Punctuation Marks as Personality Types.

August 1, 2022

Punctuation Marks as Personality Types.

May 29, 2023

I've spent much of my life as an Exclamation Point! However, recently, I've seen myself sliding into my Comma era.

In a life that has often felt like a run-on sentence, my new Comma personality offers a respite and, at times, an ability to juxtapose two different ideas in the same sentence. Of course, my Comma life also incorporates a few Question Marks, providing me much-needed space to always stay curious.

So, let's summarize: I'm now a Comma, backed by a robust Question Mark, with just enough of an Exclamation Point to keep things interesting. I'll throw in an Emoji because, quite frankly, I'm happy about that.

The truth is, we're all some kind of punctuation mark, and more often than not, several at once. I have a menopausal friend who declares her life is a Period, just as she stops having hers. She is doing her Great Midlife Edit, putting an end to many of the mindsets, archetypes, and commitments that have defined her. She's a writer so, like me, she loves language. She says if she doesn't create more Periods in her life, she might harm her colon. At first, I thought she was giving me an "organ recital," but then I realized that the Colon, as a punctuation mark, is all about the list-making person who has to live an orderly life to fit it all in. That is not the life my writer friend aspires to anymore. I've told her it doesn't have to be all or nothing; she could be a Semi-Colon.

This personal freedom is what's beautiful about punctuation (and life); we get to decide for ourselves when to stop and start, pause, add emphasis, order, or urgency. We write our sentences in the style that works best for us.

So, how about you? Which punctuation mark defines you? Is it the Hyphen (you're impulsive), the Parentheses (too much in your brain), the Apostrophe (you like your possessions), the Slash (you are multidimensional), the @ (you're a techie), or the Asterisk (you read the fine print)?

Once you figure it out, feel free to #-tag it on social media.

P.S. Could you use more “dot dot dots” in your life (the pause of a well-deserved ellipsis)? I was fortunate enough to be featured in Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper newsletter yesterday in an interview about the value of sabbaticals. I hope you enjoy it and it inspires you to take a pause with us in Baja in August or September for MEA’s Sabbatical Sessions.

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