Erin Schaden
5 min readJun 12, 2024


It is my number on the Enneagram…

For some of you, this might explain a lot. Others, you are gonna have to look it up or stop reading if you want it to make sense. Otherwise, it will make a lot of sense if you don’t think about it…

Sevens are the hopeful optimists. We are the ones who rarely give up but when we do, everyone around us will want to give up too.

We are the enthusiasts. The extroverts. We are the people who always have a plan, usually three or more. We are always planning something: a vacation, a change, a plot twist, a hostile takeover. Doesn’t really matter, any and all of those could happen on a Tuesday afternoon.

We are prone to overcommitment…yes, in all the ways.

We are disciplined until we decided otherwise then fall into a morass of self created drama that paralyzes us for at least a few hours…

We get bored very easily and are always on the quest for new and varied experiences. We like adventure and do not sit still well. And also, all of these new experiences drain us and we hit walls, really and symbolically.

We are impatient and impulsive. Oh and did I mention we get bored easily?

We sevens are busy people with a lot going on, not always productive stuff, but never you fear, there will always be a lot of stuff happening.

For me this plays out with me wanting to be in the middle of shit, then wanting just as desperately to not be in the middle of anything. The older I get the more and more I am good not being even remotely close to anything or anyone or any kind of middle. I have entire weekends now where I barely talk to anyone except the cats and dogs. And I like it this way. Pets have always been easier for me than people — no ulterior motives for pets. They always want the exact same things: food, attention, outside, inside, water, food, attention. Easy.

People I supposed could be boiled down to the same, but their methods way more diabolical. Not a fan.

We are busy, variety seeking, spontaneous, versatile, acquisitive planners who are often scattered all over the place. We get so excited about the new shit we find out, that we attempt to incorporate that into our daily lives which are already overcrowded with too much. If you don’t believe me, come look at my four closets of clothes…I have stopped the acquisition…for now.

At my best I am very enthusiastic about life. At my worst, I barely find the will to make it to the next minute. And I vacillate between the two, rapidly cycling between an unbridled hope and bone crushing despair. I am a thinker, and I do so armed to warn off feelings of any kind except happy. Happy is the only acceptable emotion, or any other that orbits around happy.

“The Type Seven “Enthusiast,” is relentlessly curious and optimistic, eager to get the most out of life. Sevens do their best to avoid negativity and pain, focusing their energy on finding pleasure and excitement. Sevens get along well with others at work and at home because they are highly productive, non-judgmental, and have an infectious positive energy.”

Yep, that is me. To my core.

Sounds pretty positive right? Well, it is except for that little part where I avoid negativity and pain. And a seven out of whack will go to some pretty amazing, and very fucked up lengths to avoid pain. Always seeking pleasure and avoiding pain is pretty much the definition of samsara. It is the awful cyclical living where there is never satisfaction, just always the seeking of more.

And I feel that right now. I am in a growth spurt which is requiring me to look at myself with new filters. I am not saying those filters are correct…just that I have new ones that I hope and pray are more closely resembling truth than delusion…but I have been here before so…

I see all the adding I have done in some sort of attempt to avoid the pain of living with less, or enough. I see how I seek pleasure and excitement in all I do. And life without an avenue to go up, feels like a death or at the very least, like life is not worth living.

A healthy seven is an attractive thing, but an unhealthy seven resembles some sort of hedonistic pariah.

What does all this mean? Maybe nothing, but it helps me orient myself about myself. It isn’t junk science, there is actual long standing, historical basis for the enneagram. Think what you like. For me, it helps me find a way to understand myself and others better. And that is what I try to do every single day of my life. To find a way to a more peaceful existence with myself and all of you.

Seven is associated with intuition and creativity…and that lands for me. Sometimes though, I am so completely consumed by both that I find myself immobilized. Which is where I spent last weekend. Overwhelmed and overpowered by my own inner life, that is often hard to share with others. Mostly because I often feel like I lack the ability to tell you how I feel and why, but also because sometimes I am just awash in my very active internal life. So much so that I can’t slow it down to even really communicate what it is I am thinking, intuiting and even more unfamiliar to me, what I actually feel.

It is not easy, often, for me. When I say every day I survive myself, I mean it. Like it is a struggle to have the thoughts and ideas I do every day and often have no ballast to help me anchor the more important ones while allowing the other, less important ones to drift away.

I guess where I am today is that it isn’t easy being me…and that is not a complaint. It is just reality for me today. I will show up for work and do the deal but know the entire time, I am plotting and planning for some other reality, some place where I am happy and free. Some place where there is excitement and pleasure that doesn’t involve the dismantling of people’s best efforts at love and loving.

Today, at least, I am showing up, I will do my best to not be scattered and apply my talents to the matters at hand. But know that while I am doing all of that, there are plans coalescing in some idle part of my mind, that is plotting a grand escape. I know, I know, the idea and goal is to build a life I don’t want to escape from…but where is the excitement in that?

Well, so far, I don’t know, but I feel like I am making forward progress towards a life that is good and contented where I am, no significant plot changes needed…I am not sure I will ever get there, but I can promise I will continue to try.

Because trying is what life requires of me, daily.





Erin Schaden

Who am I? I am all that I write, all that I learn, share and grow. Read and find out? Check out for more.