Moving on Without Closure

Closure is one of those little things that usually requires nothing more than an awkward conversation to achieve but has a massive effect on your ability to move forward. When a relationship ends for me, I make sure to have a mature conversation about it and it gives me closure to move on almost instantly. When closure comes into play, my mind easily will put things in black and white terms so that I can close that chapter and turn to a new one. However, sometimes closure isn’t an option. Those are the hardest things to move past.

I won’t say that my closure-less experiences necessarily hinder my life in any major way anymore but the curiosity will always be there. When I was a teenager I had a friend named Jens. He was your typical laid-back stoner skater kid. He wasn’t very good academically but he was always upbeat and positive (not to mention everyone’s hook up for pot.) One day they told us that he had killed himself. A shotgun to the head while staying out in the country with his uncle. Anyone who knew him didn’t believe it for a moment. He was the happiest kid around. The gun used was way too long for him to operate and his CD player had Suicide Machines in it (I guess to be ironic?) though anyone who knew him would suggest the Doors as to his preferred moody music. We knew that he had competition dealing in the area and he made it well known where he was staying for the weekend. Unfortunately his family opted not to launch any investigation. In fact they chose to have an open casket where they reconstructed his skull and face. It didn’t even look like him. I think that alone kind of made us all want to just not think about it anymore.

My other major lack-of-closure moment was the death of my father and little brother. My dad was a pilot and every year my brother and him would fly in his plane up to Wisconsin for an annual air show and to visit some of his family members. In 2009 they never came back. We hadn’t heard from them in quite some time and were getting worried. My mother started making calls to anyone and everyone trying to find them since my dad’s phone went straight to voicemail. Eventually she got a hold of a morgue in a small country town that confirmed that they were there. Apparently they had seen ‘home’ popping up on my dad’s phone but didn’t have the heart to answer it. I can remember walking into the room and asking my mother if they were okay. She screamed “They’re DEAD!” and broke into sobs. My mind turned to white noise. My legs moved on their own and I ended up in my closet staring at a wall for a while before I could digest what was happening. The official report was that they had run out of gas 20 minutes from home and struck a power line trying to crash land, sending them into a tail spin. My father’s cousin (who works for the government but nobody knows what he does) happened to be there at the site within 2 hours of the crash. He claims that he spoke to my brother before he died. First of all, my dad called us from a gas station an hour away from home. He was gassing up as he spoke so there’s no possible way they ran out of gas (they claim there weren’t even fumes) and also, how the fuck did my dad’s cousin happen to find out what had happened and make it out to the site in the middle of nowhere in time to speak to my brother when we didn’t have a clue what had happened? It drove my sister and I mad but my mother wouldn’t even talk about it. It was easier for her to just accept what they said. I still have no idea what really happened. Ever feel like someone you lost really never died and that one day you’ll just be picking up a drink at a gas station and they’ll walk right past you?

Two weeks later I started my senior year of high school and thus, had to move on immediately. This is why I prefer closure. I don’t want to dwell on an issue. I need to constantly feel like I’m moving forward and having some situation cloud up a corner of my head with questions about things that I know I need to let go really bothers me. Pictures and posts from Micky kept popping up last night. For the most part I’ve gotten past it. If I don’t think about him I’m fine and usually I can keep my mind occupied elsewhere. Seeing a picture of him did not help this. I felt a sharp pang of anxiety – though in retrospect, it may simply be reminding me of such a traumatic time in my life that triggered it. Part of me just wants to block him. I need to move on. I have a lot to give and giving it to a memory is like burning money. Being able to look back at my experiences with him as fond memories with entirely separate goals in my life will be my closure there. I’m ready to be loved back.

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The Standoff

I find it pretty amusing that we all want someone like ourselves in our life yet we remain hopeful that the other person will balance our downfalls.

I met Hedburg a few weeks ago (nicknamed as such because of his insanely similar mannerisms). He’s also a photographer and an introvert who relies on his eyes to convey emotion far more than his words (hello twin) though where mine are super dark, his are clear blue. We hung out a couple of times, with plans to spend time together over the weekend, but he caught a stomach bug and it never happened. Well I guess we both told ourselves that we’d wait until the other person texted before we said anything..

A week later, I’m bored and shoot Hedburg a ‘poke’ text. Come to find out he’s been bummed out all week long because I never texted him and he was too shy to text first. I feel like a teenager. It really makes me reflect back on my own conversational tactics because I did the exact same thing. I wanted to hang out with him again, but on the off-chance that his illness was an excuse, I didn’t push the issue. My bad. Now he has his daughter and I’m sure it’ll be a little while until we can hang out again but I made us both promise to be better about saying hi first. This standoff business is just silly.

Note to self: It’s okay to say hi first.

Holi 2016

These last two days have been so much fun but quite exhausting. The highlight of the weekend so far is definitely the Holi Festival, though. This was my second year going and I had such a great time. It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone is united together in color and dance. Unfortunately this sunburn is making me feel completely worn out but it was absolutely worth it. I cannot wait until it comes around again next year!

I’m also quite proud that I figured out how to use plastic bags and duct tape to protect my camera so that I could bring it this year. How can you resist photographing such amazing color and energy? Man, I miss photography.

I also discovered, upon walking home from the festival, a new neighbor moving in furniture downstairs. I really should attempt this ‘knowing my neighbors’ thing, especially since Art Major is going to be moving out soon.

A Shift

So it’s been a little while. I was sick this week and the kiddos at work were insane. Most of my time has been spent with Netflix and Alka Seltzer cold & allergy medicine. Thankfully, I’m beginning to feel much better. Plus it’s a 3 day weekend for me starting tomorrow so I have that going for me.

It struck me as kind of interesting that in this last week 2 different people have told me all about their dating escapades with girls. Friend-zone achieved! It’s what I’ve been needing and although part of me is sad to not be seen in that attractive light, the other part of me is quite comforted to know that a person feels comfortable enough with me to tell me details of their life without my prompting. Is it obvious I haven’t really had friends in a while? It’s kind of a big deal, the prospect of a friend.

The first was Jerry. He had me over for dinner Saturday night while he was house-sitting for his mom. Her house was beautiful so I didn’t complain at all. He cooked okay steaks and I played with his dog. Soon I was sipping bourbon and he was drinking vodka. We were having a great time messing with Alexa, listening to old Elton John, and talking. He told me all about this girl he likes who says she’s into him but also her professor at the same time and doesn’t know what to choose. I probably said something along the lines of “Good luck with that.” I stayed there hanging out until about midnight when apparently this girl said she was coming over. Jerry apologetically kicked me out and then apologized more the next day. I wasn’t offended. We had a really great time but he’s also someone I’ve known for a year and staying close as a friend that long with someone since I’ve moved is a big deal.

The other one was my quirky neighbor. When I lived in this same apartment last year, he was my neighbor then as well. I worked downtown across the street from an Arts Center which he happened to work at. One day my coworker and I went there for coffee and I finally said hi. Since then we run into each other here and there at the apartments when we happen to be having a cigarette at the same time. He’s a picturesque arts student. Very dramatic and detailed with his conversation. Recently he’s starting calling me ‘baby’ in casual conversation. Not in a flirty way, like in an endearing way a southern black woman would say it. He’s flamboyant as hell but apparently quite straight. I was coming home from the store as he was leaving. He rolled down his window and said hey. I was in a pretty terrible mood that day so I wasn’t feeling very social but I smiled and said hi as I pulled my groceries out of my trunk. He immediately told me that I’d never believe where he was going – a church picnic get-together to meet up with some girl. I told him good luck but generally for me, devout Christians and I don’t tend to make a good match. He said “Oh baby, me too. But she’s really hot sooo….” I told him to go for it and brought my bags in. I don’t really consider neighbor guy a friend, just my neighbor, but it is always entertaining to get locked into a conversation with him. 80% of our encounters are him on his 24th hour without sleep drunk on wine trying to finish an art project. It’s pretty entertaining, to be honest. Can’t wait to hear how his picnic went when I see him next.

Pool guy finally stopped texting me constantly. Hopefully for good? Guy just rubbed me the wrong way. I do think, however, that I’m ready to dip my toe into the dating pool again. I know I’m still getting my act together here but I feel more confident and in control every day. I still think about Micky from time to time but don’t have the urge to be the first to text. I’m letting that go. Looking ahead and hoping the best for him as well. I need to focus on my own life and needs. Speaking of which, I’ve just hit 6 weeks without any romantic affection – not just sex but even a kiss. It really kind of fucking blows. I know that I still have my touch issue to combat but I feel like if I’m comfortable with someone, it will be okay. I really miss kisses. Sometimes I’ll kiss my teddy bear at night but then he gives me this dead-eyed look that tells me I’m pathetic so I tell him not to judge me and go to sleep.

This weekend is the Holi Festival which I have been looking forward to for a while. I went last year with my mom and we had a blast. She’s coming with me again (since it’s only a 15  minute walk from my apartment) and I can’t wait. I think being out in public around other people will be good for me. Last year I ran into several people that I knew. I wonder if I will this year too. Either way, it’s good to have something to look forward to.

Rejection and Acceptance

When two people meet each other and mutually want to continue to see one another, it’s a great thing. Generally I give a few goes at hanging out with someone to really get a feel for how we get along. My main goal any time I meet someone is friendship, bottom line. If we connect and a spark emerges that’s fantastic but it’s not a necessity at a time in my life when I don’t have many friends around.

Sometimes, however, you meet someone and have a terrible experience hanging out with them. Occasionally, if it goes really bad and I make it obvious how uninterested I am, it’s easy to just stop talking to each other and move on. However, when the other person is super into you and you don’t reciprocate, it gets uncomfortable.

Guy I played pool with a while back, the one who put his arm around my shoulder and made my personal space alarms go berserk, keeps blowing up my phone. The problem is, he’s a nice person but I just don’t feel like I click with him at all. We don’t seem to share similar interests, he’s not good at picking up any conversational cues. At one point I even explained that I’m not in any place to want anything more than friendship with anyone and that I felt bothered when he touched me to see if it would give a hint but now he’s asking to hang out all the time and won’t stop texting about crap I just simply don’t give a shit about. I’m getting tired of making up excuses to not be available.

How do you tell someone that they’re a nice person but that you have nothing in common and it doesn’t make any sense to be THAT into me after I played pool with you super shittily and then watching some Archer? I hate being that guy. Normally I would say we could still be friends but again, this guy has really no redeeming qualities to offer me as a friend either.. which may be mean to say but it’s true. Ugh. Eventually I’ll get up the courage to say something.

On the plus side, been spending a lot of time with Jerry lately and surprising myself as to how much I’ve enjoyed it. He’s odd. He speaks fluent sarcasm and dry humor with a straight face and he’s quick with it. These are my keys to conversation and he sails far above and beyond me at it. I actually really like that. Puns and sarcasm make me happy and random witty remarks about things like getting a meal at a Christian restaurant and having it come with all the ‘cruci-fixins’ make me actually laugh out loud which I don’t feel I do near enough in my life. We went to a book sale this morning and then for smoothies and a walk around the book store this afternoon. Invited me for dinner later and I’m really thinking about it. Plus he has a west highland terrier who wears a hoodie. I mean…

May just be friendship but I find myself being flirtatious with him without even realizing it. The word “phrasing” was tossed around a lot in conversation today. It just flows and we were both giggling all the way through the store. Who knows. I’ve known him longer than almost anyone over here and he was the first to come welcome me when I moved back here – actually the only one who didn’t just send a ‘welcome’ through Facebook.  He’s the only one who really makes an effort (besides pool guy) to hang out with  me on a regular basis. He even invited me out on St. Patrick’s Day after work for some Black & Tans and a rack of lamb shepherd’s pie to celebrate me starting my new job. Maybe I’m the one who hasn’t been showing him the attention he deserves.

This literally did not dawn on me until I was driving home from the bookstore and noticed a stupid grin on my face. Hmmm.

I’m not feeling strong today.

I struggled to get up this morning more than usual. My muscles are sore from lifting/squatting/bending all day yesterday with the kids. My broken toes are sore from the kids jumping on them. My finger is sore from me somehow spraining it while taking my boot off last night. My heart feels an overwhelming wave of loneliness this morning and I couldn’t tell you why. (Just suck it up and quit smearing your make-up, pussy.) I’m frightened of my past and my future. I feel like just running away but have nowhere I trust to run to.
I feel like every moment I spend alone lately is an opportunity to be miserable and that’s not the way it should be, the way it was. Where did my confidence go? Did Drunky really screw me up that bad? To be honest, I feel pretty weak, lost and undesirable. Those were his goals so I guess he succeeded there.

It’s Friday. That should cheer me up. But what good is the weekend when you’re broke and alone?

Escaping my Head

When I made the decision to move out of that horrible situation I was in a few weeks ago, the main goal was simply to get out. I was so overly stressed and emotionally destroyed that something as simple as a “How are you?” would send me to the brink of breaking down. The goal was to take a week or so to compose myself and then find a job.

The first week and a half was great. I needed that self reflection. When I sat and thought about all of the things I had to put up with on a daily basis, I was in awe at what one person can endure simply because they didn’t want to ask for help. I should have. Before I went there I was happy. I was lost and had a job that stressed me way too far but I was eager for the future. I was secure in myself and truly believed good would happen. The person who came back is trying desperately to return to that. I’ve become a total hermit – afraid to trust or leave my comfort zone. I know from experience that this is detrimental to moving forward (unless my dream is to be a crazy cat lady) but it’s difficult when those you’ve cared about and trusted have caused you so much pain. I’ve spent my time lost in my head, going over scenarios over and over, wondering if there were any way it could have been different or how I could have stepped up to make a change myself. It’s useless, I know, but when you have nothing going on but sitting alone in a silent apartment every day, it becomes unavoidable. It’s getting to become a deafening white noise in my head and I’m ready for a distraction.

Today I’m finally able to go fill out paperwork to start working back and the preschool I worked at before. After working in home health for a year, I desperately miss being back with the itty bitties. It’s a stressful job but you get to leave it there. No on call bullshit to distract me from the possibility of actually living my life. Plus, my snuggle meter is waaaaay low and toddlers are great about helping in that area. Mostly, I’m anxious to have something to fill up my time, to distract myself from the things I cannot help or change. Being a hermit has a snowball effect and I need to stop it before it gets too big to move.

My head’s been on a roll with useless stress today already.

“No word from Micky. May as well just let that go since obviously he hasn’t cared enough to say hi since last weekend. My heart still breaks when I think about him. I wonder if he misses me at all. No, don’t you dare text him first!”

“That weird guy I played pool with won’t stop blowing up my phone. There was no connection, guy. I’m trying to be nice but Pleeeeeeease just back the shit off, dude. When you put your arm around my shoulders it bothered me at such a deep level. I wanted to peel off every inch of skin you touched and burn it. It’s not your fault Grumpy McDrunkypants has given me intimacy issues but now that I’ve told you about them, respect them or leave.”

“Where is my social security card? I wonder if they still have a copy of it on file from the last time I worked there.”

“I’m glad I have Jerry to talk to and hang out with here – a friend from when I lived here before. Unfortunately I keep getting vibes that he likes me in a way I can’t reciprocate. Fucking hell, I just want a friend!!!!”

“Bree is going to be my co-teacher again which will be awesome. She’s young and perky and it would help to have a female to actually talk to.  At least my mom might stop blowing her top about the fact that all of my friends are male.”

“Sonofabitch, that whole school’s been doing a workout program together and here’s my fatass having only gained weight thanks to stress wreaking havoc on my body. Way to go, me.”

Etc., etc.

Shout out to pornhub and a long hot shower to shut it all up for a bit.

Intimacy Addiction

It’s one thing to be a sex addict. I’ve been a sex addict for quite some time but, in recognizing this, I have been able to be more responsible and not give in to urges unless it’s with someone that I feel at least some sort of connection with (despite my recent frustration of a dry spell).

It’s one thing to be a love addict. I know for a fact that I’ve suffered from this for as long as I can remember. I’ve spent far too long in my head fantasizing about “the one” and that elusive love feeling that just wraps you up and cradles you in a cocoon of warmth.

Intimacy addiction, however, is like this strange little middle ground between the two, the middle ground where I’m currently stuck. I miss intimacy with another person. Do I want to get laid? Oh, absolutely! But if an orgasm is all I’m after, I have a finger that can take care of that just fine. Do I want to be in love? You betcha! But I’m not going to go out seeking it or convince myself that initial feelies for anyone is actually love itself. That will happen on its own. What I do miss is the intimacy that you share with a partner. I miss kissing. Oh my GOODNESS how I miss kissing. I miss holding hands while sitting on the couch. I miss hugs from behind and little tickles when you least expect it. I miss neck nuzzles and temple pecks. I miss random dances in the kitchen and hearing the words “thanks baby.”

I miss having a connection and all that crap that comes with it. I detest random hookups but I’m craving simple touch. I wonder what kind of reaction I’d get if I just set up a kissing booth in the park across the street. “Don’t fret, folks! I just want to taste you for a moment! Now give me a hug, lemme squeeze that booty and you can be on your way.”

Being INTJ (Pt. 2)

Time for more diving in to how I work! And yes, spending hours sipping coffee, smoking a bowl, and researching/blogging in silence is fun for me. Much better than getting lost in more Netflix. Anyway..

‘INTJs are defined by their confidence, logic, and exceptional decision-making, but all of this hides a turbulent underbelly – their emotions. The very notion of emotional expression is synonymous with irrationality and weakness to many INTJs, a display of poor self-governance and fleeting opinion that can hardly stand up to the enduring light of factual truth.’

Case in point – writing my real feelings and experience in an anonymous blog rather than actually speaking to people who really do give a shit.

‘In many ways though, these qualities of coolness and detachment aren’t the weapons of truth that they appear to be, but are instead shields designed to protect the inner emotions that INTJs feel. In fact, because their emotions are such an underdeveloped tool, INTJs often feel them more strongly than many overtly emotional types because they simply haven’t learned how to control them effectively.’

When my mother shouted to me that my father and little brother were dead, I didn’t scream or cry out. I numbly wandered into my closet and stared at the shadows in my clothes. When we put down our 3rd pet that same year, I didn’t shed a tear. Inside, however, I was destroyed. I went so long without letting my emotions be seen that I forgot how to process them. Now I will hear a snippet of a song and completely lose it because it will remind me of that one time my father and I were road-tripping to Colorado to pick up my first car and I will remember the way he looked at me when my eyes lit up, seeing that ’87 Honda Prelude, so proud of his baby girl – because I didn’t process it when I should have. I feel things ridiculously deeply – I just don’t like letting others know, I guess.

‘INTJ personalities’ Thinking (T) trait acts as a protective big brother to their Feeling (F) trait – seeing that something has upset the less able sibling, it steps in to take action, letting logic do the talking and resolving the condition rather than complaining about its consequences.’

You got this, logic? Cool, I’m just gonna grab my teddy bear and a bottle of beam and be over here in my bed.

‘In romance, people with the INTJ personality type approach things the way they do with most situations: they compose a series of calculated actions with a predicted and desirable end goal – a healthy long-term relationship. Rather than falling head over heels in a whirlwind of passion and romance, INTJs identify potential partners who meet a certain range of pre-determined criteria, break the dating process down into a series of measurable milestones, then proceed to execute the plan with clinical precision.’

I strive to find reasons things went wrong with my previous relationships and apply those to the people that I meet. It’s so not romantic but at least I keep it in my head. Joe made me realize I deserved to receive as well as just give, Anti showed me that too much negativity can poison a person, Justin 1 showed me how destructive it can be to put someone else before myself, Justin 2 showed me that I can truly enjoy life but deserve to be taken care of as well, Spaz showed me that I don’t have the patience to deal with someone’s serious psychological issues when they have no grasp on them, Grumpy McDrunkypants showed me that some people are completely full of shit, and Micky showed me that passionate, caring people still do exist though they usually require more space. All of this combined makes for a red flag bingo card I keep in my mind at all times.

‘Sentiment, tradition, and emotion are INTJs’ Achilles Heel. Social standards like chivalry are viewed by INTJs as silly, even demeaning. The problem is, these standards have developed as a means of smoothing introductions and developing rapport, of managing expectations, the basis of personal relationships. INTJs’ propensity for frank honesty in word and action tends to violate this social contract, making dating especially difficult for them.’

I do like chivalry, and I’m good with my manners, but I will instantly shift to ‘bro mode’ if I feel comfortable around someone. Date or not, I want to be myself as quickly as possible.

‘Allowing others to come to them is often INTJs’ best strategy, and if they perceive a potential to the relationship, they will spare no effort in developing and maintaining stability and long-term satisfaction.’

Again, guilty. I think I’ve initialized all of maybe two conversations on those dating sites ever. I’d much rather wait around and see if someone finds interest in me. Maybe it’s lazy, I don’t know. I get anxiety trying to start something up.

‘INTJs seek strong, deep relationships, and trust their knowledge and logic to ensure that their partner is satisfied, both intellectually and physically. But when it comes to emotional satisfaction, INTJs are simply out of their element. Not every partner has the sort of fun INTJs do in addressing conflicts and emotional needs as puzzles to be analyzed and solved. Sometimes emotions need to be expressed for their own sake, and putting every outburst under the microscope isn’t always helpful. If this becomes habit, or INTJs think it may, they are capable of simply ending the relationship, rather than dragging things out.’

Save the drama for your mama. If it’s significant, let’s talk it out. If it’s something like complaining about a thing you have to do no matter what, for the fifth time, just stop. It has to be done. Accept it and move forward. Your incessant complaining is boring me.

‘INTJs are bewilderingly deep and intelligent people, bringing stability and insight into their romantic relationships. They prize honest, open communication, and all factors of the relationship are open to discussion and change, but this must be reciprocated. INTJs do what they think is right, and sometimes that comes across as cold – it’s important to know that INTJs don’t make these decisions lightly. They spend a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to understand why and how things go wrong, especially if they’ve devoted themselves to the relationship, and they certainly hurt deeply when things fall apart. The challenge is finding partners who share those same values – though Intuitive (N) types are uncommon, they may be a must for many INTJs, as sharing this trait creates an immediate sense of mutual belonging.’

That person’s out there somewhere, right? They understand that I’m not a bitch but sugarcoating is a waste of breath and I want to get right to the nitty gritty. Understand me. Please. This is all I really want.

‘People with the INTJ personality type tend to have more success in developing friendships than they do with romantic relationships, but they none-the-less suffer from many of the same setbacks, substituting rational processes for emotional availability. This intellectual distance tends to go both ways, making INTJs notoriously difficult to read and get to know’

I think this is a problem with most people, putting up walls about themselves until they feel they can really trust the person they’re spending time with. I do know about myself, however, that I’m terrible about keeping contact. I’ll wait anxiously to hear from someone but not say hi first. Maybe I just want to be wanted?

‘The fact is that in friendship, INTJs are looking for more of an intellectual soul mate than anything else, and those that aren’t prepared for that kind of relationship are simply boring. INTJs need to share ideas – a self-feeding circle of gossip about mutual friends is no kind of social life for them.’

This is why I’ve always had friends from all kinds of different circles. When we don’t know the same people, you won’t bore me with gossip. I really could not care less.

‘When it comes to emotional support, INTJs are far from being a bastion of comfort. They actively suppress their own emotions with shields of rationality and logic, and expect their friends to do the same. When emotionally charged situations do come about, INTJs may literally have no clue how to handle them appropriately, a glaring contrast from their usual capacity for decisive self-direction and composure’

As honored as I feel when someone chooses to open up to me, unexpected outbursts of tears throw me off my game. Do I pat you on the back? If I hug you will you hold on to me for longer than I feel comfortable with? If I open up with you, will you start coming to me with all of your little problems? Am I about to become your fixer? Ah, there I go over-analyzing again.

There’s a whole parenting section but I don’t feel that it really applies to me, not being a parent myself. As a preschool teacher, I know the way that I handle the children that I work with – thanks greatly in part to the fantastically strong, confident older woman who trained me. Man I miss her. However, this does not mean that I would treat my children the same way. Sooooooooo let’s move on.

‘INTJs tend to prefer to work alone, or at most in small groups, where they can maximize their creativity and focus without repeated interruptions from questioning colleagues and meetings-happy supervisors.’

I thrive in solitude. My ex-husband knew well that when I was editing pictures, I was in a zone and was not to be disturbed. I’m more focused that way. Other people just distract me from my work. Even as I have been writing this blog today, a maintenance man was knocking on doors in the hallway. Every time I would hear him knock, I would lose focus on what I was reading and have to re-read it. I’m too curious for my own good.

‘INTJs value personal initiative, determination, insight and dedication, and believe that everyone should complete their work to the highest possible standards – if a schmoozing shill breezes through without carrying their own weight, they may find INTJs’ inventiveness and determination used in a whole new capacity as the winds turn against them.’

Now I will admit to my fair share of schmoozing but only because I want to encourage my higher-ups that they can trust in my ideas and opinions. It’s much easier to bring a new concept to your boss if they feel comfortable and trustworthy with you. I ALWAYS back myself up with honest, hard work and I expect others to do the same if they wish to get anywhere. My first year working in preschool I received $2 in raises. I was making more than Lola who had been there for four years already. She was pissed that I was brand new but getting special treatment and insisted that I ask the owner to give her a raise. I immediately refused. I earned those raises by not only doing my job but also volunteering everywhere else, taking over library/resource room duties, taking photos for the school and creating a lucrative side business from it, bringing art into the Infant room, starting a book drive/Dr. Seuss week for the school and also starting my own projects to help put together lesson plan resources for the other teachers. I did these things because I wanted to. Only one of those things I was actually prompted to do – the others were my own idea to excel the best that I could at my job. I EARNED what I received. I would never sully my reputation to pander for a friend.

‘INTJs are independent people, and they quickly become frustrated if they find themselves pushed into tightly defined roles that limit their freedom. With the direction of a properly liberal manager, INTJs will establish themselves in a position of expertise, completing their work not with the ambition of managerial promotion, but for its own intrinsic merit.’

Yeah.. what I just said.

‘Above all else, INTJs want to be able to tackle intellectually interesting work with minimal outside interference, no more, no less. Time-consuming management techniques like trust-building getaways, progress meetings, and drawn-out, sandwiched criticisms are only going to annoy INTJs – all they need, be they subordinate, colleague, or manager, is to meet their goals with the highest standard of technical excellence and to be surrounded by, if anyone at all, people who share those values.’

I have no need for team building exercises. Seeing others work hard to achieve goals that they invest in just as much as their superiors makes for the best encouragement for me. I need to work in an environment where people really give a shit about what they do, not somewhere that’s just another job.

‘Titles mean little to INTJs – trust and respect are earned, and INTJs expect this to be a two way street, receiving and delivering advice, criticisms and results. INTJs expect their managers to be intelligent enough and strong enough to be able to handle this paradigm.’

Respect, respect, respect. This word is so important to me. Just 1 more letter and it’d make a fitting knuckle tattoo for me.

‘INTJs are brilliant analysts, and will likely gather a small handful of trusted colleagues to involve in their brainstorming sessions, excluding those who get too hung up on details, or who otherwise have yet to earn their respect. But more likely, INTJs will simply take the initiative alone – INTJs love embracing challenges and their consequent responsibilities, and their perfectionism and determination usually mean that the work comes out clean and effective, affording INTJs the twin joys of solitude and victory.’

Especially in a women-run preschool environment, cliques happen. The ladies want to hang out with each other on break and giggle and gossip and cluck.. or whatever they do. I’m never a part of these. If someone offers to help, and is really interested then I will extend an opening. Otherwise, work me is quite solitary. You’re apt to find me spending my break time reading a book, drawing, or working on a project.

In conclusion, I’m just a person trying to get to know myself better. Knowing that I’m not alone and a lot of the things I thought were so strange about myself feel somewhat validated now that I know it’s not just me. Others operate this way as well. Doesn’t introspection feel good?

 

Being INTJ (Pt. 1)

So I know there are a ton of tests out there to figure out who the hell you are. Deep down you know, but it’s nice to get someone else’s stance on the subject. Receiving validation does wonders. I went around for years with a popping jaw and occasionally it would turn to the most intensely painful head/jaw/teeth/neck pain that it would leave me debilitated for days, unable to eat or even talk. Finally I went to see a TMJ specialist and lo and behold, one side of my jaw is a few centimeters higher than the other, meaning that for the rest of my life I’m going to have to stay away from gum and overly-chewy foods (goodbye jerky), never fully put my teeth together when my face is resting, double up on my intake of certain vitamins, and visit an emergency room every once in a while for some strong pain meds when my head decides to randomly cave in. It sucks but being able to get validation from a professional that I’m not making the pain up, and the issue REALLY DOES EXIST made it a million times easier to live with.

Taking this 16 personalities test (www.16personalities.com) led me to the result that I have an INTJ personality (apparently only 0.8% of women are this so just take a look at this diamond in the rough, folks!) and it’s summed up this way ‘– it is often a challenge for them to find like-minded individuals who are able to keep up with their relentless intellectualism and chess-like maneuvering. People with the INTJ personality type are imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, amazingly curious, but they do not squander their energy.‘ I took one look at this and was like ‘Holy crap, tell me more about me!’

Now there is no way that all people with one result are all the same, but a lot of the description they had for everything made so much sense to me.. Things that I realized about myself but didn’t know how to vocalize. Feeling like I’m in an emotional slump right now makes me want to look back at it. (Now there’s a good example of how I work – like a Christian turning to a Bible for answers, I turn to science and research to help discover myself. Hah!) I want to share how it makes sense to me, how I work, for my own sake or anyone else who’d like to know how others work so I want to share some excerpts that I found quite relevant and expand on the ideas.

‘A paradox to most observers, INTJs are able to live by glaring contradictions that nonetheless make perfect sense – at least from a purely rational perspective. For example, INTJs are simultaneously the most starry-eyed idealists and the bitterest of cynics, a seemingly impossible conflict. But this is because INTJ types tend to believe that with effort, intelligence and consideration, nothing is impossible, while at the same time they believe that people are too lazy, short-sighted or self-serving to actually achieve those fantastic results.’

Yes yes yes a million times yes! This explains why I can like or even love someone so deeply but still claim to hate people in general. There are PERSONS that I like but people? Lemmings. I know that the world is crap. It is. Every day brings new challenges and obstacles, shitty people, shitty luck.. There are times that things are just absolute shit and that’s unavoidable. The bright side of this? It helps you appreciate the good so much more. For me, being inspired is a feeling second only to love (which should include inspiration as well, in my opinion) and the only way to truly feel inspiration is to be optimistic and honestly believe that good can happen. There’s a very high chance it won’t, but damnit, I still have hope. Good things do still happen every now and again. You just have to be aware enough to recognize it.

‘Rules, limitations and traditions are anathema to the INTJ personality type – everything should be open to questioning and reevaluation, and if they see a way, INTJs will often act unilaterally to enact their technically superior, sometimes insensitive, and almost always unorthodox methods and ideas.’

I am always observing. I want to know why things are the way they are and in order to do that I need to be able to look at things through as many perspectives as I can. I could find a way to speak from anyone’s point of view to defend their reasoning behind an action, good or bad, to make it understandable – because that’s the only way to really know what was going through the person’s head and how they really felt when the act occurred. Maybe I should have been a lawyer. Because I take such an outsider’s point of view of everything, my advice is sometimes taken unkindly. I warn anyone that I know that they are always welcome to ask my advice or opinion on anything but they may not like the answer. I love good honest deep talk and I’m a great listener but if you ask my honest opinion on something I will be very blunt and it may not be what you want to hear. I don’t care who you are. I will be supportive of those I love no matter what but it doesn’t mean that I will show support for something I think is wrong.

‘INTJs can see things from many perspectives. INTJs use their creativity and imagination not so much for artistry, but for planning contingencies and courses of action for all possible scenarios.’

While I do also use my imagination for artistry in my spare time, I also agree with the rest of this. If I get a single inkling that something is amiss with a situation, my logic side will take over and I will consider all of the options at hand before I move forward.

‘INTJs trust their rationalism above all else, so when they come to a conclusion, they have no reason to doubt their findings. This creates an honest, direct style of communication that isn’t held back by perceived social roles or expectations.’

Again, I will remain open-minded and would love to hear your take on my thoughts of something but do not try to sway me if I feel strongly about it. If my opinion changes it will only be due to solid facts and discoveries, not by someone’s attempt to convince me. Throw some facts at me but let it be my choice to change my views.

‘Either an idea is the most rational or it’s wrong, and INTJs will apply this to their arguments as well as their own behavior, staying calm and detached from these sometimes emotionally charged conflicts.’

Go ahead and get worked up. I’ll be over here, cool as a cucumber, confident in my stance.

‘INTJs are incredibly efficient, and if tasks meet the criteria of furthering a goal, they will find a way to consolidate and accomplish those tasks. However, this drive for efficiency can also lead to a sort of elaborate laziness, wherein INTJs find ways to bypass seeming redundancies which don’t seem to require a great deal of thought – this can be risky, as sometimes double-checking one’s work is the standard for a reason.’

Yes, yes, but I swear I go over everything I type as I go. It’s more efficient that way. I did the same thing in grade school. All of my drafts of a paper would be the exact same thing re-written in pen and then typed up. *Efficiency*

‘All this rationalism leads to a very intellectually receptive personality type, as INTJs stay open to new ideas, supported by logic, even if (and sometimes especially if) they prove INTJs’ previous conceptions wrong. When presented with unfamiliar territory, such as alternate lifestyles, INTJs tend to apply their receptiveness and independence, and aversion to rules and traditions, to these new ideas as well, resulting in fairly liberal social senses.’

There is no way I could have worded that better. Brava!

‘Combined with their irreverence for social conventions, INTJs can be brutally insensitive in making their opinions of others all too clear.’

Guilty. Again, fair warning if you ever ask for my opinion on something.

‘INTJs tend to have complete confidence in their thought process, because rational arguments are almost by definition correct – at least in theory. In practice, emotional considerations and history are hugely influential, and a weak point for INTJs is that they brand these factors and those who embrace them as illogical, dismissing them and considering their proponents to be stuck in some baser mode of thought, making it all but impossible to be heard.’

Yes, I am judge-y and I try not to be. If you can catch my attention with something that will really change the way I see a subject, that’s awesome.. but if you use some archaic old way of reasoning (especially if it involves religious influence) it all turns into white noise for me.

‘A recurring theme with INTJs is their analytical prowess, but this strength can fall painfully short where logic doesn’t rule – such as with human relationships. When their critical minds and sometimes neurotic level of perfectionism (often the case with Turbulent INTJs) are applied to other people, all but the steadiest of friends will likely need to make some distance, too often permanently.’

I guess this explains why I’ve got a ton of ‘facebook friends’ but hardly anyone I actually talk to. I study in silence but don’t make an effort to reach out. I will always care but only fully for one or a few at a time. It’s cold. I’m sorry. It’s just the way I work.

‘Blindly following precedents and rules without understanding them is distasteful to INTJs, and they disdain even more authority figures who blindly uphold those laws and rules without understanding their intent. Anyone who prefers the status quo for its own sake, or who values stability and safety over self-determination, is likely to clash with INTJ personality types. ‘

The status is not quo. When you make a law or rule based off of your own insecurities (or religious mumbo jumbo) that does real emotional or physical harm to someone that you simply don’t agree with, that is not okay and I will never support it.

‘This antipathy to rules and tendency to over-analyze and be judgmental, even arrogant, all adds up to a personality type that is often clueless in dating. Having a new relationship last long enough for INTJs to apply the full force of their analysis on their potential partner’s thought processes and behaviors can be challenging. Trying harder in the ways that INTJs know best can only make things worse, and it’s unfortunately common for them to simply give up the search. Ironically, this is when they’re at their best, and most likely to attract a partner.’

Exactly where I’m at in this moment. Am I attractive now?

This is going to take a while, as I want to dive deeper into more ways that my personality affects my life. Time for a blog entry with -dun dun dun- ~*Multiple Parts*~