What This INFP Has Been Up To

 

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So it’s been a while since I’ve posted or written anything on this blog, but there has been good reason for it. For the last half year or so, I descended into a period I like to call “productive depression”. I was most definitely depressed, because I had all the symptoms—low mood, lethargy, complete lack of interest in activities, etc.—but at the same time, I was still able to write snippets here and there of my own fiction, so the entire period of time I was away wasn’t entirely wasted.

Finally, after a hospital stay for suicidal thoughts, I am completely free of my depression and have returned to the blogosphere, to continue writing my thoughts and sharing with the internet my own, little life. So what, exactly, have I been up to, apart from moping about and trying not to kill myself? Well, I completed an 8,000 word children’s book, which I have already sent in to a publisher, but I don’t even have my fingers crossed for it because I have very little hope my horrible little book will be published. It just won’t happen, I can feel it, but at the very least I did something during my depressive episode, at least I did practice my writing a little bit.

Because of anxiety and depression, I had to leave school early, which means that I have needed to quickly find some way of gaining education that would lead to employment, because, suffice to say, this particular INFP has realized that her dream of becoming a writer, at least for now, will certainly not put food on the table; so in July this year, I will be enrolling in an Aged Care course that will allow me to take care of elderly people in a residential setting, helping them with tasks such as showering, eating, toileting and the like. It is not the most glamorous of jobs, but it will put food on the table, and even INFPs need to be realistic sooner or later when it comes to earning money; and after a while, if I want, I can transition into nursing by doing a Diploma of Nursing and then going on to do a Bachelor of Nursing, and becoming a Division 1 Nurse, So, basically, I will work in the aged care industry or go on to become a nurse, and do my writing on the side, as a sort of hobby, because the publishing industry is a very hard nut to crack, and I just don’t think my writing ability or the quality of my work is good enough to get published yet.

It’s not the most ideal path—I mean, I’m not too sure if INFPs are completely cut out for working with elderly people, I am a very caring person and I certainly would like taking care of and conversing with old people, but there is the small matter of dealing with difficult elderly people, who might have dementia or behavioural issues, that I am rather concerned about, simply because, like a typical INFP, I am terrible at dealing with aggression of any kind. However one needs to put food on the table, and this is the best educational option suited to my temperament that I have at the moment, especially since it will be a long time, if ever, before my writing pays for necessities like food and rent, so I’m sticking with it for now.

Anything else? Oh, yes. I cut my hair. Yes, that’s right: during my depressive episode, I cut all my hair off, until I practically looked like a man. Well, no, I still look like a woman, but it does, in my opinion, look very ugly; I feel exactly like a shorn sheep, bedraggled and naked. All my long, silky, beautiful black hair I cut off, because I was so depressed and felt like doing something earth-shattering and immense to snap myself out of my depressive state at the time, and now it will take forever to grow back. It’s a small and insignificant thing, perhaps, to the people around me, but to me, it’s enormous and horrible, and I feel almost as though I will never be beautiful again. It’ll take two years, at the very least, for it to grow back to shoulder-length, because my hair is very thick and grows very slowly, and in the meantime, I am miserable and morose whenever I look into a mirror.

As for my writing—well, this INFP is having very mixed feelings at the moment about her writing. Almost every INFP I know likes writing, and I am no different, but to make a career out of it, especially in fiction writing (in particular, fantasy, the genre I like to write in) is something very difficult to do indeed. My problem at the moment is that while I might have brilliant flashes of inspiration, I find it very difficult to flesh them out into proper books, with proper characters and things that happen; more often than not, whenever I try to write fiction, I just start off with a great idea that peters out into nothing, because I don’t have the ability or the writing skills to truly turn a seed of an idea into a flourishing beanstalk of a book. It’s very aggravating, and something that makes me feel as though I will never become a writer, never be published, because ideas without execution are nothing, little less than leaves on the wind. So this particular INFP is getting a bit more realistic about her airy-fairy dreams, and going into aged care instead—sometimes, the real world will break your heart, because unfortunately, banks are stronger and more powerful than castles in the air.

And money is something I cannot live without at the moment. I am turning 20 this year, and have very little money to my name, and still live with my single mother, who works as a cleaner and doesn’t earn very much at all. What’s more, what I’ve discovered with writing is that I can’t pursue it full-time, because whenever I write for too long, I get stuck, and the characters and the descriptions of the world start to go nowhere. Basically, my optimum level of writing, I’ve found, is a page of words a day, if I want to keep myself from getting bored with my own writing, and at that pace, I end up turning out short, mediocre childrens’ fantasy books. Not a good omen for a future in the publishing industry, I can tell you that. So in order to earn money I’ve had to be more realistic; even dreamers, after all, need to eat. I’ll be writing more posts soon—I’ve returned for good this time—especially about romance, and my own loneliness as a young INFP who has never so much as dabbled in the world of love—so keep tuned. I hope everyone is well, and has been doing much better than I have been.

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22 thoughts on “What This INFP Has Been Up To

  1. You’re alive! Ironically, the day I check your blog, you happen to post. I was wondering where you had gone to. It sounds as though you’ve been through quite an ordeal, and am curious to learn more about your experiences while away. I had sent some emails to you before, I’m not sure if you remember me, but I’m also based in Sydney. I’m glad you’re here, I was a bit worried for you.

    • Oh,that’s cool, you’re in Sydney as well. I’m sorry if I haven’t replied to any of your emails—I am very bad at checking my dreamerrambling email, for which I apologise—but thank you so much for your concern. It certainly was ordeal, and I’m very glad to be on the other side of it.

  2. Btw, what you did to your hair reminds me very much of Frida Kahlo. It seems cathartic to cut it when you feel emotionally heavy — even I sometimes get the urge.

  3. I’ve been worried about you! You’ve been on my mind. I haven’t read the entire post, will come back to read. Just wanted to say that first
    Welcome back from your hibernation

  4. First I want to welcome you back with a big warm virtual hug ❤
    One year! I had already lost all hope of "seeing" you again, but here you are!

    I think looking for a boring job can actually be very good. If you keep work and Writing separated your creative process won't suffer for being the only source of income, and your garden can flourish without restrictions.

    I know I've said this before, but I truly believe you will get published someday if you keep writing. You may feel like your writing is not good enough now, but someday you'll get there. It's only a matter of time. Every artist has those problems when it comes to bringing their ideas to life, and if so many have succeeded, so can you.

    "He who has a why to live can bear almost any how"

    Welcome back home, Anne. We missed you.

    • Thank you Lea for your beautiful and kind words—this time, I’m definitely back for good! And thank you for your belief in me, it certainly means a lot, and I am very grateful. ❤

  5. I discovered that I am an INFP two months ago or so. And you know, I’ve read online so much about my type and some of my friends’. My hands needed somewhere to hold as they were empty for so long just like my heart and soul. I read your post where you expose your age and I checked which year you sent that, made some calculations-haha words make it like I did ‘something’- and found out that we are the same age. I’m also turning to twenty this year yet I feel like 16-year-old adolescent.

  6. I just clicked send button unintentionally -ah fingers pls-. All my life I’ve been asking myself, asking the invisible why I am the way I am. I cannot structure my writing right now since I’m not a native and it’s better for me to write it out what I think first. Because before I do, even I don’t know what I think. My mind is just like a plasma, many things mingled, messing around in a liquid-like flying swarm of matter. I feel lucky that you started writing again. I need your words, -that is you-I guess. I’ll try and figure things out and when I do, I’ll be commenting again. You see, I can’t stop talking about myself but that’s not something I like, actually I truly hate this but I’ve got nothing else to give. I hope the future will touch our souls and mend some broken parts of ours. It would be nice to live and see if it does such kinds of kindness.

    • Thank you for your beautiful and lovely words. I love everything you write, and you write perfectly well, it’s very well structured and everything. Yes, let us live, and just exist, and do the best we can. ❤

  7. I am so, so happy that you are alive! I could not believe that such a beautiful and unique soul as yours could have been gone from this earth so early! I am sure that your book is going to be amazing and that you will begin to get the life that you deserve. Check your email, when you can. Take care fellow dreamer. Take care and welcome back!

    • Hi Alice, thank you so much for reaching out, I certainly have missed you! Thank you for your encouragement, though I don’t believe I will get published, it’s just something I wrote while I was getting out of my “funk”. You take care as well and I will try to check my email more often, though I am very bad at doing so. ❤

  8. Hey, I’d love to have a conversation with you if you are open to it. I know I have already mentioned this, but if it weren’t for you, I would not have started my own blog and realized what I want to do with my life. Yeah, I know my site doesn’t have many loyal followers as of yet, but posting still gives me a sense of direction and purpose—and I thank you for that.
    Your children’s book sounds lovely. Congratulations on taking the second big step of sending it to a publisher! : )

    • Thank you very much. Feel free to start a conversation with me any time (though I must say starting a conversation with me through the comments would be better than through email, because I am terrible at checking my email). Thank you once again, and I hope you truly enjoy blogging. 🙂

      • Well, first of all, I wanted to say that taking a trip to the hospital must’ve been downright petrifying. I feel so devastated that it had gotten to that point for you… I know you say, “I am completely free of my depression,” but I know for certain that the emotions almost never recede entirely. Nevertheless, I’m so glad to hear that you’re continuing your writing. You’ve got a whole community of people here who resonate with your every word.

        Second, while reading, I noticed you seemed to be describing your job situation pretty indifferently. Had you originally intended on attending university? I apologize if I sound like I’m probing, I am just honestly curious. Reading this, I am currently in that awkward period of time trying to decide what I want to do after I graduate, so these things have been on my mind.

        I know you feel that writing one page per day is meager, but to be honest, that’s about all I can manage as well (as a functional person)! In fact, John Steinbeck actually explained in “Travels With Charley” that one page of writing was all he could manage to commit himself to each day. As long as you write every day, that’s all that matters. : )

      • I was intending on going to university, but because of anxiety and depression I never managed to finish Year 12, and had to leave school at the beginning of the Year 12 year. Without a HSC, I can’t get into university for nursing yet, so I’m going about it a roundabout way, first getting a Certificate III in Individual Support (Aged Care), which pretty much counts as a “Year 12”, then doing a Diploma of Nursing, and from then on transitioning to a Bachelor of Nursing. That’s the plan, at least. And thank you for your advice; yes, as long as I write a bit each day, I’m doing something. Even if I never get published, at least I have this blog and can post my thoughts. Thank you. 🙂

      • Ah. I suppose it’s a good thing that you left high school. I can see how that sort of environment could only perpetuate a depressive mentality.

        Don’t feel obliged to answer in detail (or answer at all), if you’re not comfortable with it; what do you think is the root of your depression? And do you think that INFPs may be more inclined to depressive dispositions than other types?

        Also, did you want to become a nurse? Or would you choose another path (in place of nursing) if you could have the choice?

      • I’m not too sure what the root of my depression was, probably a combination of immaturity, social anxiety and a chemical imbalance in the brain. Maybe it was even a hormonal thing, or because I stayed too quiet and too shy for too long and my true self felt so stifled that I grew crazy and depressed. For me, nursing is the practical option in life, a way of earning money, because I don’t have the stamina to write full-time and, so far at least, won’t be making any money off my fiction writing anytime soon. I’ve also always been fascinated by the human body and diseases and illnesses (biology was my favorite science in school) and, as a lover of words, I adore all the terminology of medical science. Also, I think I do like to take care of people, I do have a strong nurturing streak, so that would be good for a profession like nursing where you have to tend to patients, soothe them and make them feel comfortable. Basically, in the future, I’ll be a registered nurse who does creative writing in her free time; that’s just the kind of career path that will suit my personality. Hope that answered your questions and maybe helped you in your own search for a career in some way. 🙂

  9. I really liked this! I talked a lot about the same things in my most recent blog post and my struggles with writing. At least you got something in during your depressive episode. I feel that I can’t do anything remotely that productive during a depressive episode. Also glad you are doing better.

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