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.

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12 Life Tips For INFPs

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This post is courtesy of Louis, who wanted to read a blog post about INFP life stuff and tips. Thank you, Louis, for your suggestion, and if you would like to donate to my Patreon page, you can find it here, at http://www.patreon.com/dreamerrambling

Onto the blog post. Here is a list of 12 life tips for INFPs. While I have written quite a few lists over the years, I don’t think I’ve written one exclusively on tips for INFPs. So, here we go.

1. Carry a book around with you wherever you.

Not only is this a good idea for the average person, for an INFP, it is a must, as it means you can dive into a fantasy world wherever you go. Sounds pretty good to me.

2. Carry some lollies with you wherever you go.

Hear me out on this one. INFPs go through a lot of stress in life, whether it be a job interview or having to make an important, nerve-wracking call, and sometimes, after feeling so frazzled, you feel the need to give yourself a treat. This is where the lollies come in. Don’t chow down the whole bag—just give yourself one, because, as an INFP, you deserve it. It can be whatever kind of food you enjoy most, in an easy, accessible bag: chips, sweets, any sort of candy, you name it.

3. Try to reduce your daydreaming.

Now, I know this is a hard one, but I’ve found that it is better to daydream less about what your life could be like and spend more time in your actual life. Otherwise, you will miss most of your life as it reels past you, and, what’s more, most of the daydreams never come true—a handsome prince, riding out of the sunset, anyone?—so following this tip prevents you from suffering any disappointment.

4. Push yourself to go beyond your boundaries.

If it were up to us, we’d just spend our days at home all day long, indulging in our creative pursuits and films, movies and books. But that’s not how the real world works, and in this world, one has to work, to socialise, and put food on the table. Pushing yourself to do things, such as going shopping, or going for that job interview, will not only make you feel happier with life overall, because you feel more confident and able, but it’s a very good INFP habit to practise, as it means you will not stagnate.

5. Try to date.

Nerve-wracking as it is, INFPs are the type to yearn for a partner, so it is a good thing to go out there and join the dating scene. Whenever we are alone, or single, no matter how good the rest of our life is, some part of us feels a little lost and miserable. All of us need that one, special person in lives, and INFPs do more so than others sometimes—someone who can understand us, who wants to peel away the layers of our guarded personalities to the true treasure underneath. So, give it a try—what can you lose? My advice with dating, though, is to take it slow, be safe and never jump into things if you have a bad feeling about them. If you’re dating online, always make sure to meet in a public space.

6. Try to reduce the amount of public transport you take.

Sometimes, this isn’t possible, especially if you live far from your workplace, but it is a good idea to take less public transport, as it is something that can drain INFPs. The crammed carriages of a train, the busy commute—all of that isn’t conducive to an INFP’s happiness. So, try to walk, or even ride a bike; it’ll take a lot of the stress and anxiety that comes with commuting, and the close proximity with strangers, away.

7. Never be afraid to leave a bad situation.

This can be harder than it sounds, especially if the bad situation is a job, which you do not like. But I’m not just talking about a job you do not like here—I’m talking about a toxic situation, so, if it were a job, it would be one where you not only not like the work, but you are bullied and belittled every single day. Bad situations are absolutely psychologically soul-destroying for INFPs, and can take ages for us to recover from them, whether it be a situation where you are being bullied, or a job you loathe so much just the thought of going to work for another day makes you want to melt into a puddle of despair on the floor and never get up. Whenever a situation makes you feel like that, you know it’s time to leave it.

8. Reach out to other INFPs.

Whether in real life, or through the internet (actually, through the internet is more likely), it’s always a good idea to find other like-minded people, so if you can somehow communicate with INFPs, such as in a forum or through an email correspondence, you can find it does wonders for your mental health. As INFPs, we can understand each other on a level sometimes other people can’t, and relate to each other, help each other, and give personalised advice that can strike us to the core.

9. Depression is often common amongst INFPs, and that’s because we have a habit of mulling over things too much.

We get inside our heads, and never come out of them. One of the best ways to beat depression is to keep yourself busy, whether that’s with work, or job searching, or interviews, or friends and family, creative pursuits, etc. An INFP that has nothing to do is more likely to get depressed.

10. Have a safe haven.

This almost goes without saying, but every INFP needs their own bedroom, or couch, or a special place where they can relax and unwind. We need this because we often find our jobs and the outside world quite stressful. In fact, scratch that: the outside world and our jobs, since they are both stimulating, is extremely stressful, and if we didn’t have our own room to go back to at the end of the day, to recharge and rejuvenate, we would go mad. So, a safe haven is a must.

11. Try to be involved in your creative pursuits on a daily basis.

Sometimes, INFPs, especially if they don’t work in a creative job, neglect the creative side of themselves, and this can be a big mistake. Creativity is a natural aspect of our personality type, and when we are allowed to flourish creatively, we feel more whole as a person. Whether it’s writing, dancing, singing, drawing, painting, or even just doodling, try to incorporate it as part of your daily routine, so you always have a creative outlet.

12. Make friends who do not drain you.

You know very well the type of people who drain your energy instead of give it. They are loud, boisterous, and all they do, taking advantage of your kind, giving and calm nature, is offload all their problems onto you, or jabber about themselves all day long. Let go of these people, and make friends who are a little more staid, who listen to and care about you, and provide a kind of haven from the rest of the world instead of someone that buffets the storm that is life even further.

Look out for a Part 2!

How To Love Yourself When You Are An Outsider

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The clamor for good self-esteem has become almost cliché, an excuse for parading out a barrage of aphorisms: Love Yourself For Who You Are, Accept Yourself, Love Yourself and Others Shall Love You, Woman.

Whether that means loving your skin, or eyes, despite the White Beauty ideals seen on magazines and television; or flaunting those curves or hips rather than hiding them, it is part of a new wave of Self-Love scouring across society.

And sure, I can relate.

Being Asian myself, and very thin to boot (throughout school, I was teased mercilessly for my stick-thin wrists, and a girl once, upon raking her eyes over my spindly body in a bathing suit during swim class before puberty hit, pronounced me a “monkey” – skinny-shaming is just as debilitating as fat-shaming), I have had to deal with self-confidence issues related to these two traits, just like people who are a little on the plump side, people with disabilities, any physical signifier that classifies them as “Ugly” or “Other”.

But so much of the recent Self-Love onslaught focuses on appearances, particularly the appearances of women. And while that is all good and important, humans being highly visual creatures, very little attention to paid to the confidence issues one has to deal with by having a particular personality.

Personality is the true determining factor of your self-confidence, I think, at least in one’s younger years. It is much easier to feel happy with yourself when others seek out your company, like to talk with you; when you feel loved, approved of, accepted – and when peer acceptance is not present, low self-esteem is often, unfortunately, a natural consequence.

For instance, for many years I was made to feel defective for being introverted, so introspective that I barely paid any attention to the real world reeling by before my eyes. In the media, in modern literature, a new breed of the ideal woman was sprouting forth to smash traditional gender barriers: independent and bold and confident – in other words, extroverted. Though this “New Woman” allowed for greater opportunities among the female populace, at least in Western countries, doing so only replaced a previous admittedly debilitating standard for women with another – less constraining, yes, but a new standard to measure oneself up against, nonetheless.

Being Asian, in this case, actually made matters worse, as there is this absolutely nonsensical stereotype that all Asian women (I do hate using racial monikers; we’re individuals, not groups; people do not think all, say, brunettes or Caucasian men possess the same personality type, so why the generalizations?) are shy and submissive. As an INFP, a personality type which naturally, even among males, is conflict-averse, withdrawn, dreamy and, yes, has a tendency to be quiet and shy and burrowed in a corner with a book, I fit into this stereotype perfectly.

But, racial stereotypes aside, it is a fact that introverts, or any outsiders, have greater difficulty with self-esteem than their extroverted or more accepted counterparts. People find “confidence” (Read: Extroverted) beautiful, they find a “sense of humor” (Read: Usually Gregarious) attractive; and those who are shy, reserved, slightly weird, are overlooked or disliked, dubbed sometimes, infuriatingly, as possessing no personality at all.

It is hard, to learn to love yourself, when not only do people not seem to like you, they do not even see you.

How can you love something that does not exist?

On top of being shy, introspective, and skinny as a rake, I also had Asperger’s, suffered from social anxiety, and, lo and behold, was a creative thinker and writer – and we all know how solitary and odd writers or original thinkers have a habit of feeling in mainstream society, probably accounting for their general recluse lifestyles throughout history. This is not me complaining (Oh, Delia, my dear, I had such a hard time of it, you can’t possibly imagine!); all I am doing is trying to point out the various contributing factors, along with living in a low-income household that could not afford items such as new clothing more than every few years (“daggy” clothes are not great for popularity), that led me to have such low self-esteem for years, and years. Long, long suffering years.

Oh, actually, I am garnering for a little sympathy here, but it comes from a good place: perhaps some of you out there can relate, to any of this, and will feel less alone for it.

The bullying from my peers, ranging from abuse to exclusion, the days spent hidden in the back of the library, the days spent watching television showcasing people who looked nothing like me, a lack of supportive friends, not looking right, acting right – all this, for an excruciatingly sensitive and aware child, and later teenager, added up. I did not like myself – no, I loathed myself.

As if that wasn’t enough, once the Self-Love movement took off, self-help books flying off the shelves, people told me I just had to realise I was “worthy”.

Yes, indeed; it is easy to feel worthy without the particular history I had, without the particular brain and psychology, the particular body, skin, experiences; it is easy for you to say that, when you are talkative and loved and have never spent time alone in the bathrooms, imagining yourself being flushed down the toilet in a gurgling swirl of oblivion; it is easy for you to say that, when you are not slightly neurologically different from others, when you do not feel like an Outsider, when you are not so sensitive each day is a tiny battle, each night a time to cry, and bandage your accumulated wounds.

It is easy to say that, when you are Extroverted, or Straight, or a Non-Minority, or Well-Liked, or Neurotypical, or Male (though this is unfair, men, on average, tend to suffer from fewer self-esteem problems than Women), or Non-HSP, or Non-INFP, or Well-Off and can Fit In Happily.

(Note: I do not mean to say that Extroverted, Straight, Caucasian, Well-Liked, Neurotypical, Wealthy or Male individuals do not have any problems: I am simply trying to make a point that when you are an Insider, it is rather presumptuous to dole out voice to an Outsider)

It is easy for you to say that I simply must feel “worthy”, when everything and everyone your life has affirmed that, and everything in mine has pointed to the contrary.

Frankly, just being an INFP and Highly Sensitive, especially if you are male, is enough to lower your self-confidence drastically, let alone the extra baggage I dragged around. What’s worse, being sensitive dreamers, we have a tendency to blame ourselves whenever anything goes wrong.

People, extroverted individuals surrounded by friends, told me, I should tell myself I was “worthy”. They were speaking from a good place; they just wanted to help. But when I was unsuccessful at raising my self-confidence that way, I believed there was something wrong with me. I grew ashamed of my lack of self-esteem, which only fueled the self-hatred.

I was a big, fat Not.

Not curvy enough. Not talkative enough. Not outspoken enough. Not friendly enough. Not normal enough. Not realistic enough. Not pretty enough. Not. Not. Not. Not. Not. Not.

Also, I was a big, fat Too.

Too weird. Too quiet. Too shy. Too strange. Too sensitive. Too poor. Too androgynous. Too isolated. Too skinny. Reads Too much. Thinks Too much. Head Too stuck in the clouds.

Above all, what drove the pain deeper, and still stabs me now and then today, was my unbearable loneliness, for I had no friends – and loneliness, as you may well know, only breeds further insecurity. A young female, or male, lonely and misunderstood, is bound to have some problems loving themselves without either a dose of wisdom or intervention.

In my case, the intervention was internal. And the recovery slow.

Yes, I did realise I was fine, just the way I was; that many writers, throughout history, had been considered eccentric, reclusive, shy, and many even had Asperger’s – so I was not alone, really; and perhaps, if I was not the way I was, I would not have my creativity, or interest in writing, or my imagination. That being shy daydreamer does not make me submissive woman; I have my own inner strength, only it is expressed differently. That the negative opinions of other people, though they hurt when expressed (“Shit! Look at your wrist: Are you anorexic?” “You’re too, um, quiet”) are less important than how I think about myself.

But the turning point, for me, was the realisation that, in the end, no-one really cares whether you are strange or different or shy, as everyone is too focused on themselves, and that everyone, even the most privileged, like all humans, go through their share of suffering. Sure, you may suffer more, you may feel lonely more frequently – but is that so bad a price to pay, for your unique gifts of sensitivity, compassion, creativity, perspective etc.? You may be disadvantaged in some respects, but blessed in others. Everyone is good at something; everyone has a spark, deep within them.

It is true, what they say: self-acceptance does come from the inside; but you will not find it by repeating mantras to yourself (I am worthy, I am worthy, please let me feel worthy…), or pretending you like being an outcast, or wearing a mask of superiority (Those unoriginal commoners!).

Instead, it comes from having a realistic outlook – no-one really cares that much about you, so you might as well care for you – and feeling compassion for all human beings. Even those who possess all the traits society accepts, they, just like you, have their moments of awkwardness, isolation, their own internal conflicts and problems.

We are all outcasts, deep in our hearts, only some people are better at hiding it. By the same token, we are all beautiful, in our unique and wonderful ways, and even if other people do not see or affirm it, you must. Hard as it may be to possess a trait that deviates from the norm, you can use it to your advantage and, if not like, at least accept your differences, in spite of the pain, in spite of the suffering.

Loving yourself, as an outsider, is not about never feeling uncomfortable or out of place among other people; that will never go away. Instead, it is about feeling Acceptance and Compassion: For The People Around You, For Others, and, most of all, For Yourself.

More Confused Than Ever

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I have decided almost to go back and continue my studies. Work in the age care industry hasn’t always been what I’ve wanted it to be. In fact, it is not the kind of field I really want to go into. Not only is the work physically strenuous, but you have to be involved with urine and faeces on a daily basis, something which I find rather disturbing and difficult.

Anyway. The plan is either to go into childcare, and get a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Care, or to go back and do my HSC again, including English units of study, Business studies, and so on and so forth (it is the equivalent of Year 12, or the last year of highschool, in Australia). There is pressure, pressing on me on all sides, and I don’t know if I can truly complete my studies, especially since I haven’t entered into them for quite some time.

Right now, I’m holding onto hopes of getting published. It may seem like a pipe-dream to some, but writing, for me, is my life, and I can’t simply just let it go, just like that. It is everything to me. Whether I was aware of it or not, I have been trying, over the years, to get myself to a point where I was able to live off my writing, ever since I was five years and opened a book and then picked up a pencil. Writing, to me, is everything. There is nothing beyond it, and nothing behind it; all that exists for me, is an endless avenue of writing, going into the distance. I wish I could completely enunciate how much it means to me.

But what if you don’t have enough talent? What if you don’t have the ability to write well, to fully create your worlds and characters? What if, everyday, the threat of homelessness looms, and you feel as though something very tight, but small, is tightening around your neck? I think I fulfil the requirements of a starving artist. I have no income, I am hopping from career to career, trying to find the right job, and having no success, and now, after all this time, I am considering going back to school. It is rather laughable. And not to mention the fact that I can’t even begin to describe how I feel right now, quitting age care after so many ups and downs in my life. Some of you may not know this, but I became very depressed and sick, for the last three or so years; basically, depression, and a brief psychotic episode, took three years of my life from me, preventing me from studying or working. That is a pretty long period of time, and I only wish I could take it back, and start again. Too bad.

I am a different person to when I was in highschool. In highschool, I was stiff, anxious, and easily hurt; people knew me as the quiet one. Why? Because of some incidents during my childhood with my father. He was abusive, and because of that, I was scared of everyone, and everything. It didn’t matter whether I was good at this, or that; either way, I was the child who was worthless. What was more, and this is something I haven’t told anyone yet, I was sexually harassed by this man who was a close family member. All in all, I suffered quite the blow.

Enough. I have written enough about me. Thank you, if you have read so far, for being interested in my little life. It means the world to me. Through my blog, I have friends, people who understand me, who care about me. People who read, and listen. People who empathise, sympathise. It makes me feel good. It really does.

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.

Starting an INFP Entrepreneurship

**To get INFP and general life advice, or Skype counselling conversations, click HERE or the link: http://www.patreon.com/dreamerrambling

Well. I certainly have been mulling over this for quite some time, and, in the past, I even attempted it, though it led nowhere, but since I’ve become jobless, and started thinking about other career options, I’ve decided it might be a good idea to start an INFP business. In fact, as of right now, I officially—

What? Oh, right. Services. What services will I provide. Right. Um. To be honest, I’m not so sure. In fact, I don’t even know the beginnings of how to start a business, let alone how to make one flourish. This idea has just been floating around in my head the last few days—why not become an entrepreneur? I mean, I’ve got this blog, and it’s got a certain number of followers, and a certain number of hits a day—usually above 300 everyday, sometimes 450—and, sooner or later, I will have to earn a living for myself. So far, if you’ve been reading any of my posts lately, you’ll know that I’ve hit an absolute career slump in life, and right now, the only option I have is to go into childcare—there’s a course that start in July—but I know, for an introvert like me, it will kind of be the worst job ever, so I’m kind of just, well, considering other options.

Phew. So here I am, asking you for help. What kind of services would you be interested in paying for, that I could provide, on the topic of INFPs? I get an awful lot of emails about INFPs—I keep forgetting to check my email, unfortunately, and haven’t replied to a lot of them (my deepest apologies; I will do better) but I’ve been considering, over the past couple of hours, other ways to provide services people need. For instance, people could email me questions about being an INFP, and I could give them advice, perhaps $5 for 500 words of advice. Things like that. Or I could become a wordsmith life coach, and charge a couple of dollars here and there to give life advice to other INFPs. Of course, I am only young, but, if you look at my blog, I have a wealth of quirky knowledge about INFPs, and what it means to be an Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Perceiving type of person. And of course, I could take phone calls, through Skype, where I could talk to you, and you could pay me $10 for around 30 minutes of advice.

I don’t know. It’s all up in the air at the moment. For instance, I don’t really know how, exactly, to set up a business. I think you can do it through Paypal—but then again, like I said, I still need to figure it out. But, really, guys, this is just an alternative to the typical jobs out there. I have this blog, I might as well make something out of it. Likely everything I earn will just be pocket money—never enough to truly sustain myself—and I’ll have to get a proper job eventually, but, for the meantime, it certainly is an option. And I promise I am not in it just to make money. I truly will enjoy giving INFPs advice, and talking to you on the phone (though I am shy, so be wary), and the money I earn will be extremely little, if at all (depending on whether people actually want my services).

It’s just an idea. Let me know what you think. I would very much like to help other INFPs out there, and become a kind of INFP-ish entrepreneur, the first of its kind. My “customers”, especially if you’ve been following me for a while, will know that they’ll be helping a creative, introverted person out in this world, and helping fund their writing pursuits. Thank you. 🙂

I Wish Something Exciting Would Happen

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I have a really good feeling about this book I’ve written, and which I’ve recently sent out to publishers. If I posted it on this blog, I am sure you would like it—bearing in mind that, it is a children’s book, and therefore subject to all sorts of whimsy and randomness. But I still haven’t heard back from publishers.

Lately, I have been exhausted. Working in age care has completely tired me out, probably because I showered three different people today. It was really not the best day. I am always stressed I’m going to do something wrong; that maybe I’ll push the hoist in the wrong direction, or something like that, and get very nervous when I am showering the residents, in case they fall or something. Gosh, I think I used the word something three times in that one sentence.

Lately—oh, goodness, there I go again, using the same word at the beginning of the paragraph; I don’t know what’s gotten into me today—I’ve been feeling rather depressed. And it’s not just the age care job, although it has become more tiring and stressful. No job is easy, so I can put up with that. It just feels as though there should be something more to life, something magical. That’s all. It’s very INFP of me to feel this way, but I constantly feel as though I’m waiting for something fantastic to happen, just around the corner, in a constant state of joyful anticipation.

Maybe…I’ll get published, next week, or next month, receiving a letter in my email? Maybe the guy of my dreams will come waltzing into my life next week? Maybe this, maybe that; it goes on. But nothing ever happens; at least, not yet. I wonder why. I know God does answer my prayers, because he has answered a couple already, but, at the same time, the bigger issues, related to my happiness, like a love interest, or publication, or a pet, or something happening out of the ordinary—I don’t know, I just wonder, sometimes, when it will happen, that’s all. Do you ever get that feeling?

I suppose it’s the kind of thing everyone wishes for, to be whisked out of their boring, little life, and off into a magical adventure. A trip to Paris, paid suddenly by a kind stranger (no, this one is quite ridiculous and impossible, even I can see that), or meeting someone suddenly in a coffee shop, or finding $10 in the middle of the street (well, you should probably give it to the police in the event of that happening), or suddenly getting a call from a publisher saying they’ll publish your book…

I’m a bit obsessed with getting my book published, aren’t I? I simply feel as though I will die if it doesn’t happen, especially since I wrote a book I was really, really proud of. I mean, if it doesn’t happen in the next three months, I could always send it to another publisher, but, it isn’t the same, is it, since one publisher has already rejected you and that means there is potential for it to happen again.

I like my books. I really do. If they were printed out, I would read them. Perhaps many of you would, as well. Everyone who comes to my blog is so kind, and encouraging, I feel as though I don’t deserve you all. Thank you for always being here for me, for reading, and commenting, and caring, it truly means the world to me.

Oh! I just wish something would happen. Right now. I wouldn’t mind if it was angels descending from the sky, and some kind of freak wind storm that doesn’t cause any harm but just creates a bit of excitement. Hopefully you are leading more exciting lives than I am right now—instead, I’ve just got the weekend to look forward to, before the work week starts again, and drudgery and work begins.

Updates On This INFP’s Life

bird

Well, there’s good news, and there’s bad news.

The bad news is—nothing! (Well, apart from world-wide suffering, deforestation and animal cruelty, of course). I just—sorry, was that a bad joke? Sorry. It’s just that, in movies and films, they always have that line, “bad news” and “good news”, and it’s like, well, I thought I’d just try it out for a change.

The good news is, I recently finished another book. This one, I will be sending into a publisher next week Thursday. After a couple more edits—just skim-overs—it’ll be done, and then, off it goes, to its new fate: maybe it’ll get accepted, maybe it won’t. Either way, at least I gave it a go, as Australians like to say.

It’s a book…well, to be honest, I can’t actually say anything about it without ruining everything. Let’s just say, there’s a train in it, and lots of magic. A magical train. And that is as far as I’ll go. Sorry. If it ever gets published—I am really proud of this one, so it has, I don’t know, maybe a 1% chance of actually getting accepted—then you’ll all find out what it is about!

I’m also turning the book I have posted on this blog into a full-fledged book. I don’t know what to do about the copy I already have on this blog though, because if the new book gets published, and someone—say, from the publishers—stumbles across this blog, and finds a similar piece of work on it, I might get in trouble for copyright, for copying myself! Anyway. That’s all stuff in the offing; I haven’t even got a single reply from a publisher yet, in my entire life.

There is bad news. The bad news is, despite being already in my twenties, I have never dated, or been on a date, or kissed a man, or even dabbled in anything close to a relationship.
Certainly, I am happy with the life I am living now, indulging in my passions part-time while working the rest of the time, but at night—and NOT for sexual reasons—I do get rather lonely, and feel it would be nice to cuddle up with someone. Preferably someone who is not my own mother. It’s just not the same.

I have considered online dating, but then, people tell me that’s a kettle of fish you have to be prepared to dip your toes into. You just never know who you might meet.

Let’s see. What else? Nothing, really. I have been sleeping an awful lot lately, since it is the long weekend here in Australia. It was Australia Day! A day to celebrate how wonderful it is to live in Australia, for all people. I do like Australia. It is my home, after all. Apart from the very rare racist person, in fact, it’s pretty excellent.

Well, that’s it from me. I am, for once, actually running out of things to say. In the past, many people have wronged me, or picked on me, and, as I live my life, and grow happier and more confident, I sometimes wish, with the taste of bitter regret in my mouth, that I had been as confident and sure as myself from the very beginning, instead of painfully shy and sensitive, and an easy target. Well, that’s really it. See you later.

PS: I sometimes get comments regarding music, and I would just like to say, just for the record, that Taylor Swift is practically all I ever listen to. As an INFP, her music resonates with me on a very deep, very great level, and I adore her, and ALL of her music.

Diary Entry 3

Nothing much has been happening in my life lately, and I couldn’t think of a good topic to write about, so this will be another rambling entry, a peek into the life and mind of another human being. I haven’t been sleeping well these past few days, and it’s been bothering me. I can’t seem to get comfortable. I don’t much like beds, strangely enough; I find them to be dull and lonely places, and much prefer sleeping in public places, on transport and at libraries. There’s just something so awful about sleeping by yourself in a stuffy bed in a room all by yourself that I ended up watching three Youtube videos last night—each of them of a woman holiday in Virginia Islands, Venice and Morocco—before spending the rest of the night lying in bed trying to fall asleep and failing terribly. To be honest, very few things interest me these days, not books I used to like, not films. All of reality is starting to feel dull, except for my own reading of nursing topics, such as health assessments and anatomy. There’ s just something so fascinating about disease, and the human body; all of life is such a miracle, even when things go wrong. I think it would be good for my studies to start soon, if only so I can have some human interaction and make some more friends. These days, since I have nothing much to do except study nursing topics and do a bit of creative writing, I try and leave the house and go to the library everyday, just for a change of environment and so that I can be around other people. I might be introverted, but even the most  shy and hermit=like of introverts would grow depressed spending hours by themselves in an empty hours for days on end, as I have been doing.

Let’s see. What else is there to talk about. The purpose of pieces like this is for you to feel almost as though you are having a conversation with me, in person, though in reality it’s really basically my substitute for friendship at the moment, since I don’t have many friends and likely won’t be making any new ones anytime soon. I find it very hard to find good friends. Sometimes, people just don’t get along, no matter how polite and affable both parties are, it’s a very strange and peculiar thing. In fact, apart from friends I’ve made online (and mostly through this blog), I don’t think I’ve ever met someone I felt completely comfortable and happy around. Maybe my father, perhaps, but he has long left the arena of my life, so there’s no point in dwelling on that anymore. Good human company is rare. That’s why I spend so much of my time alone. I wish I could get a cat. I love cats, and they make great company, in a soft and silent way. I wonder what it is about myself that makes it hard for me to find friends? Is it my personality? I’m a very quiet, subdued, calm person, who likes writing and daydreaming, so I think people I would get along with would be particularly kind or sensitive people, who can see beyond an introverted exterior into the heart of the person within. If I ever get a boyfriend, he would certainly have to be a very kind and patient man.

It worries me, my introverted nature. I don’t know how I am going to cope with the constant social interaction as a nurse, though I suppose I could just act as a medical professional and get the job done without engaging in too much social chit-chat. Oh, here’s something interesting that happened recently: after a long drought, I picked up my creative writing again. Only a little of it, because writing fiction for too long tires me out, but I’m writing again, at the very least, which is always a good thing. I don’t know what I want at the moment. I feel  kind of quiet and lost, like an orphan sitting on the steps of a house holding a cat in her lap, silently looking out at the world moving past around her. Lately I’ve been realising how very ordinary I am, and how I will simply live and die, and that will be that. It’s not a nice thought. Surely there must be something more to life than the world we see before our eyes?

Where is my place in this world? Where do I belong? In books, in worlds of the imagination—but even they, these days, are starting to feel empty. I don’t know quite how to explain it, but even books these days are starting to seem ordinary, because they were created by human hands and human minds. I want something otherworldly to happen to the world. I want magic to be real and true. I want angels to descend from the skies and hell fires to burn in people’s fireplaces. There was once a time when even a Vegemite sandwich was a source of novelty and delight for me, but now, everything seems so—so irritatingly ordinary. I don’t know if I am making much sense. Maybe it would be a good idea for me to spend a little money and go watch a movie or something, just to spice things up a little, or at least make plans to save for traveling somewhere so I do not entirely lose my zest for life. Existence just seems very pointless, really, and all our efforts, all pleasures and joys, silly and meaningless. Not even cupcakes cheer me up. It’s not good.

 

A Dreamer Tries To Help: Q&A

Bottle 1

Since the birth of this blog two years ago, I have received quite a few messages, through comments and emails, from other lost, lonely and struggling souls – many of whom who identify with the Myer-Briggs Personality Type INFP, but also people who are simply sensitive, often introverted and feel as though they do not belong.

It has become very apparent to me that this world pushes some people to the fringes of society – and if we’re honest with ourselves, we’re happier living on the edges than amongst the throng.

We belong in the corners and the crevices, behind the secret doors and within the hidden alcoves.

However, despite liking being “different”, it does make surviving in society difficult. Sometimes very, very difficult. And there are a lot of us experiencing those difficulties. So I thought I would start a weekly Questions & Answers post, where I transpose a person’s message for help onto a blog post and try and answer it as best as I can.

That way, it will help the person who is asking (or sometimes wailing out into the ether in despair) and also anyone else who stumbles across my blog who might be struggling with similar issues.

In my head, I have sort of, well, “anointed” myself as a little, quiet supporter for misfits all around the world. A warrior, fighting for those who are too sensitive, too quiet, too strange, and who do not belong, kitted out in silvery armour etched with gamboling kittens and books, and my trusty sword named Edgar Allen Poe – please, do not laugh, he is a rather sensitive sword (which makes battles rather tiresome, mind you, as he never wants to hurt the enemy, which completely defeats the purpose of fighting in the first place, in my opinion) and you will most likely hurt his feelings and I shall have to deal with the mess. Do know how badly sword-tears rust metal?

Edgar, however, approves of subterfuge tactics, which do not actually involve shedding blood, like encouraging and helping other misfits with words so that we can rise up and silently take over the world. Or at least feel a little less sad, tired, and alone.

This whole thing, really, was mostly his idea, conjured up so he could wriggle out of fighting our enemies, like Mean Corporations Who Care About Money Instead Of People and other Selfish, Heartless Nincompoops. Fortunately, it was a good one.

Songbird asks:

“I am an INFP female, 55 years old, but, in all honesty, not only do I not ACT my age, I certainly don’t FEEL my age, and I don’t look my age, either. I feel very much like I did when I was about 9 years old. I can remember my feelings of “not fitting in”, and how in the world to try to “look and act the part” so vividly; it’s because I feel those same feelings, now.

I crave time alone. I got exhausted on phone calls. I love to talk when the conversation is interesting, but I am so passionate and have such a hard time trying to explain myself and I feel so misunderstood that my talking is perceived as “excessive”. Although, I talk no more and quite often less than friends when we are talking together.

It’s just that THEY talk about the things that they all understand and want to talk about–things that I don’t really care about, understand, movies that I haven’t seen and don’t want to see, tv shows that I have never watched and have no interest in watching, etc. I want to discuss an amazing book I’ve read and how that book actually spoke to me, stuff like that. Sometimes I feel like I am being looked at like I have lobsters crawling out of my ears.

It is VERY, VERY hard being an INFP. When I get “labeled” a “talker” or “eccentric” or whatever, I feel that I have been somewhat permanently, dismissed.

I am also a musician, which just seems to compound the problem. I am extremely artistic and creative. I have taken on the “this is who I am, and if you don’t like it, too bad” attitude, and it works for me for a while, but deep down, in my heart of hearts, I just feel misunderstood. I am becoming worn out with dealing with people. It is getting to be just too much trouble to try to deal with. I would like to go back to teaching music in my private studio and not have to put up with he politics of dealing with a public school setting or all of the women that are found in same.

I have had my feelings hurt countless times, and I have forgiven, but I am at the point now that I am ready to not only forgive, but to just move on.

I am just too tired to continue to try to put forth the effort to fit my “square and eccentric self” into this round hole of “normal existence in day to day life”.

I love VERY deeply. I care very, very deeply. I do NOT give up on my passions and I am a champion for the children that I teach. They need me very desperately, a many of them have no one else. The problem is, I have poured out so much that I am beginning to feel that I need to be re-filled. If I were to try to explain ANY of this to anyone else, they would actually believe that I had lost my mind.

So, I just don’t even try. I just continue to suffer in silence. I have always, and still do, LOVE small spaces and to be closed in, by myself in the dark with only soft light, where no one really knows where I am, and I can read my book, by myself. I can have my dog with me and just sit back and read.

All of these things would literally make others want to look for the closest mental hospital to check me in to.

I am just so tired. Does anyone else feel this way? If so, and I’m sure that you do, how do you cope? What do you do when you get so hurt and laughed at about “talking too much” when you suddenly believe that you might have picked up on something in a conversation that you can relate to and explain yourself?

What do you do when you are so deeply hurt in your workplace and so close to retirement that you just can’t really leave? I am at a complete loss and I am actually thinking that I would much prefer to stand behind a bar in a restaurant and serve mugs of beer to people that I don’t have to get so “close to”, I can “chat” a bit if I have the energy, or not, and then, at the proper time, I can leave with my purse.

Any suggestions from anyone???”

Dear Songbird,

I feel your pain.

When I say “I feel your pain”, I don’t mean it lightly, the way some people do when they say it which often makes you annoyed at their insincerity: I honestly feel your pain, because I have gone through the same kind of pain.

Though I am a little younger than you are, I have been told that I am wise beyond my years – of course, you may disagree – and hopefully I can give you some suggestions to ease your suffering.

First of all, there is nothing wrong you with you. You just have a heart, one a little more powerful than most, and a personality which does not mesh well with the rest of society. There is nothing wrong or strange about wanting to sit in a dimly lit room with your dog, where it is quiet and safe, and read, preferably for the rest of your life. There is nothing wrong or strange about caring very deeply, or feeling too much.

Your problem is that you are burnt-out from prolonged, unfulfilling interactions with society. No-one understands you, and when you reveal your true self, even just a brief glimpse of it, you are subtly rejected, which, being sensitive, stabs you to the core. You yearn to speak on subjects that matter to you – the books you read, the world of the imagination, philosophy – but no-one else seems the least bit interested, and you are left alone and baffled, unable to form a connection with anybody.

What you have to realise is that you will never receive the validation and understanding that you crave from most of the people you meet. It simply isn’t possible; it’s like trying to describe what a jungle is, exactly, to a fish. So my advice is – and this is based on experience – don’t even try.

I, myself, have launched into effusive bursts of talk, only to be looked at strangely, my skin burning with shame and rejection. To protect yourself, then, stop letting glimpses of your true self seep out, because people who reject your true self don’t deserve to see it. If you must interact with people who do not understand and never will an atom of your being, then act. Play pretend. Make it fun, which will make it less tiring; see it as game, a secret show you are putting on that only you know about.

And then exit from the interaction, as quickly and politely as possible. Any friends who don’t understand you and just drain your energy – cut them from your life. For once, be a little selfish, and take care of yourself, and spend your time doing things you like to do, rather than talking about things you have no interest in.

But what if, as in the case of work, the unfulfilling and prolonged interactions are constant, and exhausting?

There are a few solutions to this.

One, is to start carving out as much alone time as possible at work, by eating lunch in your own office or classroom rather than with everyone else, or even escaping into the toilet cubicles with a book.

It’s best, I’ve found, to establish a shy and retiring persona in the eyes of others, as that way there is less expectation that you will be talkative and chatty, and you will be less exhausted.

You can also make excuses to avoid interactions with people (there is no shame in this as it allows you to preserve your own energy), either by professing you are unwell and are therefore not in the mood for talking (say it as politely as possible, not bluntly) or that you are very busy, and “exceedingly sorry that you do not have the time to chat.”

In addition, you can try and spend more time with your students, who are, because they tap into your empathy, perhaps a little less draining to interact with than the women at your workplace. To stop letting phone-calls deplete your energy, you can try (though sometimes you simply must answer some calls, as per the requirements of your job) to use Text Messages and emails more often.

However, in the end, these are merely attempts to put Humpty Dumpty back together using plastic tape. It doesn’t solve the problem, which is that you are a retiring and extremely introverted person forced into an environment that requires you to be extroverted on a daily basis. It’s like forcing a man who can only walk two miles a day due to lung problems to run a lap of his entire town in under five hours. It’s agony, like you are screaming inside every minute of the day and will do so until you retire – trust me, I know.

Thus, if you follow these tips, you are still going to be tired – just less so. You might even become more stressed and tired because people might start thinking you are aloof or snobbish, or asking where you start disappearing to all the time, and why, exactly, you aren’t eating lunch with them anymore or answering their phone-calls. If you think you can tolerate work by inserting these little “breathers” into your day, then everything’s good, and you will be able to wake up in the morning without feeling miserable.

However, chances are, if you are anything like me, the only true solution to your problems is to find another job, where there is less pressure or need to interact and put on an act.

As musician, this might mean, as you said yourself, opening a studio and teaching students one-by-one or in small groups privately, which eliminates co-workers and where the only interaction you have to withstand is with your students and their parents.

You could also try seeking a job with a different organisation, perhaps a smaller one, with less people and less pressure to talk, where you just teach, finish the lessons, and then go home. At the time, you should try and sock away more money into your retirement fund so you could perhaps retire earlier, and sink into the solitude you crave, and try live on less, so you can, for example, work only part-time and still survive.

I would not look longingly towards retirement as the gateway to peace and serenity. I don’t know where you live, but here in Australia, both women and men retire at 65, so it’ll probably be a good decade or so before you can leave the workforce. You need to find peace and serenity now. Finding a job more suited to your social needs, saving away more chunks of money so you can perhaps retire earlier – or have more freedom to hop from one job to another in order to find the right fit – and perhaps working part-time is the best way to do this.

As for not being able to find anyone to relate to, you could start a blog to pour out your feelings and experiences, as I did, or join a forum where you can meet other INFPs (like Personality Cafe), in order to fulfill your need for meaningful interaction without the downside of having your energy drained.

It’s also Okay to be a loner. Offline, I do not have a single friend who truly understands me, and, partly due to other issues unrelated to being an INFP, spend much of my time alone, or simply with my siblings who, having grown up with me, are well-acquainted with my eccentricities and do not reject me for having them (even though they don’t understand me).

If you don’t have any siblings or family members where you can be yourself, that’s fine, too. What I have realised, finally, after many years of pain and loneliness, is that you don’t need other people to understand you or validate you. In fact, if you’re very honest with yourself, you don’t even truly need to talk philosophy or books with other humans; just enjoying the books or thinking about life is often rewarding enough.

As long as you are spending your time in activities that bring joy to you, like reading, and understand and validate yourself, that is enough. The world has over seven billion people in it. It’s impossible for everyone to have someone understand them, and the truth is, no-one really understands or truly validates anyone; we’re all trapped inside our own universes, filtering the world through our own minds; we’re all extraordinarily unique, and some part of us will always be a secret to other people.

Even the people who you see fitting in, laughing cheerfully and happily, have moments when they are alone and they feel as if no-one in the whole world truly understands everything that goes on inside their heads. As INFPs, we are just aware of this alienation a little more keenly than other people, and because often we are markedly different from the majority, the loneliness and lack of validation is compounded. And besides, sometimes, we don’t even understand ourselves! Being human is funny like that. It’s all a grand mystery, and we’re stuck right in the middle of it.

I truly hope this helps you in some way, even if only a little, and I would love to hear how you are as time goes on. Take care. You are not alone in your suffering.

Love,

Dreamerrambling

If you have a question yourself – or perhaps a lament – you can write a comment, or send a message to my email, dreamerrambling@hotmail.com.

I can’t promise that it will get answered (sometimes questions overlap; sensitive and shy people tend to struggle with similar problems) on this blog, but I always make a point to try and reply a private message to every email I receive.

Perhaps I could make this Q&A a weekly sort of thing – it feels so grown-up and professional! – what do you think?

I do love helping people with their problems; it makes me feel like I am doing my part to ease suffering in the world even though I don’t have wherewithal to tackle big issues like starvation yet. There is so much suffering in the world, and if I dwell too long on that fact, I can’t function, so I try my best to focus on what I can do. Tears don’t help anyone; action does.

If it weren’t for my anxiety, I think I would have loved to be a counselor, though perhaps the sort of counselor who heals people through words or talks over the phone rather than in person. I’m better at solving other people’s problems rather than my own, which is both funny and sad, like so many things in life. Well, it’s always a possibility, even if it seems an impossibility at the moment — obstacles are also funny like that.

I love all of you. I love humanity, and I love people (at least from afar; I like watching people a thousand times more than I like talking to them) – it’s just there’s a lot of good mixed in with the bad, and the negative is often harder to ignore than the positive. Just yesterday there was an article in the news about a teenager inculcated with terrorist ideologies who shot a civilian near police headquarters in Sydney, and the dark cloud of that event still has not left me. It’s frightening, on a personal level, and it’s saddening. I will never understand why people hurt, kill, torture, exploit. Never.

PS:

Edgar would like to communicate to everyone the following message:

“Words are stronger than swords.”

It’s true, in a sense, I guess. Words can change minds, which changes lives, which then changes the world. But I do think some people in the world respond better to a knife at their throat than an appeal from thousands of suffering people – don’t you?