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?

A Message For INFPs

moons

Sometimes, as an INFP, I am not sure certain whether I am sensitive or if other people just lack tact and kindness.

Perhaps my experiences are only a reflection of our times. In today’s age of cut-throat competition amongst people at workplaces and schools and offices and on sports grounds, where money and success are king, and efficiency prized over intuition, “nice” has become synonymous with soft, or weak, and the quiet and reflective dubbed “meek”. So it would make sense for people to start presenting a more brash and blunt face to the world – but for those of us who are gentle and soft-hearted, we often find ourselves battered left and right, with no safe place to turn to except, well, ourselves. And perhaps the Internet.

More likely it is simply because I am more soft and sensitive compared to the average person, and thus, as a natural consequence, find myself hurt more often. The “feminist” wave, which upholds the ideal of a bold extroverted woman who sallies forth in the world and goes for what they want with as much aggression as men, has not done people like me any favors.

Compared to my soft-hearted and gentle male counterparts, however, I am lucky: at least I can still play relatively socially-accepted the “shy girl” card, while INFP men find themselves up against centuries of masculine ideals favoring the strong and stoic and aggressive, disadvantaging them when it comes to every sphere of life, from work to dating. Stereotypes, especially those gender-based, are powerful, and harmful (suicide statistics amongst young men are a sobering consequence of such preconceived beliefs). If any INFP men are reading this, I hope you remind yourself of your own self-worth in a world that does not find you worthy, keeping in mind that this INFP female at least finds all of you quieter and sensitive and contemplative creatures far more attractive than the “macho” ideals society crams in our faces. At this stage in time, for a long-term relationship, I would only consider pairing up with an INFP male, someone kind-hearted and caring, philosophical and melancholy. Unfortunately you are a rare breed, and I have yet to come across one of you yet.

Now where was I? In life as in writing, I have a tendency to digress. Right. Sensitivity. Yes. To put it simply, being sensitive has withered my happiness, as it probably has for you. From cold teachers and students to boys I idealised, one of whom even ended up playing a practical joke on me in front of the school, to cruel customer service representatives, dealing with the consequences of being too sensitive – namely, having to nurse hurt feelings – has been the single running them in my life, perhaps more so than even reading and writing.

And sometimes I feel hurt even when the person is not being particularly mean, only very distant and impersonal, as if you were an object rather than a person, which tends to make me feel like all the light has been sucked from the world. I have a deep-seated craving for kindness and tenderness, one I expect, idealistically, to be fulfilled whenever I encounter people. An absence of it turns me into an ingratiating and obliging slave, just short of frothing at the mouth, in the hope of obtaining just a little bit of niceness from the opposite party – or, at the opposite of the end of the spectrum, depending on my mood, makes me withdraw, and turn cold and unfeeling myself.

Much as I loathe those who bemoan “I’m just not good enough” without doing anything to get better at whatever it is they find themselves inadequate or “that’s just who I am” when it comes prejudiced views which they can easily change by educating themselves, the fact is, I am just too sensitive. And, to be frank, it’s not something I can control. I have tried, countless times. It would be hard for most people to imagine the agony I put myself through by maintaining a tough, devil-may-care persona for several years. When that led to a mental breakdown and nights spent crying into my pillow from repressed pain, I tried to use reason, wagging a big, fat finger in my mind as I scolded myself.

Now, now, you know very well you can’t make everyone like you, which frankly is a mystery, I know, because who wouldn’t like someone so kind and caring and sweet? Remember that time a girl was crying and you tried to give her a hug and she pushed you away? Right. Where was I, again? Reason. Right. People are selfish creatures, darling, you can’t expect them to accommodate for your feelings every time they talk to you, busy as they are with their own thoughts and lives. What’s more, you don’t need people to be kind and sweet to you all the time. It’s not necessary. All that matters is that you are kind yourself. The tenderness you provide yourself will be enough to make up for the deficit lurking deep in your heart. The world is an angry and cold place, no-one cares if anyone dies, it’s all just a sun rising and a sun setting. Got it?

Yes, I got it – theoretically, that is. Putting it into practice proved far more challenging. In fact, it was downright impossible. No matter what I told myself, I was still getting wounded by the slightest remarks, remarks others more thick-skinned than I might have brushed off without a backward glance. Worst of all, one woman, who is no longer my friend, when I confided to her some of my problems, began using herself as an example of how one should be. At every opportunity she would point out how she wasn’t as easily hurt as I was, how strong and tough she was, flaunting her ability to throw off outright insults with a smile whilst patting me on the shoulder in a condescending “one day you’ll be as good as me” manner. It only made me, who suffers from low self-esteem at the best of times, and soul-plummeting self-hatred at the worst, loathe myself more deeply than I had ever before.

What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I be just as tough as everyone else? Face it, in our world, men and women are both expected to be tough and strong. Whenever I expressed my fear or sensitivity, whenever I wept openly or retreated rather than confronted, or simply left the room during a horror scene, I was denigrated. Seen as weak. I was too weak, that was the problem, not strong enough, I had to be stronger, stronger, I had to let the world roll off my back like water off a duck, too weak, too weak

No.

I say, “No.”

No.

It’s time for the quiet and sensitive and shy and soft-hearted, the ones who notice what others do not notice, feel when others do not feel, who huddle in our rooms unseen, unheard, to start embracing our sensitivity. It’s time for us INFPs, the supposed “children of the MBTI”, to take a stand. Few and far between though we may be, that does not make us anything less worthy of those who already have their groups, their people, their support network, who can easily love themselves in a world that rewards them for who they are.

Without us, the world would be a lesser place. We are the healers, the counselors, the humanitarians, the artists and writers and philosophers (though this is not to say other personality types cannot hold these occupations; we must also account for variation amongst humans, not all INFPs are the same). We may take the slow lane in life, and seem stupid and sloth-like to those speeding ahead of us, but it only means we are aware of things those in the fast line can never understand. Yes, we can be moody, petty, seem odd or eccentric, “off with the fairies”, but we are also loving, caring, kind, imaginative, playful, and creative. I can nearly say with absolute confidence that very few cruel acts throughout the history of mankind were committed intentionally by INFPs, and that if there were more of us in the top positions in the world, such as the governments and the businesses and the companies, society would be a far more considerate, harmonious and loving place. Unfortunately those very fields often reward the very qualities we lack – ruthlessness, aggressiveness, valuing efficiency before emotions, money before people – thus often relegating us to the fringes of society, often with little money and little power. Idealistic, moody and fantasy-prone loners aren’t hot on the job markets, last time I checked.

Let me tell you right now: no matter how famous or rich or insignificant you are, as an INFP, you will never feel like you fit in with the rest of society, and never gain the approval and understanding of most people. So it is up to us to approve of ourselves and band together to make each other feel less alone. But we can do more than that. Each of us, with our deep feelings and deep hearts, our intelligence and oftentimes creative talent, can be forces for great social good in the world, only sometimes we are so scared and shy, and have such low self-esteem, that we sabotage ourselves, and barely step outside the door before we scuttle back inside.

Therefore it is important for us, above all, to link our hearts with a cause. Any cause, as long as you truly care about it. This is especially important for us idealists; without something to strive for, we can only stand by, hollow and empty, horrified by the world are witnessing. To make a stand, for once, we have to take action, to get out of our heads and fight. Forget about the money. You and I both know we can survive on very little of it, and still be happy: we’re not sensualists, good food and good clothes mean nothing if our ideals are not being met. For INFPs especially, we must find something to believe in, and funnel every ounce of our energies into our chosen cause. Only then will we feel worthy, only then will we begin to appreciate our unique gifts rather than deem ourselves “defective” – only then will the world, after we have done what we have done, appreciate us – and even if the world never so much as gives you a smile, you will be able to die happy, knowing you did what you had to do.

I, personally, intend to fulfill this creed as a writer, though my goals aren’t confined merely to getting books published. There are greater goals inside my goals. In my books, I plan on featuring characters, male and female, who are cautious and sensitive and atypical and plain; literature, especially Young Adult fiction, has enough of the bold and the brash and the beautiful. In addition, my characters will be predominantly from various minority backgrounds, to help those, like myself, who grew up reading books without seeing their own ethnic background reflected in the characters, feel seen, and represented. I plan on fighting my own fights, through the best sword I have – my pen – to enrich the lives of others, and make thousands around the world feel less alone.

And I challenge you to do the same. Your sensitivity is a gift. Trust me when I say I know how powerless you feel in a world so big and cold, where you do not even have a strong personality to shield yourself against it all, to help you weather the rains and the storms, and sometimes even not a single friend, because you are strange and quiet and no-one understands you. Sometimes, it just feels easier to escape – into books, into films, into pointless philosophizing and fantasies.

But what you do and achieve during your life matters, even if it touches only one person. As the saying goes, “To the world, you are just one person – but to one person, you may be the world.” So go out there and make yourself someone’s world. Go out there, and let your heart burst open, splattering the world in the form of love and art and aid and kindness, even if you risk rejection, risk getting hurt. Dig deep inside to find out what you want to do, what you were meant to do, what feels you with burning fervor, and go do it.

Then it won’t matter whether you get hurt, or if people push you around and misunderstand you and look down at you, for you will be fighting for something bigger than yourself, and that you will lend you strength some can only dream of possessing in their lifetime.

Scattered all over the world, we may feel lonely and misunderstood and useless, but if we remember that we are together in this, that there are other Dreamers out there who can understand us more deeply than any of our family and friends might be able to, we can use that to give us more strength. Strength to make the world a better place. To improve the lives of others. Kindness and big hearts are just as useless as cruelty and cold hearts if they are not mobilized and used as engines to power action. Do what you have to do. Create what you have to create. Be who you must be. Listen to your heart, the little compass-shiver deep in your chest that tells you when something is true and good.

It’s time.

What An INFP Gets Up To At 5.A.M.

Night

Note: I was very sleepy writing this, so please excuse the terrible writing or any grammatical errors and misspellings and whatnot. Ahem. You may proceed.

Night makes things real.

Strange, isn’t it? You would think that light would show things clearer, but it is darkness that truly brings things into focus.

It is half-past four in the morning. I lay awake in bed for several hours, thinking – you know what I mean, that kind of thinking ones does only when one is alone in bed, cushioned in the darkness which is large as the universe.

Thinking.

I started thinking about things. Lots of things. I started thinking about the inequality present in the world, sparked by a remark from my mother who told me we could only afford to eat fruit and vegetables a few weeks when I complained about the lack of healthy food in the cupboards and fridge. I got sad, thinking of rich people living long, healthy lives in the lap of luxury while others must fight for every bite, while children die, in millions, of starvation, lying on their sides, bellies bloated and crawling with flies. I started to cry, because it was so unfair, and I hated it, I hated this world, I hated people and their selfishness and stupidity. I hate the fact that the universe is not just. I thought of the compounded suffering of all animals at the hand of humans throughout history, humans included, and I felt the utter futility of pain: Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Please. Tell me why; I cannot bear the absence of a reason, I cannot stomach the thought that suffering is as random as the pattern of rain droplets trickling down a window.

Slowly, in an effort to distract myself, my thoughts took a more selfish turn. I started thinking of my father, how deeply he had hurt me, and how I still, to this day, after all this time, have yet to release that grief. It just won’t come out. I tell myself I never loved him, that I do not care, but I do, I do. He was everything to me. He was supposed to love me, care for me, be my rock and anchor in a world so terrifying and awful for an excruciatingly sensitive child, and instead, he did not love, he did not care, he left me alone, adrift. In my eyes, he morphed from a man who was never wrong, the God of my life, to someone cowardly and small and petty – and the shame and disgust I felt, seeing him that way, made me want to die.

I thought of how my broken relationship with my father means whenever I feel the slightest interest in a boy, even if he expresses some interest in return, makes me act odd, awkward, strange, running away in the opposite direction, to the point of ignoring him and treating him badly, when all I want to say is: “Hello. Nice to meet you. I can be a little weird, but hey, who knows, maybe you’ll accept that, and, even if we’re not romantically involved, at least we can be friends.”

I ruin things. I self-sabotage when it comes to relationships, denying myself that which might bring me happiness. Or perhaps I am just not meant for such happiness, such a sense of belonging, as others my age experience with their peers. I am just far too…introverted, sensitive, odd; it’s easy to dismiss such traits, to tell me I should accept myself, and I do try very hard to, but it gets so lonely sometimes, never having anyone to relate to, never feeling loved.

I get so lonely it makes me sick. I want to fold myself against someone, and feel protected the way my father once made me feel, before I was abandoned by him. Before he became strange, and distant. But I do not know if I can ever start a mature relationship with someone, not when I am so stilted and awkward, not when I can barely strike up a conversation without my subconscious forcing me to walk away in the opposite direction, the fear welling up inside of me like bile. Self-esteem is so very easy for some people to build: they strut through life born with it, never realising, when they dole out advice, that there are some out there who are awfully, awfully sensitive, who cringe at everything, be it a harsh word or an animal getting hurt, and it’s so hard, to be strong and confident when you are so soft and scared.

Other people find other people. They find love. Yet I feel as if it is something that is barred to me. Perhaps I do not have enough “self-esteem” to believe I deserve happiness; perhaps I simply cannot fathom someone wanting to be with me, someone who enjoys my imaginative quirkiness, who does not view my crying at everything as a weakness, who understands why I stop and stare at someone curled up sleeping on the street, my heart aching, bursting, choking with useless compassion. For I have so much love inside of me that I am afraid to show it. If I were to let it out, the torrent, people would only find me more strange, or pull away, disturbed by my onslaught of affection for a random human being – it has happened before, and it hurt me, terribly.

I care so much for the comfort of others. I do not care enough for myself. I am always afraid of discomfiting others with my oddness, of making other people uncomfortable in my presence, that I never even consider just being myself. Judgment and rejection pierce me just as deeply as anything else, you see, so it is difficult, resisting the urge to avoid pain. My nerves are sprung to the surface, easily plucked like violin-strings by whoever passes me by. I am exposed, vulnerable. And I hate it. I hate it.

Only friendship and love provide an illusion that we are not lonely. I want to stare into the eyes of another human being, and for each of us to see something in the eyes of the other; I do not know what, I do not know if there is a name for it, but I do know it is something very important, very true, and pure. That is what I want. I think I want to smile and see someone smile back, because they love me for who I am. I wish people were more sincere and kind. I wish and want many things, so badly that once again, my heart aches, but wanting and having are two very different things. People don’t understand the depth of my affection, my love, my emotions. Externally, you see a well whose opening is closed-off by a rotten wooden board. Inside, I am so bottomless I get lost in it.

And then, lying there in bed, despair gripped me regarding my writing. I know I mention writing too much on this blog, on how it is my only lifeline in this indifferent universe, that as long as I have my Art it shall all be Okay, but the more I write, the more I feel I do not have anything, except childish dreams and delusions, and a few scribbled pages that will never be seen by the eyes of others. Writing is hard. Yes, everyone knows that. Yes, I do feel I have stories in me to tell which I, as of yet, do not have the skill level to execute properly. But the doubt crawls in me nonetheless, making me procrastinate, which further feeds the doubt, and makes me feel awful and sickened with myself. How dare I squander time which I could have spent furthering my dreams when so many others do not have the luxury to do so?

I just wish there was someone with me, in the flesh-and-blood, whom I could speak with, who could understand me. Of course, that is just a fairy dream, especially since I tend to delude myself into thinking various people I meet can understand me, only to drive them away by spilling my heart too early, too fast. I do not know how to do things properly, how to think; all I do is feel, and let those feelings take me where they may. I am an emotional creature, not because I am silly and female, but because I have a heart. An awfully, awfully big heart, for someone so petite, that needs some outlet, something, someone. That hurts, a lot, everyday, every minute, without achieving anything productive. Empathy is useless without action. I am all empathy, and no action – it is hard to help people when you can barely leave the confines of your home without a panic attack.

How ridiculous, to want to help others so much, yet to be so crippled socially. Which is why the only way I can bring joy and happiness and delight to people is through my words, through my Art, and if I fail in doing that, if I can’t write the goddamn books I want to write to a level of quality that conveys the ideas and concepts and characters and worlds I want to convey, then there is little for me in this world to look forward to. Do not get me wrong: I still have hope, I will still push on. I will just cry a little bit more along the way, that’s all. And that’s alright.

That’s all I want. To write, and share what I write. To have enough money to buy healthy food and books I want to read. To spend my days walking in parks in the sunshine, nights watching the stars. For someone to love me, the real me, no matter how odd and strange and sensitive I act. To be happy. To wake up and smile at the sun. To play with cats and children and flowers. To act, pretend I am some character in a story, go on a treasure hunt or climb up into a tree house with someone I love. To have a tiny corner for myself where I can read and write and love and live and learn.

Oh, this is ridiculous. Tomorrow I shall faint from fatigue – it is now five o’clock in the morning. My sleep pattern is all gnarly these days, and it does not make my mood any better. Well, chin up. Let us look forward with hope, no matter how flawed we are, how many mistakes we make. I am beautiful. I am worthy of love. There is much happiness in the offing. I can write; it’s just a matter of time and practice; you can always improve your writing skills, but you cannot always improve a lack of original ideas.

There are many people I want to meet in the future. A significant other. Book characters. Children, perhaps. They are waiting for me. I shall be ready for them, when they come, ready even if I am not ready. That is all life is: Living. You just live. Oh, I shall carve my own corner of happiness in this transitory life. I hope you do, too.

Becoming A Life Coach: Yes? No?

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**If any of you who read my blog or are just stumbling across it are needing any life advice or guidance, especially if you are sensitive, introverted or a dreamer and feels a little lost in this cold world, please send your Skype username to dreamerrambling@hotmail.com. Though I can’t guarantee I can speak with everyone, I will try my best. These sessions will be free, as I’m just going to be practicing my life coaching skills and developing my own techniques and learning how to talk and counsel people. Thank you for helping me practice and taking me a step further on this new little journey of mine, and I hope that I can help you in the process too. Please no spam: it’d be good to send a message along with your username telling me a little about yourself. Thanks. Keep dreaming.

Whilst searching on the internet for possible career choices for INFPs, I came across one that struck a chord: life coaching.

After reading a few articles on what this position involved, I have come to the conclusion that, other than writing, which utilises both our literary and creative skills, this would be an ideal career choice for INFPs as it taps into our often pent-up altruistic tendencies.

For those of you have do not know, what life coaches essentially do is help people overcome issues that prevent them from having the life they want, such as a lack of self-confidence or purpose, or recent adversities that have thrown a hammer into the workings of their existence. Through counseling and mentoring, these people then hopefully emerge from the counselling sessions feeling re-energized and healed. Often these sessions are undertaken over the phone, or Skype.

Frankly, as an INFP myself, I can think of few careers so suited to our sensibilities.

Most of our personality type are excellent at reading and analysing people, which would come in useful for targeting things like self-limiting beliefs preventing people from achieving the things they want to. We also like to help people nearly more than anything else, and what could be more gratifying than aiding people in building the life they want in order to achieve their own, unique form of happiness?

Not to mention the fact that most of us are budding philosophers or old souls who are wise beyond our years, and thus able to look at issues from the perspective of a much older and jaded individual.

Very little qualifications other than experience and testimonials are necessary to become a life coach. Personally I would love to work as one, rather young though I may be, especially as a life coach specifically for the groups of people I am care most about, such as INFPs, HSPs, introverts and dreamers.

Considering how many questions I receive through email and comments on this blog regarding life, it certainly seems a viable career path, especially when people who are introverts or HSPs tend to have a harder time of it than those who are not.

Of course, before you start haranguing at me for trying to exploit all my lovely readers at “Dreaming. Living. Loving.” by imposing my sudden, new-found life coaching services upon them, I’d just like to say that all these are but the seeds of ideas at the moment – nothing germinating yet folks, not even a tendril.

However, it is a possibility. Making it as a creative writer in this world isn’t the most lucrative job out there, and what else can an INFP do except capitalise on the few skills valued by society, in my case, my literary, creative and counseling abilities?

Without any hefty inheritances ready to plop into my lap in the near future, or a parent who can support me, and some family debt to boot, lately I have definitely been dwelling more on ways to survive in our capitalist society.

I do not doubt as to whether I am capable of, say, counseling teenagers on their career choices or helping people understand introverted women; it feels as much a part of my blood, my soul, as writing. I have even volunteered, two years ago, as a camp counselor, a brief stint which was very enjoyable.

However what I do not much like is the idea of asking people for money, even for services that I provide. To be honest, it makes me feel guilty, which might sound ridiculous to some, but, well, it’s true. If it were up to me, I’d help people regardless of whether they paid me or not, out of the sheer pleasure of helping others. Unfortunately, this would probably be a fast-track to homelessness, a state which I never plan on entering again.

Either way, it’s just a possibility that has been percolating through my brain. Who knows, perhaps if I do end up acting on it, I could end up helping people using my insight and wisdom, both of which I have in abundance but have little outlet for, and maybe even make a living out of it. That would be very nice; I know we can’t always get what we want in life, such as the jobs most suited to our sensibilities, but we can try.

Would any of you be at all interested, if I did act on this idea? There would be little point in starting a service if there is no need for it. I know that INFPs aren’t the wealthiest individuals out there, nor are introverts and dreamers likely to come from money too, but I could charge low fees, or allow for free sessions.

Or I could just extend my services to everyone, of all personalities and races and walks of life. The more I think about it, there more I feel as if there would be nothing more personally fulfilling. Apart from writing novels, stories and articles, counseling is my one other ability I can offer society.

This is just a thought. If I must wade my through the morass that is our capitalist society, I might as well find some ways of doing so without compromising my integrity and help those whose plights I care about in the process.

INFP Truths

When you are depressed, the rest of the human population suddenly morphs into more of an alien species than it already is. Smiles become oddities and laughter blasphemy. It is inconceivable that there are happy people in the world when you are mired in discontent. If only our external worlds validated our internal, the clouds unleashing rain when we are sad, a lightning bolt cracking the heavens in echo of our flashes of temper, everyone frowning and wearing black clothes when a piece of our soul withers and dies. What a wonderful world that would be.

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There are moments when terrible thoughts pierce one’s mind like invisible vultures, then flit away in wisps of feathers, leaving only a vague sense of unease. Don’t you ever have those moments? When suddenly nothing feels right, nothing at all, although you can’t say exactly what it is wrong, only perhaps the world is tilted in some way, reality flawed, a slight defect marring the scintillating depths of the jewel. The very tip-of-the-tongue quality of it is enough to make one scream.

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Pain is only experienced on an individual basis; that is to say, when you are writhing in agony, it is impossible for another creature who is not in agony to comprehend or truly sympathize with your plight. We each squirm through pain utterly alone, confined by our respective consciousnesses. Your toothache is only the end of the world for you. That is why people die and people do not care. What we do not realise is that, sprouting from the same great mass of consciousness, we are in fact all each other. This means that every person who has suffered in history has been us, and will continue to be us. This is why it is idiotic for us to hurt each other, and smart for us to help each other. Remember: helping another person is helping yourself, as they are you.

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Is there any word in the English language able to encapsulate the restlessness one feels when lunch ends and afternoon slumps around? The clock transforms into a tiny dictator, ticking away each second of our life, and nothing, not the books, not the internet, not the newspapers, not writing or magical worlds, hold the slightest bit of meaning. Such afternoons drain the colour out of life entirely, spitting it back only when night draws near. How wearisome.

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Many people in the world are carefree, a word that puts one in the mind of butterflies and meadows and galumphing, cheery elephants. For someone who is afflicted with an anxiety disorder, the very existence of such people is an affront. To make matters worse, deep down, us fretful folk know the best way to live life is to stay in the moment, and not give a damn about anything. But despite knowing this, we still worry, worry, worry.

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What I am most envious of is the ability of certain writers to immerse the reader in a dream-state after a couple of pages. Most writers, in fact, can do this. I, however, at my current level of ability, cannot. Instead, my stories are more fragmented affairs, as if the dreamer was woken up repeatedly throughout the night by a bludgeon to the head.

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Daily existence is characterized by nothing more than irritants. For instance, right now a person in the apartment below where I live is drilling, and above someone plays the same piano song over and over. My stomach is currently quite empty, and when this happens it always feels rather cold, like a black hole. On the inside of my lower lip there resides a canker sore, no doubt borne of my recent panic attacks, and it feels like a spot of acid boring through the tender flesh. I have a headache, and my finger bones feel slightly achy from typing (or something worse, if I allow my hypochondria to run loose). Sunlight piercing eyes. Discomfort around other people. These little tidbits added together make up the sum of life, which is why so many people in the world are miserable. It is an unfortunate truth that we are ruled by our physical bodies.

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You see right now consciousness is spinning itself out a billion times, a billion brains thinking a billion different things, a billion eyes looking at different things. This is why you should not fear death: other consciousnesses will live on after you, and more will blossom, and they will all be you. Think of how many eyes throughout history have looked upon the same sunset; this will make you feel a sense of grand unity with the universe and everyone who has lived and will live.

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Books allow us to cram a thousand lives into our single one. In that sense, they are the stuff of life itself.

INFP Conversations

Random Person: Why are you smiling?

Me: What? Oh. I just thought of something funny.

Random Person: Care to share?

Me: No. It’s an inside joke.

Random Person: Oh. With whom?

Me: As in, you know, inside my head.

Random Person: Ah.

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Friend: You do realise that there’s a shortcut, right?

Me: (fascinated) Really?

Friend: Yes. It’s right next to the main road. Like, right next to it. In plain view. People go down that way all the time.

Me: Wow.

Friend: You’ve been walking this way for seven years.

Me: I know, I can’t believe I never noticed it before! Isn’t this exciting! It’s like discovering a secret pathway to some other world.

Friend: (shakes head)

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Concerned relative: Um. Are you taking all of that?

Me: (throws a couple more books for luck into the suitcase) Yep!

Concerned relative: (eyes the mound of books) You do realise it’s only a three day trip, right?

Me: Yep!

Extremely concerned relative: You’re not going to have any room left for clothes, or toiletries, or anything.

Me: I shall stitch together clothes out of the pages of books. Like the Paper Bag Princess. Is there anything better than readable clothing? I think not.

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Me: He is my soul mate.

Friend: You don’t even know him.

Me: I have read the constellations in his eyes, and deciphered the galaxies of his heart. We are star-crossed lovers, destined to be as one in this lifetime.

Friend: (verging on hysterical exasperation) You’ve never even talked to him!

Me: (places a finger to her lips) Shh. Words are not needed when the heart has spoken, my dear.

Friend: Okay. Fine. So he’s your soul mate. When, exactly, are you going to have a conversation with him? You are going to have eventually, you know.

Me: (sighs dreamily) One day. When the stars align.

Friend: So, never, then.

Me: That is the most exquisite bird I have ever seen. Have you seen a more exquisite bird in your lifetime?

Attention All INFPs

I started this blog with the intention of connecting with and helping INFPs.

Over time, however, new categories sprouted and it veered into more of a philosophical and personal blog where I splash my thoughts about living and loving and dreaming.

However, I still yearn to connect with and help INFPs specifically. So, I’ve made a new blog, just for you guys. 🙂  Of course, anyone can relate and extract advice from this blog, but it’s going to be particularly geared towards the Myer-Briggs Dreamer personality. It’s called INFP Dreamer, and you can find it here.

Mind you, it’s still in its early stages, and right now I have only one post on there. I’ll still be keeping the INFP content on this blog, but if I find that more people are reading the articles on the other one, then I might take it down.

I want to live, learn, love and grow with you. It’s never easy, and if you’ve read some of my more self-indulgent and rambling posts on this blog, you’ll know that no matter how wise someone is, they still struggle. I want to help. Also, I’m crazily passionate about this personality type, and the unique approach to life and living it requires.

I’ll still be posting on this blog, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support, for taking the time to read my writing and even commenting.

A special thank you to those who have reached out and supported me for quite a while.

You know who you are (AMENDMENT: My desperate INFP fear of offending anyone is currently surfacing, and I’d just like to say I appreciate every single one of you truly, truly, truly, even if you’ve only posted a comment once, or a couple of times, I don’t mean to exclude anyone, I sincerely appreciate you all!)

You have helped me, and other people who have stumbled onto this blog, in a million more ways than you can imagine.

Lots of love,

Anne

Love Story Of A Dreamer

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I’d see you, standing aside, an outcast, peering at the intriguing panoply of human interaction splayed out before you and feeling no urge to join. Somehow, somewhere, we’d get to know each other, you and I. Two dreamers, souls fused together. Perhaps while walking home after school, crossing paths. Perhaps in class, during a philosophical discussion. Perhaps in the library, reaching for the same book – well, that sort of thing is always rather cute, isn’t it?

We’d both be pretty tentative at first. It is a part of our personalities. But gradually, we’d get to know each other, and open up a world of delights. The mindless chatter of the halls would no longer torment us, make us feel removed and detached from humanity, for we would have each other. When school becomes unbearable, we’d find solace in a squeeze of the hands, a glance from across the room.

We’d spend our breaks walking on the oval beside the trees, feeling the sunlight and wind on her faces and cheeks, and laugh and exult at being alive. Peer into each other’s souls, and cry with happiness at what we see there. Lie side by side on the grass, holding hands. Hug, an embrace that wipes out the begrimed world and polishes our hearts, makes them beat with new shiny fervor. Imagine crazy surreal worlds, build our own fantasy empires. You’d be my knight in partner. We’d save the world, one magical thought at a time. Rescue ants from watery deaths. Cock our heads at crows and divine the truth in their red beady eyes. Walk and look up at the blue, blue sky and feel the bigness and wonder of it fill our chests and minds, so engrossed we bump into trees and then laugh at our blunders. And we’d talk. About everything. And in our mutual thinking, find a joy that brings tears to our eyes.

It will be a love that transcends our bodies. We’d sit in classroom together, estranged from the other students, in our own little universe, slipping notes to each on philosophical musings and other bubbles of our minds. They won’t be able to hurt us. It would be not be like before, when I was alone, and wandered my own path of misery. When the judgmental stares – she’s odd – would bore into my back like acid. No, together, hand in hand, I would be the happiest girl alive. You’d be the alkaline of my life, and I’m sorry if that sounds cheesy. You would understand. And that understanding would blossom in our hearts until they are like flowers connected with a single-vine strand, entangled with emotions, curling up towards sunlight and hope and happiness.

And perhaps we would kiss, one night, beneath the moon, and taste shimmering stardust on our tongues, our laughter sending up spurts of firework into the night. Perhaps we would grow old together. Relying each other to navigate the world, morphing periodically into anchors or ships to move forward or stay behind and live.

We’d spend our weekdays writing and reading, and even enduring a day job would be easier knowing the other exists, and will be waiting for us when we get home; even if that home is a dingy little apartment with mold stains on the ceiling. We’re dreamers. We can play pretend, imagine it to be a palace, serve cheap biscuits on cracked platters and pretend they are fancy entrees. Bow to one another and say how do you do m’lady.

And on the weekends, we could go for walks, go to the library together. Spend our nights cuddled up on the armchair reading and flying to other worlds but always feeling the warmth of each other’s bodies, tethering us to the delicious reality of our love. And of course, there’d be cats, and you’d love the furry felines just as much as I do. Fall asleep beside each other and wake up in the middle of the night and feel safe and talk about life and love and everything.

Have you ever wanted something so much it hurts? Like the yearning is so immense you feel it as a physical tug of agony in your chest? I haven’t met you yet. Maybe you don’t exist. Maybe our paths will never cross. Maybe when we meet you won’t like me, or we won’t give each other a chance to open up to one another.

But there are so many people in this world. Surely someone like you is out there, somewhere. I believe you are out there, and you’re wishing for the same thing. I really do. We’ll find each other. We must. I’d just like to say in advance that I kind of love you. I don’t even know you yet, but I do. I’ll be alright spinning the rest of my life on my own, I don’t need a person to complete my life; but it’s always nice to have a spider buddy to make pretty webs with. Like an old ladies knitting session.

Stay dreamy.

PS: It’s okay if you’re not crazy about cats. I won’t hold that against you.

How To Stop Idealising People

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If you’re a dreamer, chances are you idealize people. It’s wired in our natures. We live in a world of imagination and fantasy, and we can’t help but superimpose our glorious visions of perfection upon those around us.

This can sometimes cloud our judgment to an unhealthy extent. It’s a good thing to see the silver lining threaded through the soul of every human being, but we have to understand that not everyone is a marble statue of wonder. Often, upon closer inspection, we find cracks feathering through the structure of our idols, and the weathering of age upon their visages.

But disillusionment is not the only ramification of idealizing people. Idealizing is a veneer of pretty glitter. It distorts your vision. You see a goddess instead of a woman. You see a superhero rather than a man. And by doing so, you prevent yourself from truly getting to know other human beings.

I recall idealizing a boy in primary school to such an extent that I could not even speak to him, for fear of shattering the illusion. I had also blown out of proportion his good qualities, and made myself feel astronomically inferior. I regret that. Maybe I could have got to know a really friendly guy, but my fantasy-loving brain got carried away, and left me with only an fragmented illusion.

So, what can you do to fix this?

It’s hard to rewire our thoughts, especially since we live in a society where celebrity worship is, well, celebrated. People faint upon meeting their favourite actresses or getting their book signed from a famous author. This societal glorification, a large-scale projection of idealization, almost seems to tell us that human worship is okay.

Sure, you can love people for their public image and their work. But what you have to realise is that everyone is human. I mean it. Human. Raw. Sometimes ugly, sometimes beautiful.

The only way to stop idealizing the people you currently worship is to talk to them and get to know them. However, if the wall of illusion is already built, and you can’t stand tearing it down, you can prevent it happening in the future by changing your mindset.

How?

By keeping in touch with your inner humanity. Now, this doesn’t mean feeling compassion for the creatures of this world – you have enough of that. It means seeing humans for what they truly are. They are not deities. They are just like you. No, seriously. Think about it. They are just like you. Sure, give or take some differences in terms of talent, money and looks, but, in the end, they’re human. We all cry. We all eat. We all hate. We all love. We are united by our common humanity. We all have horrible I-want-to-die days and blissful life-might-be-okay-after-all days. Yes. Everyone. That cute girl that sits behind you in class. Your favourite pop star. The president.

All I’m saying is, dear dreamers, that we’ve got to be careful and not create a land of jewel-soul beings of unparalleled perfection in which we’re the only sand-bag rag doll. It’s no good for forming true relationships, and no good for you, either, because you’ll just get up feeling terribly inferior.

And, hey, if you’re really struggling with pulling away the veil of moonbeams, just imagine the object of your idealization sitting on the toilet and pooping. And maybe not even with grace. Just the way you do it, slouched down on the toilet seat, playing on your phone. It’s a bit unsightly, but it works. That’s a sure fire way to drag the cloud down to earth.

But in all other respects of your life…

Keep dreaming.