I think the whole Myers Briggs test is kind of bullshit. I mean, deep down I wish it weren’t. I wish that whenever I wanted to get a better ‘sense of self’ I could just look that puppy up online, tick the boxes, press the return key and find out who I am and what I should be doing next. I’ve taken the test more times than I would like to admit, so you would think I would have a deep intense understanding of exactly who I am and where I thrive. But I don’t. Well, no gleaned understanding that I haven’t learned by straight up gritty real life experience.
I think personality tests like this are for fun, not for truth. I think they give the illusion of self knowledge, without having to put in the elbow grease and the heartache and the feeling of uncertainty. I think they are the idea of self knowledge, rather than the reality of it. Don’t get me wrong, I will still take them to procrastinate the inevitable back breaking work, but I am no more enlightened after reading my results than I was beforehand.
After spending many years with established work that needed a highly self-regulated, highly motivated and well time-managed self at all times in order to be productive and successful in both my home and work life, I have decided that I am no longer capable of spinning all the plates as fast as I want them to go without emotional burnout, and I have stepped back. And though grateful that I have the means and support to do so, I could not have anticipated how unbelievably terrifying taking a step back was going to be. Those who have known me over the last few years and have seen my work style have echoed the same question I keep asking myself; “What’s next?” assuming this was all a part of some greater plan. And I keep responding with the most terrifying three words I have possibly ever uttered (ok, 2nd most terrifying); “I don’t know.”
I have always had the next branch in my sights before I swung. Even Myers Brigs knows that. But this time, I am trusting my cat (Katz) like reflexes as well as the results all of the other experiences I have marched, swum, crawled or clawed through. I’m doing the gut rather than the head thing. And I am trusting I will come out the other side.
This cake by the way, was the result of a mistake. It turned out so much better than the original recipe had in previous times I had made it that I thought it served a lovely and timely metaphor as well as a seriously delicious after-school snack, especially when accompanied by a thick layer of cream cheese or salted butter.
Ras el Hanout Spiced Banana Bread adapted from Hummingbird Bakery
250g golden caster sugar
1 tsp. black strap molasses
2 medium bananas, mashed
140g wholewheat flour
140g plain white flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb (baking soda)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ras el hanout
1 tsp vanilla paste
140g butter, melted
1 loaf tin, greased or lined with baking paper
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F
Put the sugar and eggs into a clean mixing bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Next, add in the black strap molasses and mix well. Next beat in the mashed bananas.
Over a low heat, melt your butter (it melts faster if you cut it up into smaller pieces first) and set aside to cool slightly.
Add the dry ingredients and spices, either combining them first in a separate bowl or gradually straight into the wet mixture. Next add in your butter and stir slowly until everything is mixed together.
Pour your mixture into your prepared loaf tin. Bake for 50-60 minutes, checking at the 50 minute mark with a toothpick, until it comes out clean.
Cool slightly before removing onto a wire rack to cool further.
Loaf will keep covered at room temperature for 4 days.