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  • Writer's pictureChelsi Myer

Ashley > 2

Checking in with childhood friends is a treat. Ashley and I go way back to middle and high school. She shares her experience as an Enneagram 2, the Helper.

Tell me about when and where you first heard about the Enneagram?

You can probably imagine, like most other 30-something women, I enjoy a decent amount of social media. Some of my friends had actually been posting about their Enneagram numbers and I was interested, but it wasn’t until Emily Ley had posted about it that I had decided to take the plunge. The foundation of what she does as an entrepreneur revolves around simplicity, organization and embracing minimalism. After the birth of my second son, I dove into her material head first and found that I really connected with her beliefs. (Turns out, I would later discover that we are both 2w3, so the fact that I relate so much to her is NOT surprising)! I took a quiz that she linked to her Instagram story and the rest is history!

Did you know you were a 2 right away or did you see yourself in another number?

I had actually heard about the Enneagram and knew that 2s were categorized as “The Helper,” so I had a sneaking suspicion. However, when I read through some of the descriptions of each type, I wondered if I might be a 1, given my high anxiety and love for all things organized. There were also characteristics of 9 that I thought may push me in that direction, as I try to avoid conflict as much as is humanly possible.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

I grew up an only child (until I was 14, when my sister was born), so I always had pets. I think early on, I really wanted to be a veterinarian, but then into my teen years, I honestly don't think I had any idea. I went into college thinking I’d do pharmacy and realized that wasn’t quite what I was looking for either.

Where or in what role do you feel most fulfilled in life?

I think this question really showcases my “2-ness”. :) I can honestly answer without hesitation, being a mom. I feel so fulfilled as a mother because I honestly feel it’s a job I was born to do. I love being able to see joy and happiness written across my kid’s faces when we play at the park or build with legos at home. I love watching their faces light up while they sit on my lap and we read books together. I love that they know that they can seek comfort in me, as their mother. It’s so funny because I feel that being a mom also challenges me the most as a 2 because I sometimes, like every other mom out there, stretch myself too thin trying to take care of two small children and many times putting myself on the back burner. It’s such a fine line to walk!

What do you do for fun? What do you do for work? And, how do you see your 2ness in those areas?

Most of the time, I feel like I’m so busy with my family that I don’t actually have hobbies. That being said, I really enjoy sitting down in the evenings and binging a great Netflix show! I enjoy baking, I just don’t do it enough. I love the smell of my house and how welcoming it feels when there is a loaf of banana bread baking in the oven! Fun for me also includes making lists and crossing things off of said lists. LOL

I feel that baking is something that just sits in the wheelhouse of a 2. There is no better feeling as a 2 than having a plate of baked goods (blueberry muffins for my nanny and kids this morning, and pumpkin bread for dinner tonight) to share with loved ones!

I currently work part-time as a Physician Assistant in a small pediatric private practice clinic in Lincoln, Nebraska. I stay home with my kiddos the rest of time. I LOVE it! It is the perfect mix of stay-at-home-mom life and working mom life! At work, I do newborn weight checks and am a certified lactation counselor. I also do physicals, treat ear infections, coughs, sore throats, pink eye, and reassure worried parents. ;) I don’t think I could have chosen a more perfect profession for myself!

I think it’s very obvious how this speaks to being a 2. I know one of the earlier questions asked what I wanted to be when I was a kid. Part of the reason the pharmacy thing never worked out is because I didn’t feel there was enough face-to-face interaction and wanted a more hands-on approach. I get to spend my workdays working with patients and coordinating care with nurses and physicians. I get to meet new people every day and am never stuck in a cubicle!

What triggers you to feel stressed and step into 8-space? What does that look like for you?

I actually have a few friends who are 8s and mean no offense to anyone who is an 8, but as a 2, I feel triggered even thinking I step into that territory! I think the biggest stressors for me go hand-in-hand and unfortunately, can turn into a pretty vicious cycle. When I’m feeling responsible for running this household (i.e. making sure that groceries are purchased, meals are planned, the kids clothes fit, daycare is arranged, appointments are scheduled, and activities are planned), I can be very quickly overwhelmed by everyone else’s needs. When this happens, I basically forget about what I need and focus on everyone else. It makes me feel like I have no control over myself! It’s pretty easy for me to become resentful when I get into this space and I completely shut down. This is another thing I’m trying to work on. I’m learning to recognize when I start to step into this space and ASK for help, instead of continuing to plug along and bury myself deeper and deeper in everyone else’s needs.

When do you feel most relaxed and energized to step into 4-space?

I think the most energizing and relaxing thing to me as not only a 2, but also a mom, is TIME TO MYSELF. It is so few and far between. In fact, at the moment I’m writing this, I can’t even remember the last time I enjoyed a day to myself. I love the freedom of running errands alone. I love laying on the couch and catching up on all my cable TV I’ve missed. I even feel like a day without children to pick up/clean my house leaves me energized! Ha! I have actually just started waking up about 45 minutes to an hour before my kids to take my dogs for a walk and listen to a podcast because I am a better mom when I take time for myself in the morning before putting on my parenting shoes! Time to myself actually really lets me have MY OWN IDENTITY, which I know is a trademark for a 4. I love that when I have time to myself, I get to be ASHLEY and not “Matt’s wife” or “Luke and Ben’s mom."

Are you always others-focused or are you able to name what you need and when you need it from other people? If so, with whom?

I’m really working on this. I feel like as I begin my 30’s, I’m really coming through a self-realization phase. I’m very interested in learning more about myself and how I can be the best person I can be. Interestingly, the Enneagram is such a HUGE part of this. When I become too others-focused, I can become a very unhealthy 2. I think that part of learning more about what I need and when I need it, is learning to vocalize these needs. If you looked back 2-3 years at where I was at in my marriage, you would see someone who felt like they did EVERYTHING around the house and for the kids and NEVER felt appreciated. I am by no means perfect, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten so much better at telling my husband what help I need and when I need it, instead of EXPECTING it and then huffing and puffing around the house when I felt overwhelmed. I think as a mom, it’s just a part of the job description to be others-focused. With a 3.5 year old and 19 month old, I just don’t really have another option. That being said, I’m learning to balance this in my family life by asking for help and designating responsibility. I’ve learned that this is actually a form of self-care for me!

How do you feel most loved?

I feel most loved when people show genuine thanks and appreciation for things that I do. This could be something as simple as someone telling me that the cookies I made were delicious or thanking me for working hard. I love when I do something that goes noticed by someone. I also feel loved when people surrounding me show me that they love me via acts of service. Folding a load of laundry, doing the dishes or changing a dirty diaper goes a long way in this house! I can’t speak for all 2’s but I feel appreciation is our love language.

Share a story about us as kids you remember.

Oh Chelsi! Do we have to share this? I feel like it’s such a weird memory! One year, I think it was for your birthday, and honestly don’t remember how old we were, we hopped in what I remember to be a very large van with your parents, grandparents and brother and went to Wichita for the day! I don’t remember a lot of what we did there, but I do remember eating the most delicious blueberry pancakes I have ever had at Cracker Barrel with your family! It must have been a great memory as it’s a pretty vivid one. There is also a certain hayrack ride I remember, but pancakes > broken legs. :) {haha, yes, I had a fairly traumatic hayride accident in high school which most my friends witnessed}

About Ashley

Ashley is a 2w3 on the Enneagram. She grew up in McPherson, Kansas and attended college at Kansas State University. She was a member of the women’s basketball team and majored in Kinesiology. She earned her Master of Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and now resides in Lincoln, Nebraska with her husband, 2 wonderful boys and 2 sweet dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, baking, true crime podcasts, long walks, celebrity gossip and binging on TV shows.

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