Orange and Purple Abstract Art Painting by Cortney North

Printer update (hint: old printer didn’t make it) and the Enneagram (hint: this is taking over the world)

This week I am excited to announce I am the owner of a working printer. It is a new printer since my former printer decided it was ‘Time’ and went to the big printer graveyard in the sky. Or the electronics recycling warehouse graveyard. Whichever. May you RIP, Well-used Electronic.

We set up the new printer on Saturday; it was less emotionally eventful than the day the old printer crashed. I may have been having an internal meltdown on that particular day. I need you to know I am not proud of this fact and it is a topic I will address later in this post. The rest of the day was spent catching up on chores and prepping for the week. On Sunday we took an early walk – I think we were the first people out – and saw a wood duck hanging out with some mallards. It contemplated staying in the pond for a 1/2 second before flying off. Though it was short, seeing that shy, colorful bird was a treat.

Monday I posted a new print, “Diving In,” on my Etsy shop. I always love getting these posted and seeing the collection of art together in the shop gallery. It felt like an extra reward because I wanted to post this print last week until the printer said goodbye and goodnight.

Cortney North Diving In Abstract Print

Yesterday I spent half a day working on my newest painting. For me, every painting feels different during the painting process. They each bring out unique feelings/emotions/thoughts as I’m creating and responding to the colors and movement. This current painting is evoking a strong, deep sense of peace and happiness that reminds me of feelings I get when looking at a sunset or watching ocean waves. The depth of the feelings has surprised me, but in a good way.

Purple and Orange ABstract Painting by Cortney North

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been reading “The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery.”  Since picking it up at the library, I’ve seen this book featured on various blogs and podcasts. It will be one of the most influential books I read this year and I won’t be surprised if it is #1.

If you are like me, I was unfamiliar with the Enneagram, which is a personality typing system similar to Myers-Briggs. Both personality typing systems are accurate, but look at different aspects of a personality. Here is a link to the book’s accompanying website if you’d like more information: The Road Back to You Website

The Road Back to You Enneagram book

When I began the book and assessed the initial descriptions, I figured I was a 4, which is The Romantic or creative personality (it seemed the obvious choice). As I began reading through the in-depth descriptions though, I found the more the authors described 9 – The Peacemaker, the more I related to it. Too much of the description was sounding like my thought process or my past behaviors. I had my husband read through the chapter and he said without a doubt this was a fantastic, compressed look at who I am. Initially I wanted him to tell me it was not me and I need to keep searching.

It took me 3 days to digest and accept what the personality profile was revealing about my innate actions. It was 100% correct, but I had never heard it described the way they explained this personality’s behaviors. It was eye-opening and parts were hard to accept. Simply put, it has humbled me.

I want to be independent and do everything on my own, but if I try that, I get stuck in a cycle of inactivity. I find I can’t succeed without a helpful person (typically my husband) encouraging me forward. This was one of many parts of the personality’s description that I didn’t want to accept.

At first it felt like weakness, but as I’ve considered the idea over the past weeks, I realize it is a blessing. What if I could do it all myself? If I could be 100% independent and never rely on another person because I had all the strengths in all areas? I’d never let other people shine and be grateful for their gifts. I would not experience the awe that comes from asking for assistance from people who can do well what I cannot such as: math/being detail-oriented/thinking methodically/having strong persistence/organization (I’m looking at my husband with these descriptors).

I like this new way of viewing the world though it caused some initial tears of embarrassment and hurt pride. I have strengths that other people marvel at and I have weaknesses that allow me to marvel at others (seriously, you math-inclined people. My personality plus some strong dyslexia makes math/physics/logical-systematic thinking a mountain I cannot not climb.). Maybe it is that peacemaker-nature that loves this idea of everyone needing one another, but it’s how I feel deep inside. I want you to share your accounting skills with me (and by share I mean do it for me) and I’ll share my art skills with you. I want you to teach me the art of conflict (because it terrifies me) and I’ll share how to use softer words to present the conflict in a more successful way.

You can imagine after I was done with my personality, I was searching for my husband’s so I could know more about him. He’s a 5 – The Investigator and it was a delight to learn all about him. He has always fascinated me and so I had a whole chapter to learn about the enigma that is his personality. To say that the Enneagram feels like a cheat-sheet for our interactions is an understatement. It will be a valuable tool for our marriage.

Though I’d prefer to be guarded and not post this information, I’m choosing to be open and share something that truly knocked my socks off. Knowing yourself is one of the best tools for moving forward in life and happiness and I believe it is worth investigating.

I also believe it is this knowledge that helps you understand why you have a panicked meltdown when your printer breaks in the middle of a workday. You tried to maintain a stiff upper lip, but inside you reached critical mass and the core’s walls were coming down. This is what I mean by feeling embarrassment after learning about myself. At least now I can own it. Maybe the alternate title of the Enneagram book should be “Own your crazy!” Well, I own it, meltdowns and all.