Is Childcare A Good Career for INFPs?

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The answer to this is maybe. Maybe. It really depends on the kind of INFP you are. While childcare is a rewarding and challenging profession, it may be suited to INFPs on a certain level. Since I have recently started a childcare traineeship, I would like to offer some of my advice, for those INFPs out there who might be looking into childcare as a career option.

It’s not just about looking after kids. I would say, as an assistant in a daycare centre, especially if you are placed in the babies room, most of your time will be taken up by tasks such as getting the food ready, cleaning up after the kids after they have eaten, disinfecting surfaces and taking out the trash. In other words, a lot of menial tasks, which a lot of people might not think of when the word “childcare” and its entailing tasks pops into their head. Having said that, the rest of the 25% of your time is spent with the kids, and you get to play and interact with the cute, little darlings. That part, in my opinion, is the best part of the job—giving them hugs, cuddling them, and touching their chubby, little baby faces.

This job is very practical, and hands-on. You will be changing nappies, and dealing with faeces and urine, although the smell isn’t too bad (I can’t say too much on this, as I haven’t been allowed to change nappies yet). Most of your time is spent in a flurry of physical activities, and yes, while these activities use a certain part of your brain, and require a certain kind of practical intelligence, other parts of your brain, that are used for studying, reading and writing, which are parts that I often use, or like to use, remain, well, unused. In other words, don’t go into this job thinking you’re going to be quoting Shakespeare anytime soon: you’re going to be changing nappies, and wiping noses, and cleaning, and preparing. It’s very physical, very hands-on, and for me, as someone who is a little bit on the intellectual side (not much), this came as a bit of a shock to the system, if you will, and I’m still not entirely over it. After work, I have to immerse myself in reading and writing in order to feel like my old self again.

That being said, considering there are so many jobs out there for which INFPs are unsuited for, childcare is a good option. There is little room for anxiety, because you’ll generally just be interacting with co-workers and children, and, unless you are actually a daycare leader, which I’m not, you’ll not be speaking much to parents. As a daycare assistant, the most I’ve ever said to a parent is a simple “Hello.” The noise from all the crying is something you just get used to—I found it wasn’t a problem for me, because the sound of children crying, while it is distressing because it means something is wrong and I feel the need to help the child, isn’t something which provokes anxiety or I find to be irritating.

Once again, even though I’ve already repeated myself several times, childcare is a very hands-on job, and for the cerebral, and oftentimes daydreamy INFP, this can be quite difficult, and hard to get used to at first. I don’t think I’ve completely accustomed to it yet. But as a way to survive, and make money, and support yourself, it’s not too shabby. INFPs are naturally gentle and nurturing, so we oftentimes warm to the kids very easily, and vice versa, and there’s nothing better than seeing a lovely little smile on a cute, little face. If you’re OK with a hands-on, very practical job, aren’t afraid of a bit of faeces and urine, menial tasks, and love children for who they are, enough to help put on their socks and shoes and change their nappies, then this is the career for you.

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First Day Of Work

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Recently, I  picked up a game called Gaia Online, which is a virtual world, where you can chat on forums, play games, dress up your avatar and do all sorts of fun things.

If I had to recommend one game to anyone, it would be that one. I have a ton of fun just browsing through the marketplace, trying on all the different items and seeing if they can make my ideal avatar. Right now, my avatar is rocking a gothic, punk look, with a skull-embroidered dress and purple hair that is bunched on either side to look like big, fat roses.

Anyway. Today, I went to the childcare centre, and had my first day of work.

I helped children feed themselves, packed up mats, wiped down the nappy stations, mopped the floor, wiped down the sink and toilet seat, played with the children, talked and interacted with them, poured out milk and doled out spaghetti—-it was quite the hectic day.

And what is my verdict, after a day of such work? Well, let me tell you: it was alright. Yes. Just alright. In fact, the four hours passed as though I lived in a dream, and half the time, I do feel as though I exist in a kind of dreamland. It isn’t my most ideal job. Frankly speaking, the only job which would be ideal for me would be that of a writer, and I obviously can’t afford to have a job like that right now, especially since none of my work is capturing the attention of publishers.

Do I see myself in this career, long-term? Hard to say. I quite like the children, even though I have a ghastly fear of picking them up and dropping them accidentally, and they are, each and every one of them, unique and adorable. I enjoy feeding them, looking after them. I am still quite afraid of picking them up. I’m so afraid of it I have to mention it twice. What’s more, I haven’t yet had the opportunity to change a nappy yet, which mustn’t be the best part of the job, dealing with urine and faeces. Other than that, it’s pretty good; the co-workers are all very nice and lovely.

So far, everything is going good. Because I’m going to work, and being a productive citizen of society, my depression has lifted, and so has my self-esteem. I enjoy going to work. I really do. Let’s just hope it stays that way, and that the pressure of performing, of doing everything perfectly, doesn’t get out of hand. It’s a very practical, hands-on sort of job, and I’ve never been that practical of a person, so it’s a wonder I stumbled into this career in the first place.

I’ve been wanting to watch a movie called Mary and the Witch’s Flower lately. It’s by a group of artists that used to work for Studio Ghibli, and from the clips that I’ve seen of it, and the move trailer, the artwork is absolutely astonishing. As for my own art—my books—well, none of the publihers have replied, and I doubt they ever will, so I’m thinking of asking someone to draw a front cover for me, for the book, and then publishing the book online, like on Amazon, for people to buy. They’re two lovely little books I wrote myself, and treasure deeply, even if no-one else in the publishing industry seems to want them. I don’t mean to sound bitter; it’s just that writing has always been a dream of mine, and now, I’m finding myself having to settle for much less. I hope, when the time comes, I get some readers, some people who are willing to read my work. Who knows—maybe a publisher will stumble across it, and want to make it into an actual book.

It’s been a while since I made a last post. That’s because I’ve just been so busy with work. Childcare. Sigh. The children are gorgeously adorable, but sometimes, I really do doubt my ability to take care of them. I still have so much to learn. Well, here’s to hoping everything turns out for the best, and I don’t make a mistake at work that hurts anyone, or makes me want to curl up into a ball somewhere and never come out. The part of me that likes to catastrophize things really enjoys imagining terrible scenarios, and I hate that part of myself.

An INFP’s New Career

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I’ll be starting my childcare traineeship soon, and words cannot describe how nervous I am about it. It’s not the prospect of dealing with co-workers that worries me—it’s that of dealing with children.

I’ve never been much of a children’s person myself, and yet, here I am, entering the career, and I am terrified of little babies crying in my arms and tiny children hating me. Honestly, I don’t know if it’s just because I am paranoid or neurotic, but I feel terribly hurt when I am rejected by children; it’s as if I’ve failed in this fundamental, human way. Once, I smiled at a baby, but my mouth might as well have twisted itself into a rictus, because the baby promptly started crying, and wailing for its mother. It’s incidences like this that make me feel less than optimistic about my future childcare career. But, anything must be better than age care, right?

Anyway. I will definitely keep you posted on how this new career goes; and perhaps, just maybe, I’ll find myself actually liking the job, and this can be invaluable for other INFPs, who are wondering what path to take in terms of their career direction. As an INFP, I can test-drive the situation for you, and report back whether or not I believe this or that career is suitable for other INFPs, since I am, and always have been, a very “strong” (by which I mean, I score very highly on Introversion, Intuition, Feeling and Perceiving) INFP. Just a thought.

Nothing much else has been happening in my life, apart from a good afternoon yesterday spent eating pizza and shopping with some of my friends. It was a nice afternoon. Some part of me, however, no matter what I do, feels somewhat unfulfilled. I always thought I would be published by now. I know it’s the same old spiel, but no matter how content or happy I feel, some part of me, deep inside, feels lost and afraid, and quite, frankly, bored with life, simply because this one, deepest, brightest dream of mine has never come true. I feel as though someone has punched a hole through my chest. Now, there’s just this emptiness, in the middle of my chest, a perfect circle, through which you can see to the other side of my body, the other side of the room, and nothing and no-one can put me right again, just like it was with Humpty Dumpty.

Humpty-dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men, couldn’t put Dumpty back together again. As a child—and those of you who live in and grew up in Australia will know this—I watched a lot of ABC children’s shows, from Bing and Bong, to Playschool, a show where they constantly sang, read stories and talked to stuffed toys. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to work on Playschool, to be this grown-up adult, singing and dancing, pretending, exactly as if they were a child. Do they ever get tired of it? As a childcare trainee, I will only be in charge of peripheral activities, I think, like changing nappies, supervising children, cutting up fruit, that sort of thing—I won’t actually be a “teacher” in the classroom, directing the students according to lesson plans, and that sort of thing.

Oh, I don’t know. How can I possibly describe my nerves? I don’t have any experience working with very young children. The youngest child I have ever worked with was 5 years old, and now, I will be working with 1-4 year olds, for the very first time. Have you noticed that babies, and very young children, have a sort of scent? A milky kind of scent? It’s not unpleasant, but I don’t find it particularly appealing either. All in all, I have no idea what I’m getting into, and just the thought of working in a childcare centre is enough to make my heart beat faster, and anxiety to start blossoming up inside of me like some kind of underwater monster.

The manager there is nice. Unfortunately, the other workers seemed a little more brusque, and perhaps stressed. I’m a bit worried about actually working with them. I’m very sensitive to negative emotions, and whenever I feel them wafting from someone, I just want to curl up into a ball, and hide. Either way, I guess I won’t know until I try it.

A Musing On This Dreamer’s Life

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Alright, ladies and gentlemen, I have officially decided what I want to study next. I will be a completing a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care, which means I will be working in a childcare centre. Yesterday, because of an interview, I was able to visit a childcare centre, and I quite enjoyed the experience, so I have decided to make this my next career path. Fingers crossed it goes well.

I do enjoy the thought of working with babies, and children. The only thing I am really afraid of is not being able to be the “dependable” type of person a childcare educator should be. I am not exactly the most reliable person on the block—I can be a little scatterbrained. What’s more, I am also afraid of not being able to properly communicate with children and get them to do things; children can be rather scatterbrained themselves, and it can sometimes be hard to make communication pathways flow properly. Either way, I have my doubts, but anything must be better than age care, which was quite a disaster for me, mentally and physically.

I was brave enough to go to three interviews in the last month or so. It was quite an achievement, because I’m quite shy, and interviews are one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of one’s life, if not the most frightening. Just the thought of interviews makes me tremble in my boots. But I’m getting better at it. It helps if I remind myself the job isn’t the be all and end all; that there are other opportunities for me in the future. As for childcare, I will have to just make sure I have eyes on the back of my head, as I am supervising the children.

What else is new? My mood is still pretty low. I mean, I wake up in the morning, and feel so depressed sometimes I feel as though I might throw up. Today, I woke up, and literally felt as if a low, grey cloud was hanging over my head, dispelling gloom no matter where I went, and occasionally sending out fizzles of lightning. I feel better though, now that I am well into the day, and actually doing something productive, even if it just writing for my blog while I am at the job agency. Doing things makes me a happier person overall. Even though all I did these past few weeks is go to interviews, I think employment will be something that is very good for my mood, because I will be doing things, being productive, and I am glad I am going into work and study. Keeping busy is the best way to keep depression at bay; it’s the best way to keep yourself from slipping into any dark holes of negativity.

To be honest with you, I still feel as though I’m not suited to any particular job, except for writing, but in this life, unless you are lucky to have a great inheritance or some fantastically great skill or talent that translates into a life of wealth and talent, then you have to work, and childcare, so far, is the best option for me. I’m not the best person suited for the job, but it is the best job that is suited to me at the moment. My other option is business administration, and while that is a job I can certainly consider, there is a little too much telephone talking and customer interfacing for me to truly like the idea of the job. As far as I’m concerned, unless I get some work experience soon in the field of childcare, I am jumping into another pool with my eyes closed, not checking whether it’s the deep end or not.

As for relationships—I have a boyfriend! Just joking. Sorry. The chances of that happening are extremely low, as far as I’m concerned, just as low as the chance of me winning the lottery. I don’t know why, but relationships have never been something I’ve particularly felt any “kinship” towards. In other words, while I have felt drawn towards writing, and felt as though writing was a part of my life, relationships, while they are everywhere in popular culture, has always felt like some distant but lovely thing that only exists in the future for me, never the present. Let’s not even talk about children; while I would love to be a stay-at-home mum, that probably won’t happen, not for many years. It would be nice, though, to have someone nearby, to cuddle and kiss, to keep yourself warm at night. Nice, but not possible. Uh-uh; it’s not going to happen.

Overall, since there are only 2 months left before time expires and I know I will not be published, and no publishers have contacted me yet, my dreams of becoming a published writer are floating further and further away. I don’t think I’ll ever be published. There. I said it. I don’t think it will happen. What will happen? I’ll study for 2 years, become a Childcare Educator, live my life, work, play with children, spend my days happily involved in my job, go online and start dating, find a husband, have children, buy a house and settle down? Without ever getting published? The thought makes me heart constrict, but, in the end, I do believe I can be happy without getting published, if all the other accoutrements of life are gained, like a job and permanent housing. It will be the same, old life as everyone else’s, but as someone who feels as though the same, old life is very difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, it would be quite good.

Down In The Dumps

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Nothing was going right; not her career, or her books, which she had been writing for over two years. And yet, just when it seemed like things were going to become pear-shaped for good, someone dropped into her life. A handsome, young man, a lovely person, with dashing good looks, and a beautiful house, and a wonderful job. With a sweep of his arms, he welcomed her into his life, and together, off they went, living luxurious days on beaches, in holiday houses, with their three cats. He was friends with a publisher, and they quickly published all three of her books, which then went on to become bestsellers, and all was well and right with the world.

Yeah. Right. More like, the reality of the situation is, I am twenty-one years old, broke, living at home, unemployed, with three children’s books under my belt which no-one wants to publish, and I have no dates, no potential suitors, no potential jobs, for that matter, and am just typing away, alone in my room, wondering what I am doing with my life. It hasn’t been a good week, my friends, if my last post was anything to go by, and I haven’t been faring well. Anxiety attacks, feelings of despair, suicidal thoughts—you name it, I’ve been feeling it.

So, what are my plans for now? Nothing, really. I do have lined up a week’s worth of work experience at a childcare centre, just to see if it is a career I would be interested in doing. I have no idea whether I will like it or not; just today, I smiled at a baby, and it burst into theatrical tears, so I am pretty sure children aren’t going to easily warm up to me. I don’t know why; I’m just a young woman, and don’t look particularly threatening. Nevermind: maybe babies are just afraid of strangers.

Honestly, I don’t know what I am doing with my life, and, at this rate, I almost feel as though it would be a good idea just to go out onto the streets and start living the homeless life, I really do. Of course, I’m nowhere near homelessness yet, but that’s all due to my dear mother, who slaves endlessly for hours a day cleaning people’s homes, just to keep the house afloat. I want to work. I want to contribute financially to the household. It’s just a matter of finding the right kind of job, that’s all.

I am thinking about going back to university, but the level of study it takes to return is something I find very daunting. To be honest, in my entire life, I have never been good at anything much except writing. That has been the one, single thing I have felt any passion or liking for, and even that is swirling down the drain these days, since no publisher seems to want to pick up any of my books. I am just at a complete crossroads, and have no idea what to do, and if it weren’t for the fact that money is necessary to survive in this world, all I’d be doing is reading and writing all day, and keeping this blog going, which would be my ideal life.

Tell me, dear reader, since you have followed me for some time—or even if you are just stumbling across this blog—based on my writing skills, and what little of my personality you can glean from my writing, what kind of job do you think would suit me? I, personally, have no idea, I really don’t. I sincerely hope you are engaged in a job that you enjoy, and that it fulfils you. It is important, I think, to spend most of your days occupied with activities that provide joy and happiness, rather than dreariness and misery.

In the meantime, I will be doing my best to navigate the waters of career searching, trying to find some kind of job I would be suited to, one that doesn’t require a university degree—or at least has a TAFE or diploma pathway—and which allows me to write on the side, fulfilling my passion and paying for food on the table, all at once. Thank you for reading, once again, and once again, I hope your own career pathway or search for a career is going better than mine.

Get INFP Advice, Blog posts and Skype Conversations From Me

 

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Click HERE to become a patron. Or this link: http://www.patreon.com/dreamerrambling. Thank you!

So, recently, I decided to build a Patreon page. It is a kind of platform where people can become your “patron”, giving you a couple of dollars every month, in return for certain “rewards”. So far, my rewards are getting to talk to me through Skype (nervous about this!), writing a blog post on a topic of your choice, getting the chance to get an email filled with advice about life in general and being an INFP, and getting blog posts early, sent straight to your email.

I decided it was preferable to selling a service. The layout was fun, and I had an enjoyable time coming up with names for the different “types” of dreamers. Either way, it doesn’t matter whether this kicks off or not; I’ll always be here, writing blog posts for you.

Thank you, in advance, if you do decide to become a patron. I hope you know that you are supporting someone who has been behind all the words on this blog all this time, and wants to become a writer someday, and is always diligently writing, whenever she isn’t daydreaming.

Many thanks.

INFPs Can Find Fulfilling Jobs

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So, recently, I’ve been working at an age care centre, looking after the elderly people. So far, I’ve only made some beds, talked with the elderly, helped set up the lunch tables, and showered one lady, but I’ve found it rather fun and enjoyable. It certainly beats spending time at home, wasting away hours.

I would definitely recommend age care to INFPs. Of course, there are many who are averse to some of the tasks involved in age care, such as wiping bottoms and things like that, but you do wear gloves the entirety of the time you complete these tasks, and wash your hands afterwards. However, if you have a sensitive sense of smell, and can’t stand the smells of urine and number 2s, I definitely would not recommend you do this job.

Part of the reason why it is a good job is because it is not very fast-paced. First of all, the elderly are, well, old, and you have to be slow, patient and careful with them. What is more, there are no loud noises, you are usually one-one-one with a person, and a lot of elderly people are very sweet and kind, though you do get the irritable and cantankerous ones sometimes. All in all, after searching the globe (AKA the internet) for a suitable job, I think I might have finally found one.

I even considered doing childcare once, thinking I was good with children, and calm and patient; but it didn’t end up working out, because the job was far too high-energy for me. I couldn’t keep up with the energy of the kids! It exhausted me beyond belief, and now, the energy around elderly people is much more calmer, and there is far less stress, although I am in fear, when showering someone, that they will slip or fall. There is no job, is there, that doesn’t have any stress? Not even writing, which causes tremendous stress when it doesn’t go well, which is often.

It is a very fulfilling job. You really feel as though you are making a difference in someone’s life. I’m glad I found it, this early on in my life, otherwise I don’t know what I would have done with myself. It does have its downsides; it is rather physically demanding, and when things go wrong, they go very wrong i.e. a resident becomes non-compliant, or perhaps even lashes out. So far, however, everything has gone rather smoothly, and I hope to see myself in this job for years to come, writing part-time on the side. Thank you for being with me on this journey, and, if it so happens that I change careers, I’ll definitely keep you posted, my dear dreamers. I hope you are in relatively fulfilling careers yourself, and if not, I hope soon, in the future, you find one that is suitable.

INFPs and Work-Related Stress

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Well, I think—I think—I may just have perhaps over the last week induced a fever through work-related stress.

Yes. An actual fever. A low-grade one of 37.5°C (99.5 °F), to be exact.

I mean, I knew I was wildly stressed-out; after all, not only did the job  entail plenty of draining chit-chat in the form of customer service, but it was also quite physically strenuous, as I was on my feet all day, with only one break in-between, walking around the store. I knew, as the weeks passed, that my stress levels were building. That I was pushing myself too far. That dealing with people non-stop, day after day, would take its slow, but terrible toll, on me, especially wrangling with less-than-polite and sometimes downright sweetly-mean customers.

The signs of stress started off innocently enough. A painful pimple here and there, which I put a little cream on and hoped would go away. Some small, devilish canker sores on the inside of my mouth. Then things started to upgrade themselves, and I woke up one morning with a searing, throbbing pain on either side of the back of my mouth, and discovered my gums had swollen there, become red and painful and inflamed.

By the next sunrise, the fever came on, and I found myself bedridden and calling in sick for work, my body aching all over and a headache pounding at my temples like a hammer.

That was Wednesday. It’s Saturday now, and I have finally recovered enough to be able to sit at my laptop (after buying an extendable keyboard, since the letter “t” has stopped malfunctioning on the laptop’s keyboard) and write. I still feel pretty bad, to be honest—my gums are still swollen and painful enough for me to feel as though my body is quietly torturing me, and I still feel a little shivery—but the need to write came upon me like an insatiable urge, and I had to do it.

Look, let me just say it: INFPs are fragile creatures. What I just wrote about is a clear example of just how delicate people like us can be. And I’m not the only one. Lots of INFPs I’ve read about, or who have reached out to me through this blog, suffer from career dissatisfaction and unbearable, work-related stress because of our gentle personalities and fragile souls. That’s a fact.

We are not as strong as other people, not mentally or physically. And by physically, I mean our constitutions, our immune systems. We are soft, and sensitive. Stress can strike us down just as bad as any virus, and a spiteful word or look is enough to cut us to the bone, or make us feel physically sick. There’s simply no way of getting around it—trust me, I’ve tried.

Actually, you know what, I don’t think I’m making it clear just how fragile a lot of INFPs are. Sure, we have our books, our big, powerful imaginations, but all of that is spiritual, cerebral. Everything else that makes up a human being, in us, is soft and delicate beyond belief. Fear of the meaninglessness of life is enough to exhaust us. In case that still isn’t clear enough—if we just spend too much time thinking about life and death, we get tired. Our souls get tired. Our will to live, and be happy and animated, shrinks. As a highly sensitive person on top of that, places like brightly-lit shopping centres or loud and busy roads add extra stress, bombarding my senses until I want to just curl up under some blankets somewhere and hide, and lose myself in a daydream.

A quiet, simple and slow life is the healthiest life for us to lead. I, for one, when allowed to at my own pace, take everything simply, slowly and quietly. I do not type these words with the crazed fervor of someone struck by the creative muse—in fact, even when struck by the muse, which happens rarely, I still type at a relatively steady pace. When left to my own ends, I am the tortoise, plodding and slow, gentle and soft, in everything I do. Wolfing down food too fast makes me feel ill. Too much high-intensity cardio exercise contributes to stress build-up in my body (which is why I always jog for short intervals, never run at high-intensity for a long period of time). Sunlight after a bad or average night’s sleep is horrific, which is why I much prefer the night, and rainy or cloudy days. I don’t race through books. I read them slowly, savouring the words, sometimes re-reading sentences because they’re just so pretty. I am quite skinny, pale, and perpetually absent-minded.

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Whereas the modern workplace? Bright, artificial lights. Loud voices, raised in chatter and talk. Constant verbal communication, and, if you’re working in customer service like I am at the moment, never-ending false cheeriness. Physically strenuous marching up and down the store, to tackle customers, move from one display shelf to the next. Long hours spent standing on my feet at the cash register. No-one there understands me, so I have to employ my acting skills and pretend I am talkative and robust just like the other employees or run the risk of being told by my boss to “to put in more effort”. Really, if it wasn’t for the money, I would have tossed in the towel long ago. Probably my first week. But I gritted my teeth and stuck with it—I needed to help cover living expenses, and pay for upcoming nursing school fees—and sort of muddled through the whole thing in a kind of painful daze, and then everything just blew up and I found myself lying in bed, feeling like a corpse, and staring at the ceiling.

Am I going to go back to that job after I’m better? Yes. Probably. I don’t know. For a while, I was on government benefits, but that was a pittance, and getting the money involved applying for job after job, engaging in interview after interview, and it was simply not a good way to live for the long-term. I don’t think anyone would want to live on government benefits for an extended period of time. Not only is the money not enough to cover basic needs, not to even mention school fees or supplies, but you feel rotten while you’re on it, with the sense that the government is breathing down your back everyday, nudging you to be a good, hard-working citizen like everyone else, you lazy “dole bludger”. I want to contribute to society like everyone else.

It’s just difficult to find a proper job suitable for people like me, INFPs, that allows us to be both compensated for work and not severely taxed by the requirements of the position.

I am seriously re-thinking my long-term goal of becoming a mental health nurse. At the very least, if I do continue pursuing that path, I can only work part-time. After this job, at a busy pharmacy in a customer service role, I have become all too aware of my limits.

Which brings me to the question: what should I do with my life? How should I earn a living, when all I really like to do is daydream, write and read?

Obviously, being a professional writer comes to mind, but that’s out of the question for now—I’m still writing, but none of the books I’ve sent out have received any replies from publishers. As for this blog, well, while it has built itself up over the years, traffic isn’t high enough for me to warrant buying a domain name and getting any money from advertisements.

I did consider starting a Patreon for my blog, dreamerrambling.wordpress.com, so that people can choose to donate, if they want, for each blog post I put out, even if it’s just a dollar. To somehow try and become self-employed, through the expertise and knowledge I have accumulated over the years about the INFP personality, based on research, personal experience, writing on this blog, and talking to other INFPs. In my imagination, I fancy myself a kind of INFP guru, or fairy godmother, who whisks a magical wand and—writes about secrets inside the hearts of INFPs, the daydreams, the struggles and tears, the love and joy.

These are all possibilities, Tenuous ones, I must admit, because I don’t know if I have the readership to do such a thing, or if anyone would be interested at all in donating or supporting my blog posts. Or how exactly to go about offering services—maybe advice columns?—that would be enough to create my own business and become self-employed. Really, I have no experience in anything of the sort, and kind of find myself expecting it to fall over on its face if I try, like a puppy taking its first steps.

In the end, as with everything in life, and in the healthiest possible way for INFPs, I will take it slow, and steady. I will be quiet, and gentle about things, as I naturally am, and we will see what comes of it. I hope you are all in good health, and doing much better in your lives than I am.

—Dreamerrambling

20 Habits of INFPs

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  1. Taking different routes to places because they feel more “unique” and “exciting”, like following fairy trails or something like that.
  2. Always trying very hard to focus on the other person and their face when speaking to them, in case we look like we are bored and are daydreaming, as we often are.
  3. Unable to resist the urge to try and befriend cats, and always getting disappointed when they turn out to be wild, feline creatures who do not warm up to us as much as they should.
  4. Falling in love with someone from afar. That’s it. There’s no plot twist, no ending: the only thing that happens in this love story is that the young woman or man pines beneath the balcony forever, while everyone else happily goes on with their lives, including the object of their affection.
  5. Wanting to be a writer but unable to realise this dream completely because of one’s scatterbrained nature or the reality of earning an income in this world.
  6. Scrolling through career options late into the night for the same careers or jobs—childcare worker, nurse, and other “caring” careers—just to reassure yourself that you do have some utility in this world despite your daydreamy nature.
  7. Feeling an urge to drop everything and escape to a farm somewhere and never letting this urge become a reality. Because INFPs, in case you haven’t noticed, are not good with reality.
  8. Wanting to escape into fictional worlds and lives for all eternity so the realities of life, such as earning a living in this world, never have to be faced.
  9. Feeling so lost in life in terms of career options you could scream, because it seems you were born for nothing more than sitting around in meadows, picking flowers and philosophising on the meaning of life. Unfortunately for us, no-one in their right mind would pay someone to do that.
  10. Making a decision to eat only organic and healthy food because that way one is more “in balance” with nature, but then giving it up because junk food is too tempting and you get too depressed not to rely on it sometimes.
  11. Contemplating, after realising how limited one’s career options are and how most of the ones INFPs seem suited for pay not very much at all, how bad would homelessness be, really, I mean, as long as you’re not starving it can’t be too bad, right?
  12. Wishing you were born into a different family, one that was able to nurture your sensitive, creative nature instead of trampling all over it, or worse, ignoring your “special needs” as an INFP offspring.
  13. Being unable to find things. Period. I don’t know about you, but there seriously must be an invisible wormhole following me around for much of my days, because that’s the only plausible reason I can give for losing everything I own.
  14. Gazing wistfully at other people and their lives and wondering how they manage to have it all together so well, so perfectly- poised and comfortable and happy. I can’t remember the last time I was utterly comfortable and happy in this world.
  15. Watching episodes of your favourite TV show instead of doing more important things, like chores. Actually, scratch that—reading books instead of doing chores, because reading is a much more pleasurable activity than pretty much anything else.
  16. Completing chores improperly. What do you mean, the dishes are still a little greasy? And that spot on the floor, I missed it? Well, I must have been thinking of something else.
  17. Getting lost when you go to new places and panicking to no end because when you get lost, you feel like you’ve fallen off the edge of the Earth and will never find your way home again.
  18. Rescuing tiny creatures, like slugs or ants, saving them from being flushed down the drain or drowning in a puddle of water. Because you care.
  19. Always being the friend who supports/admires/helps/compliments the other louder and more rambunctious friend, while silently daydreaming and writing on the side whenever you think the other friend isn’t looking.
  20. Having a long list of coping mechanisms for dealing with the realities of life—such as writing lists like these, eating junk food, and watching various movies—that do nothing whatsoever to help you to deal with the realities of life.

When Everything Seems Difficult

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One of the first signs that depression hasn’t completely released its hold on your life is if everything seems difficult, from the smallest of tasks, such as brushing one’s teeth, to bigger jobs, like applying for courses and making grown-up purchases. For me, it’s as if my brain has become, after the depressive episode, stuck in a kind of rut. In the past, I used to be able to write words and sentences with ease; now, they trip and stumble over each other on their way from my brain to the page, heavy and loaded with insecurities. When before I used to be able to immerse myself in fictional world for hours on end, now I find it a stretch to even write one scanty page of fiction a day.

It’s as if my mind has blacklisted, without asking me, all the tasks that I once found fun and enjoyable, and have now made them unbearable chores. It’s one of the reasons why I find it highly unlikely I’ll get published in my lifetime at this rate—not if even the writing of words sends me down a crazy spiral of despair! And to make matters worse, this lack of motivation and energy stretches to all domains of one’s life. Not only do I find the prospect of applying for my Diploma of Nursing next year complicated and unbearable, but I also find the very idea of finding a significant other and settling down and having a family an immense chore in the future, which, if I do manage to attain it, will require only more hard work and sweat and blood and tears. Laziness isn’t the reason for this—if that were the case, all I had to do was give myself a good talking to—but something more, a lassitude and lethargy of the soul, that makes all of existence as boring and monotonous as pushing pebbles up a hill with your fingers.

I feel terribly tiny and insignificant a lot of the time, and it is not a nice feeling. Sometimes, what I feel is anxiety—fear of homelessness, of not having food to eat or a roof over one’s head—but other times it’s this blank loneliness, wherein I feel myself to be little more than a speck of dust on the wind. In a sea of billions, I am nothing, and whether I live happily or miserably, die early or late, it matters little to the world, to the universe. Perhaps God, if He exists, cares, and a handful of people on the planet, but other than that, you and I, each and everyone of us, are tiny ants crawling across the surface of the planet, going about our daily lives, with our small cares and worries. Inevitably such thinking leads me back down into a state of depression, and I try to claw myself out of it by reminding myself that I am a miracle, and a part of nature and the Universe just like any other organism.

Life is hard. I think it’s hard because humans don’t really know what we want, and when we do get what we want, we often find we do not like it. Everything seems better when seen through the lens of “in-the-future”, but when that particular future becomes the present, we find that whatever we wanted–a family, a car, a house, a better job–actually makes life just as mundane and ordinary as when we didn’t possess it. And that’s the problem—after this depressive episode, I don’t know who I am or what I want anymore. At the moment, my only goal is to study so that I can eventually find a job and support myself financially, and that in itself will be a large mountain to surmount, but after that? Or during it? What do I want? Now that I no longer have the prospect of becoming a fiction writer in my life, I am left adrift, my identity scattered and broken. And I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to put myself back together again.