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Montecristo Captain Quixote


The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world

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Sindbad Captain Exuberant

Grokking Laurel.

Laurel's sensing function is incredibly powerful. More and more, the more I know of her the clearer it becomes. I'm almost certain that sensing is either primary or secondary in her. She doesn't trust her intuition. I remember a conversation when we were talking about her brother. She had to test him. I could see what he was doing and where he was going, just listening to her describe her interactions with him. My intuition sized him up immediately and it was clear what he was doing. She still had to go acquire the facts, patiently, one fact at a time, to feel the data, taste, smell, watch how the pieces fit together and explore how they interacted, and only after she had all that, then use her judgment. When I told her what I had intuited from what she told me about her brother and their interactions, she rejected the idea quickly, almost viscerally, explaining that she needed to do it her way, to understand. She gardens. She talks about "living in her body." It's fascinating to me. I suspect that her internal wiring is what apparently makes my "inner-world journeys" interesting to her. She is "not built that way."

She groks things. She uses the term when she writes and speaks. She's read Robert Heinlein's Stranger In A Strange Land. The concept of grokking obviously sunk in with her. She groks it. This, even after she seems to have forgotten the story itself. I remember referring to her as similar in many ways to Valentine Michael Smith, the protagonist of the story, and she drew a blank. I think the Wikipedia topic I linked on the concept of grokking missed a few points. The Martians of Heinlein's story were very water conscious, because Mars is such a dry world. Drinking is a profound thing, an important and significant thing to their beings. The etymology of "grokking," a term invented by Heinlein's Martians, comes from their term for drinking. The idea that human beings and human civilization do not grok grokking, expressed in the Wikipedia article linked, is Heinleinesque bull shit. We do. To grok something, in human English language terms is to internalize it to have an idea "sink-in," like drinking water and having the water become part of the cells of our bodies. Laurel uses the term so unselfconsciously — it is not an affectation with her — she grokked grokking, and it became part of her long after Heinlein's tale vanished into the depths of her memory. How sensor can you get? Heh.

Holy shit! She's an ESFP?! Oh fuck. Why didn't I see that before? It's because my only real experience with ESFP's in life have been men and boys: my maternal grandfather and my best childhood friend, Will. I don't know any ESFP females, at least not, possibly, until now. Nah. Hold on there. Whoa! Hoss. I'd want that entirely too damn much. I'm too invested to be completely objective here. I cannot let myself leap to that conclusion through intuitive insight alone... Kripes though, that would mean that she's my dual. That would go a long way toward explaining the immediate attraction. I've got to find out for sure. I knew I'd need to ask her, to be sure that this assessment has a chance of being right. You cannot really assign type to someone; they have to know it, to grok it, for themselves. What's worse, I run the danger of having my assessment be the product of wishful or magical thinking on my part. That's no good. It calls into question my objectivity. The problem is, in getting it across to her and then seeing if that made sense to her. If she understood what a dual is she'd wonder pretty hard whether I was attempting to sell her something, underhandedly, manipulate her. People know themselves when they see themselves. She told me that she never was able to figure out which of the Meyers-Briggs types fit her. She does too much "exercise" with her tertiary and quaternary functions to make them strong as well.

Has she, though, exercised her tertiary and quaternary functions? Well, she's definitely worked on her thinking. You cannot start, run, and sell businesses without exercising your logic, a lot. It's her tertiary function. She's the right age. It's coming into it's natural growth phase as well. That project she's been envisioning, that's thinking, trying to bust out of its cocoon and do a bit of flying. I recognize that restlessness about my own sensing function. It fits. She hasn't exercised her intuition a lot. She doesn't trust it, not with the really important decisions. She uses that extroverted sensing to collect her data and manipulate it until she groks it. Her words: she rubs it all over herself until it sinks in. That's a strong sensor talking. It's essentially the textbook case.

What about the feelings? She was certain that was one of her strong suits, and I doubted it. She doesn't talk about her feelings in ways that I've always experienced people talking about them. I suppose it is possible that we are both right, if she is an ESFP. She introverts her feelings, for a start. That would explain a few things. Sharing what she feels, bluntly, with me would be similar to me introverting my iNtuition. Sure, it can be done, but it's work. Also, she's a sensing feeler, not an iNtuitive feeler, like the kind with whom I have the most experience — Crystal, Jackie, Shannon, my mom, a few other women I have known well. No wonder I thought it didn't fit. She's SP, not NF. I've kind of wondered about meeting an ESFP, and reluctantly concluded that the odds were slim, because I tend not to travel in circles that SP's frequent. Gah! To stumble into one who introduced herself to me...serendipity, indeed!

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I was an INTP when I was young. Right now I'm dating a woman who is the opposite of that. She is high-energy, extroverted, talkative, has strong feelings, isn't all that great as single-thread in-depth conversation, only so-so with intimacy - she knows how to be intimate, but has no idea how to draw intimacy out of others - and is, of all things, a build engineer by trade.

The thing is, these days, I repeatedly test as an I**P, and occasionally an I***. Too close to the center of the scale to tell any more. And I'm having problems because this woman would have been a lovely match for the me that existed about 15 years ago. But in the intervening time I've developed an appreciation for having a long-term intimate relationship with someone who can truly know you, because they have a lot of the same internal wiring, even though a few parts of them can still be very different indeed. I'm worried that I may get to the point where I simply miss being deeply understood, despite the fact that, day-to-day, the woman I'm currently with is an absolute pleasure to be around. Fun, smart, present, hilarious, resourceful, healthy, horny, very experienced, and still young-at-heart enough to get truly attached to someone else. But how could she ever really know - with or without my explanations - how I truly work? Intuit it? Put her hands on her hips and give me frank and wise advice, like a few precious exes of mine were able to do?

How to weigh the value, after so many years of change, after so many avenues well-explored, after assembling such an interesting and nurturing new bachelorhood?

Yes, I'm seeing that...

It does get more complicated as we get older. The things with which we battle internally are the stickier, more intractable things that have held on and not been dislodged earlier in life. We become more set and less plastic in what we are, in what we believe, and our habits, less sure about adapting to someone new. The alternative is to grow old alone and die without experiencing that sense of deep connection again. That path does not look very appetizing to me, after seeing what might be possible. As hard as it may be, old dogs can learn new tricks.

Edited at 2014-11-23 06:20 pm (UTC)

Re: Yes, I'm seeing that...

Agreed. :)

Sometimes deep connection comes while trying new things. Or, as my favorite anime quote goes:

"Sometimes we cannot find the truth unless we reach for it."

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