth from The Black Ant Blog
Tanya from The Phat Girl Blog
Payton from In the Flux
Ash from This Dreams Alive
Anne from Rooting Branches
Emily from Scripturient Blogger
Amy from ABC Family
Kim from Dirty Thirty Blog
Jess from Just Call Me Jess
Steph from Sometimes I Write
Jordanne from Of a Glasgow Girl
Meagan from Quibbles and Scribbles
Eleanor from Mrxshmallowqueen

For the bloggers I tagged, I know I’ve said this before on previous tags, but I completely understand if tags aren’t your thing, or you’ve been tagged before, so no pressure if you don’t do the tag! I just wanted to nominate you all because I admire each and every one of you and your blogs as well! And for those of you reading this, please check out everyone’s blogs, and read and subscribe to them too! Each person on this list has a wonderful blog and they all work so hard on them!

That concludes my nomination for the Versatile Blogger Award! I hope you enjoyed reading it and learning seven (strange, most likely) facts about myself! Again, I’m so flattered that Naomi nominated me! Thank you again, Naomi! I feel like bloggers work so hard on their blogs and don’t get enough credit and that these awards really help highlight all of the time and effort we put into our blogs. It’s a medium I feel like doesn’t get enough recognition (unlike YouTube) but I think bloggers deserve more consideration and credit for what we put out into the world! So these awards/tags are a perfect way to show others that we bloggers put in the time, our talent, and our hard work into our little corners of the internet for others to enjoy and for us to express ourselves.

(I kind of feel like that was my acceptance speech for this nomination. Oops! Didn’t mean for that to happen. At least it was heartfelt! Also, I forgot to thank my family. Sorry, Mom and Dad!)

What did you think of blogger awards and tags? I think they’re a lovely way of spreading encouragement and showcasing other bloggers and their blogs. Let me know if you’ve ever been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award or any other blogger award and what you think of them!

Stay Weird,
Emily

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What The Heck is An Enneagram & Finding Out What Mine Is!


For some reason, every time I go on Pinterest lately, I get random pictures, illustrations, and info graphics popping up saying things like “Enneagram Type 4: You’re spunky and won’t change your mind for anything!” or “Harry Potter Enneagram Types: Hermione Granger is totally a 5!” (I have no idea if those numbers are correct, by the way) Basically, I’m being told by a social media platform that Enneagrams are important and I need to find out what mine is. (Not really, but I’m doing this for the blog! And because I’m curious!) But first of all: what the heck is an Enneagram and what does it mean???

I have heard of Enneagrams before; I just don’t quite know what they were. I figured it was something akin to the Myers-Briggs test: where they use psychological traits plus other personality tests to identify what kind of personality you have, your strengths, and how you perceive the world. It’s a really helpful quiz to do if you’re looking to understand yourself more and why you behave the way that you do. For example, I’m an INFJ aka the Advocate or Idealist, which apparently is very rare, but surprisingly, it seems like most of the people I meet tend to be INFJ (boo, I’m not special!). But INFJ stands for Introverted (check!), Intuitive (okay?), Feeling (oh yes, I feel all the feels!), and Judging (I’m SO judgy. Just kidding! It just means how you view things). While not 100% percent accurate because everyone is literally different, even if you are the same MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) type, I’ve found myself enjoying the fact that I’m an INFJ because it really explains a lot about myself. (Like, a lot. Seriously.)

To learn more about the MBTI test, check it out here. (There are 16 MBTI types!) They have really cool explanations about why certain types act the way they do, and how they interact with others. Plus, they even give out job recommendations that would be good for certain types, plus famous people who share your personality type (For me: Oprah and Martin Luther King Jr. Heck yeah!). But again, nothing is 100% accurate, so don’t take it too seriously or think it’s utterly and entirely factual.

But Enneagrams sounded a little weird to me. For some reason, even the name of them sounded like something out of Scientology or a cult. (I think because in Scientology they have “engrams” and that sounds a lot to me like Enneagrams!) But after some further research, I found out that Enneagrams, or Enneagram of Personality, is another type of personality test, that consists of nine personality types (called enneatypes) which make up a geometric figure of all the interconnecting personality types called (you guessed it!) an enneagram. (So, really, shouldn't we not be calling them Enneagrams, but our enneatypes?)

According to the website Truity which offers free tests, Enneagrams: “...is a personality system that aims to reveal how emotions drive our lives and how we engage with others in an effort to get what we want and need…defines nine personality types, each with its own set of strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for personal growth.” Finding out your type also “reveals what motivates you on a very deep level, and illuminates the path you must take to achieve a higher level of self-actualization.”

Hmm not as cult-y or strange as I thought, but also not too different from Myers-Briggs (though there are some people who mix Enneagrams with spirituality. Whatever floats your boat!). So let’s find out what I am and what all this fuss is about!

Before I started though, I found out there were nine different personality types (some with different names, but meaning the same basic thing):

Type 1: The Reformer/The Perfectionist: principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionistic.
Type 2: The Helper/The Giver/The Caregiver: generous, demonstrative, people-pleasing, and possessive.
Type 3: The Achiever: adaptable, excelling, driven, and image-conscious.
Type 4: The Individualist: expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed, and temperamental.
Type 5: The Investigator: perceptive, innovative, secretive, and isolated.
Type 6: The Loyalist/The Skeptic: engaging, responsible, anxious, and suspicious.
Type 7: The Enthusiast: spontaneous, versatile, acquisitive, and scattered.
Type 8: The Challenger: self-confident, decisive, willful, and confrontational.
Type 9: The Peacemaker: receptive, reassuring, complacent, and resigned.

Of course, these are just four basic words to describe each type, but if you look into all of the types, different websites will go in really deep (like, real deep) into how the types interact with others, how they view themselves, others, and the world, and so much more. The *official* Enneagram Institute website goes incredibly deep into how these types are all connected, how the Enneagram system works, and a lot more (seriously, they have so many Enneagram graphs and writings about how the types handle anger, stress, and more. It looks very complicated! And kind of science-y and psychological-y...? But who knows!).

Also, these descriptions are from the *official* Enneagram Institute website, where I did NOT pay $12 to get a code and take their test. Apparently a lot of businesses like to use these tests (also MBTI) to figure out employees' strengths and weaknesses, which is cool, but I’m my own boss and I’m not paying myself $12 to take the test. Sorry, self. You’ll have to figure it out unofficially

I started out by taking some (free) tests, because I wanted to take them several times to see if the results would vary. (I took several Myers-Briggs tests multiple times and always got INFJ) The first Enneagram test was on Truity, which reportedly would only take 10 minutes (fingers crossed!). After six pages of checking five boxes ranging from “Inaccurate,” “Neutral”, and “Accurate” and questions like, “I don’t fit in with ordinary people,” (um, yes) and “I do not hesitate to call out other people when they are behaving badly” (um, no. But I should!), I was finally done.

Enneagram Test #1: Truity

Apparently everyone shares a percentage from every different personality type, but the one I matched with the most, at 98% was type number Two! Aka the Giver, Twos wants to be liked and find ways to help others to make them feel loved and like they belong. Aww, I sound like a sweetheart!

But I also matched very closely with type 9, at 96%, the Peacemaker. Nines obviously like to stay out of trouble and let people around them make the decisions. Which I totally do at times.

The seven other types I matched with were, in order:

Four: The Individualist (87%)
Six: The Skeptic (83%)
One: The Perfectionist (79%)
Five: The Investigator (71%)
Seven: The Enthusiast (64%)
Three: The Achiever (63%)
Eight: The Challenger (42%)

Truity/That Weird Girl Life
I could have gotten the full report, but you had to sign up, and honestly, I didn’t know if I’d have to pay for it, so I just didn’t bother. (Also, I was feeling lazy and I had other free Enneagram tests to take!) On to the next test!

Enneagram Test #2: 9Types

The next one I tried was on 9Types, a website that looks very old school, like in a “remember-this-from-the-first-mid-2000’s” type of way that brings me so much nostalgia. It said on the first page to look over my results afterwards to see what type I truly identified with, which I found very intriguing. I took the free test, which consisted of selecting the statements that most applied to you (“methodical and cautious” vs. “adventurous and taken risks”) and these were my results! (They also asked for my gender and MBTI type at the end, too. Hmm.)

For this one, they’re saying I’m a Two as well! Only they’re calling it the Helper, not the Giver. My second type is Seven, the Generalist (or as the previous test called it, The Enthusiast). My other results from this site were:

Type 3: Four, the Artist
Type 4: Six, the Skeptic
Type 5: Two, the Helper
Type 6: Six, the Skeptic (again??)
Type 7: Four, the Artist (um, again??)
Type 8: for this I got a zero, and I have no idea what this means.
Type 9: Five, The Thinker

9Types/That Weird Girl Life
As you can see, I got wildly different results, despite my same number one results being a Two aka the Giver/Helper. Hmm. I’m not sure if it’s the tests or me! Especially since I got a zero for my 8th type (What. Does. That. Mean???). Let’s try one more and see how it goes!

Enneagram Test #3: CrystalKnows

Next up was the CrystalKnows test. This one was a lot like the Truity test. Very updated and geared towards finding out the psychology of the person, to help better you and work on yourself (it made me feel like it was again geared towards businesses, looking all professional and sleek). I had to answer several questions by checking boxes ranging from 1-5, 1 being very Disagree and 5 being very Agree. This one was a lot shorter than the Truity test, with the test barely taking five minutes (maybe I should have been paying attention more?)

But it turns out my Enneagram is way different than the first two tests I took. According to this test, I’m a Type Six: A Loyalist! As a Six, I “tend to be engaging, hard-working, and responsible. You generally want to feel safe and avoid outside threats.” Which is somewhat true, because I try to be responsible (usually), work hard (also usually), and I do like to feel safe and avoid outside threats (I mean, who doesn’t want to avoid outside threats?? I know I do!).

But again, to get my full profile and to see what my other percentages or types were, I had to make an account. Um, I don't have time for that, so let's move on!

CrystalKnows/That Weird Girl Life

Am I Really A Two?

But for now, let’s focus on the Truity and the 9types tests, because my first two type results were the same on both: My number one type being a Two, the Giver/Helper.

According to the *official* Enneagram Institute website: “Twos are empathetic, sincere, and warm-hearted. They are friendly, generous, and self-sacrificing, but can also be sentimental, flattering, and people-pleasing. They are well-meaning and driven to be close to others, but can slip into doing things for others in order to be needed. They typically have problems with possessiveness and with acknowledging their own needs. At their Best: unselfish and altruistic, they have unconditional love for others.”

Some other famous “Two’s” they listed Eleanor Roosevelt, Dolly Parton, Elizabeth Taylor, and, here’s a fun one, Monica Lewinsky (hey, ladies!).

And this is what Truity has to say about Twos and their core values: “A strong sense of meaning, acknowledgment from loved ones, and emotional intimacy with others are Givers’ grounding principles. Altruism holds a strong place in their hearts and they readily go out of their way to volunteer their time and energy to bring others up. Kindness and reciprocity are the guiding values for their decisions. To improve someone else’s life or mood is an immeasurable times better than helping themselves. The shared experience of spending quality time with a loved one is among the best feelings in the world to Givers.”

And according to CrystalKnows, here are some Two weaknesses: “Seeking and needing approval from others... Being perceived as overbearing at times...Difficulty recognizing and acknowledging their own needs...Disliking or being easily offended by criticism.”

I mean, a lot of this does strike a chord with me. I do try to be as kind and as helpful as I can. So many people in my life have been that for me, and I really do want to try and give back as much kindness that has been shown to me. I also try to be as sympathetic and as empathetic as I can towards people. I know what it’s like to not be in the best place, and I want to support people as much as I can. And I am altruistic! I like to think the world can be a better place, if only people would just try to make it that way. And as far as disliking or being easily offended by criticism...oh yes, that’s me all the way! (Don’t hurt me, I’m delicate!)

So what is my Enneagram? Am I really a Two, the Helper/Giver/Caregiver? Or am I a mix? Because honestly, when looking at all of the Enneagram types, I identify with a lot of them. I can be a Peacemaker at times, receptive and complacent, and sometimes I feel like I’m very the Investigator (who sounds very mysterious, by the way, and something I now aspire to be). So what am I really?

The *official* Enneagram Institute website says that people do not change from one basic type to another. But then the 9Types website says that after you get your results, you should really think about if you identify with the type you’ve been assigned. Call me confused! What or who do I believe??

So, What Do I Believe About All This of Enneagram Stuff?

All in all, I found this Enneagram experiment to be so fascinating! Much like the Myers-Briggs test, I found it to be an interesting take on the personality test, but I also didn’t quite agree with the results as much as I did with the Myers-Briggs one. My INFJ seemed to cover more of my personality traits, whereas my main type, being a Two, along with my second type, a Nine, were more of a mix of my actual personality type. Plus, there seems to be a lot of differences between Enneagram tests and beliefs, as seen by the various tests and what they call the different types.

I think the test, just like the Myers-Briggs test, is what you make of it. I love being identified as an INFJ, and thinks it suits me (almost) perfectly. As far as being assigned a Two as an Enneagram, I’m okay with it, but I feel like it isn’t perfect and other types may suit me better at different times (which I guess is why you have different types of your types. Does that make any sense? I'm still a bit confused by it all). 

So are these tests perfect? No, they aren’t. I don’t know how scientifically based they are (some people say not at all), even though they say they use “psychological traits” in some cases to determine your personality (some have called these test total pseudoscience and a new sort of “astrology," aka open to interpretation, in that it fits you at the moment). But they are kinda fun, and some of them really do help me look at my personality, and what I can identify and see as myself in these descriptions. But like I said before, we’re all such different people, that no test can really fit us into one perfect niche or define us, no matter how scientific or psychological (or spiritual) it might be. Just take it all with an open-mind, and remember that you are way more than what you are assigned and labeled by a test, official or unofficial.

And if nothing else, just have fun with it! Go give the Enneagram tests I took a try and see what comes up for you! Maybe you'll see yourself in that personality type and maybe it'll help you figure some things out about yourself. Or maybe you think it's all a bunch of nonsense and you'll leave me a strongly worded comment letting me know exactly how you feel! You never know!

That was my journey into finding out what the heck an Enneagram is and what my Enneagram is! I guess I’m a Two if I decide to be! (I’m taking the 9Type’s website’s advice and deciding for myself!) But I’m still not exactly sure if I think Enneagrams are my sort of thing, but if nothing else it was a blast taking the tests and learning about all of the different personalities!

Let me know in the comments if you’re into Enneagrams or not or had no idea like me what they were in the first place! I’d love to know your thoughts! (And what type of Enneagram you are!)

Stay Weird,
Emily

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