13 Signs You’re A Classic INFJ

This is very much me.

Thought Catalog

Flickr - Image / bost Flickr – Image / bost

INFJ – Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Judging. INFJs are known to be great listeners, big dreamers, and deep, complex people. As the rarest personality type INFJ’s only make up less than 3% of the population. If you’ve taken the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator you probably know what you’re categorized as but these are some signs of a classic INFJ.

1. You’re always in search of a deeper meaning. At work, in relationships, with friends, and interactions with strangers you’re continually looking at life and situations in an obscure way to discover what’s beyond the surface.

2. Although people have an easy time connecting with you sometimes you can be a difficult person to really know. You value your privacy and often feel like you can only be your “true self” around those closest to you.

3. You’re a highly empathetic and sensitive person with an innate ability…

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Passion and Purpose

I don’t know why the format looks weird, but oh well. Okay, no agendas this time. This is solely my brain and/or spirit on fire. I’ve been struggling lately with the concepts of passion and purpose, namely my specific versions of those things. Sure, I’ve read Rick Warren’s book many times, and I get that side of it, as far as what the Christian in me’s purpose is/should be, but I feel like that’s a generalization for all people ascribing to Christianity. I want to know what’s the point of me, personally and uniquely. What am I good for? What should I be involved in? What am I passionate about? How many sentences can a end with a preposition?

Lately I’ve been trying to explore these thoughts more deeply. I’ve started reading “The Nerdist Way” by Chris Hardwick again, in a more serious way, basically because he’s doing a lot of things I wish I was able to do at this precise moment. He’s somehow managed to do what he loves to do and get paid for it. I know not everyone can say that, but I have the desire to be one of them. I’ve also been listening to talks of speakers and life coaches all over the map, and I have a solid list of books I want to go through. I feel like the whole Amway attempt on my part was false for my nature, but its failure did spark in me a desire to find my own way. You see, I got into it because of the promise of money. However, I found out that it doesn’t matter how much you try to motivate yourself if you don’t truly enjoy what you are doing; if you aren’t passionate about what you’re doing with your life, you’re not going to get anywhere. I liked the idea of making money, but what I would have had to do to make it is something that I would never be into. Honestly, if you get excited about energy drinks and vitamins, that’s awesome. Go do that. As for me, I could not have cared less and still don’t. I’ve never been a highly excitable person (perhaps because I haven’t figured out my passion or passions yet), but I think I would rather watch the film adaptation of Green Lantern or any of the ghastly Transformers films that have been unleashed upon the earth than be on the phone talking to someone about how the greatest thing ever is talking about vitamins and cleaning products. But I digress. Needless to say, that wasn’t my bag.

But then, what is my bag? Many who think they know me would probably say counselor or psychologist. I did sort of go to school forever for that. Yet, I don’t feel like that’s me either. I feel like that’s the me I created to please everyone else by making it look like I was doing the traditional career climbing-the-ladder thing that is way past outdated. I started out on a pre-med course in college simply because people said I should because I was a smart lad, and it would bring in the big bucks. It took me a semester or two to realize I wanted no part of that. Then, the only things I found that were remotely interesting to me were psychology and religion courses, so I just took all of them and graduated with that. Then, I just had to keep going because my bachelor’s degree was about as useful as any other piece of paper. Not to say that I don’t find aspects of psychology and counseling interesting, but I just don’t identify myself as “the psychology guy” or “the counselor guy.” Some family members and friends have told me in the past what I should do or should be doing, and some of them are not in the best of circumstances, while others are in a good place for them, but it isn’t where I want to be. I should have taken a hard look at the lives of the people who were giving me such sage advice and ran the other way because clearly their plans hadn’t worked out so well for them, or what they had just wasn’t what I want out of life. In my opinion, they settled. I’m not willing to settle. I know there has to be more than that, than this, for me.

But then, what am I passionate about? What is my one thing? What do people think when I cross their path, physically or mentally? What is it that makes me unique or stand out from anyone else? These are the questions that have been troubling me these past many weeks now. I feel like I don’t even know myself enough to answer these things properly or accurately, and I’m afraid to outright ask people on the spot what they think of me. I’ve posted blanket questions but haven’t really gotten any response. It’s as if people are afraid to be honest or share their opinion, in a world that has become very adept at sharing their opinions via social media or otherwise. I don’t want to let others’ views of me to dictate who I am, but it would be helpful to get some outside looks at what I seem to be good at or get excited for. This is definitely a work in progress.

Loss The Third

Okay here’s the third and last go at this loss topic.  This one will definitely be shorter than the last, but I also have some general questions to attempt answering.  I believe the third form of loss I mentioned earlier on was about the loss of friendships/relationship as a result of growth and change over the course of life.  This is similar to losing people due to distance.  You do not necessarily have to be far away from people for this to happen, but I believe distance can be a factor.  Either way, this is something that often happens naturally over time.  As people continue to experience life, each one is continuously shaped by those experiences, and not every person takes in the same experience the same way.  What I may get out of something may not be what you get out of it.  Change is constant.  What we like, what we do, who we like, and so on.  People change, some for the better, others for the worse.  It is natural that things are lost as a result of change.  I believe the saddest part is losing strong friendships or relationships as a result of change.  I have noticed this very recently concerning friends that stem from my past.  I would do everything with these people back in the day.  It isn’t that we had all the same interests, and we had some similar interests, but we were very close.  After the college years began, I found myself seeing more of the world and finding my identity, and while doing so I found that I just didn’t gel with my friends back home like before.  I wanted to talk more about nerdy things, while they were interested in politics and government issues.  It has gotten to the point now that I hardly talk to any of them because everything has become a conspiracy or a government issue.  Not to say that the government doesn’t have its problems, and we should keep informed about things, but there are other things to talk about besides how bad things are in our country.  It is sad that I find myself not wanting to be around people I’ve been friends with for a long time because we just don’t seem to have that much in common anymore, if we ever did.  Maybe this is just part of growing up, but I hate that relationships have diminished, truthfully because I stopped putting effort into them.  Then again, I’ve always been not great at putting effort into relationships.  Perhaps the ball is in my court to revitalize some of them.

I’ve learned over the years that loss happens.  Change is constant, so things are gained and lost all the time.  Sometimes loss cuts very deep, but it is also necessary to move on to something better.  At the time it is a horrible feeling, but often later (sometimes much later) you are thankful for it because you are better and stronger for it.  

Finding something that was lost just brings back all those great memories.  I recently have started playing old NES, SNES titles, and it brings me right back to my childhood.  Sometimes I wish I could go back and stay there.  

When can reconnecting go horribly wrong?  Probably when you disconnected or were disconnected from something for a good reason and have no business going back.  The disconnection happened for a reason.  People can and do change, but we must be careful.  All too often we can let someone or something back into our lives just to be disappointed and hurt because the reasons we were disconnected before are still there.  Those people or things are better left buried and forgotten.   

Hopefully I can find something a bit more cheery to write about next time.  Peace.

 

Loss Part Deux

Okay so some time ago, part of the daily challenge or whatever was to write about loss, and it mentioned that this topic would be revisited later as a series of sorts, so I set it up as such.  Thus, part two of the series is here.  This time, I shall focus on the loss of friendships/relationships due to the dissolution of romantic relationships.  Oh boy, here we go.

This form of loss I feel has probably proven to affect me the most in my life so far.  Some I could not have cared less about at the time (but would later), while others cut me deeply and left scars, and a few were outright confusing as hell.  I should point out that collateral damage occurred from some breakups as well, meaning that relationships of friends of the main person were lost as well due to the logical conclusion of never seeing each other due to guts-hating or whatever it is women do to people they don’t care to see anymore. For the sake of anonymity (like anybody would read this or know who people are anyways), I will leave names absent.  The situations can speak for themselves.  Some of these stories are pretty dated by now (I’m ancient according to teenagers), so they might be a bit fuzzy but at least accurate from my point of view.

I was slow taking a shine to the ladies, that’s for sure.  Junior or senior year (again, fuzzy), I remember a girl thinking I was cute and got my number, and then I remember hyperventilating for hours before calling her to tell her I wasn’t ready for that sort of thing.  We hadn’t even hung out or anything.  And she was the opposite of an uggo, from what I recall.  Never did hear from that one after that.  Wouldn’t even know her now.  I was on another girl’s hook (any HIMYM fans will get this one).  Of course, nothing ever remotely happened with that, and eventually I gave up on that pipe dream.  What an idiot I was.  There were dunces who knew nothing about how to behave around females, and then there was me.  

That being said, I somehow managed to have an actual girlfriend before graduating high school.  I feel I should put a disclaimer here before getting further into this:  unless you’re 120% sure that the person you’re dealing with is who you’re going to marry later, it is probably best not to engage them if they are often close in contact with you in small settings, such as church, youth group, a small school class, etc.; it makes for an awkward time to say the least if things don’t work out.  Anyway, I experienced a lot of firsts with this person.  No, not the big ones (you dirty pervert).  You know, things like dancing, dating, kissing, and baring my soul to another person, which, if you’re a guy like me, can be very difficult to do.  I can’t speak for her, but for me it was a great time, exploring perhaps a small fraction of what it meant to love and be loved in a unique way, different from parents or buddies.  Life was good.  Then college came, and I was now 5 hours away.  It wasn’t very long at all before she was telling me she was quitting on us.  I’m sure she had decided that a long time before she had actually said it.  I’d like to think I understand women better now (I’ll never understand them completely), but I’ve learned that women break up with you mentally long before they do out loud.  They go through it then, so that when they actually do break up with you, they’ve already gone through it, so that’s the last piece for them to be done with it and move on.  Guys, on the other hand, tend to treat relationships like a bandaid being ripped off.  The action happens first, and then they deal with the aftermath and have the feel all the sad and depressing feelings for as long as they must.  But I digress.  So she calls like a week or two into college to say she’s done, and strangely I was okay with it.  I would like to think I put her happiness over my own and let her go, but that wasn’t it.  I was in a new world, and she gave me an excuse to be free in that world.   I was surprisingly chipper that day, letting it be known that I was single.  And the next day.  And the next.  A week or so after that, I started to actually think about what had happened and, you know, feel feelings.  It turned out I felt crappy.  What followed was some unfortunate messaging and stalkery of which I am not proud.  Nothing major, just things like “What’s up?” followed by “What’s your deal?”, and I couldn’t understand how she was so winter cold towards me (see above for how women deal with breakups).  She deleted what we had.  It was like she acted as though we never happened.  I think it was that which bothered me more than her being cold; she chose to act as though our time together never existed.  Maybe that’s what she needed to do to move on.  No interaction with me, fine.  But to erase me?  Let’s just say I felt pretty low for quite a while.  In retrospect, I probably failed the test by casting her aside, so I got what I deserved.  Maybe we are at a point in life now where she doesn’t hate my guts for some reason.  I’ll probably never know, and that’s okay.  I’ve since learned that I can’t please everyone or be everyone’s friend.  Some people just hate, and that’s on them.  I know I’ve apologized and made my peace.  I’ve also learned to deal with the choices I make in an adult way.  

Some time after that whole mess, I barely tried to get back in the game.  I attempted to hang out with girls at times but nothing past friendship.  I think I just feared losing any more friends by making them girlfriends.

A few times I had been hooked up to a date by friends knowing I was on the market.  One of them was a big fail.  I’ll just leave it at that.  Another was during one summer.  I had known her before when I was taken.  I got to know her a bit better, and she was all that.  I had never known anyone like her before.  However, being seemingly one of the few guys these days not okay with cheating, I never acted on it.  Well, there she was, and I was a free man.  We did the typical date night business, ending with some kissing, an unprecedented yet welcome ending to a lovely night.  Then, well, I’m not really sure what happened.  I went back to school.  We talked for a bit, but the whole thing somehow just fell into nothingness.  It was probably more my fault than hers at that point.  I think I was trying to play “maybe the grass is greener” for some idiotic reason (probably because I was an idiot), but it turned out there was no grass on the other side, and in the process I had lost the lawn I could have had.  We’d end up rekindling things a little years later, but then I think that where I was as a person at that time caused me to come on too strong, and it scared her away.  We chatted here and there after that, but it was never the same.  I think she has a girlfriend these days, so maybe that explains some of why she wouldn’t want much to do with me.  Still, I hope she has found happiness as I have today.  

Another person I think I technically dated for a grand total of two or three days.  This was someone I had known for years through friends, and I was in for the holidays.  We were all together for the festivities.  I was in a place of loneliness, and she was a friend who was easy on the eyes.  We sat up all night talking about philosophical things that intellectuals tend to talk about at the wee hours of the night/morning.  The next day I was goaded into asking her out.  Part of me knew that it would just never work, but they just wouldn’t leave me alone about the night before.  Succumbing to peer pressure, I asked her out.  I saw her the next day and left back to school with a heavy heart.  I believe it was either that very night or the next night that I talked to her, explaining that what I had asked for days before was not what I wanted.  She was civil about it, but of course, our interactions (or lack thereof) were never the same again.  Years later I tried to play rescuer to her damsel in distress, but it ended up as nothing more than me being on another hook.  Thankfully, it didn’t take me long to realize that.  

Another person I actually considered my girlfriend for a while.  I was rolling on a long patch of singleness at the time, and sure enough the first week back to school we just clicked.  However, it was very similar to my first real relationship in a lot of ways.  She was knew to the world of relationships of that nature.  Things were great for a long time and then suddenly (for me) they were not.  She said it wasn’t working out, and we broke up.  We were involved in many of the same things, so I had to see her all the time.  Worse, as a typical woman, she had moved on long before breaking up, so she was soon dating again, and people I knew who were also involved in a lot of the same things on campus.  I’ve never gotten very dark, but I was dark for me for the better part of that semester.  It has been said that it is darkest just before the dawn.  I would buy into this because it was not long after this time in my life that I met the woman who would be my wife.                          

I am sure I’ve missed details and things in these glimpses of my past, but I have found some commonalities in all of these situations.  I lost some friendships for sure.  All of these people in my opinion at the time were cool, interesting people to me.  I’m not saddened by missed chances to be with hotties.  I have experienced loss in that I miss being able to just be around them or have a conversation with them.  These are/were cool people who simply aren’t in my life anymore.  At the same time, I don’t regret any of it.  I believe that there is a plan for each of us in this world, and I believe I had to do some dumb things and experience some pain and loss, so that I would be ready for my future wife.  None of these people are my wife, who is awesome and THE person for me.  Therefore, I have no regrets.  Things happened the way they were supposed to happen, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Sometimes we have to lose, so we can find.  

    

Loss

I think I was lucky in a way growing up in that I never experienced any true tragic losses.  Sure, family relatives or people I knew died, but they weren’t close enough to me for it to really bother me other than make me contemplate mortality a little more that day.  I’ve probably experienced more loss in the sense of friendships/relationships, as the result of one of three scenarios.  One is simply diminished or lost relationships/friendships due to moving away or not being in close contact with them on a regular basis.  Two is the loss of overall friendships/relationships due to the dissolution of romantic relationships.  Three, and a very recent occurrence, is the loss of relationships/friendships due to personal growth and change over time.  Since this is going to apparently be a three-part series, I will focus now on the first scenario.  It perhaps bleeds into the third scenario, but I believe there is enough to warrant its own category.  Back in high school, when I used to live in Ohio, my friends and I were very close.  We did things together a lot and hung out  often.  They were my very best friends.  And then graduation happened.  Well, as was the case for most people around where I’m from, the rest of them pretty much stayed in the same area.  I did not.  I could not.  I just knew that I was meant to do big things in life and was not meant to be in the same small town my whole life unlike so many others there.  I feel like someone told me or I read something around that transitional time in my life that said that those strong friendships would likely fade away as life goes on, and people move away from each other.  I choose to deny that.  I believed things would always be the same, when in fact things are never the same.  Things are constantly changing.  As the college years went on, I found myself certainly being around those people less, but also talking to them and thinking about them less.  It is hard to be really good friends to people you aren’t even around, save for a few times a year.  I have been slowly learning, especially lately, that life goes on for all of us.  That old town doesn’t remain stagnant and isn’t waiting for me to come back to resume its life.  Things will not be exactly how I remember them, how they were many years ago now.  Things will never be how they were.  We can only work with the now and go from there.    

Important Songs

It is difficult to limit my important songs to 3.  I love music.  If I were to limit my music choices to the most important, it’d still be a lot.  My most important ones would probably be the ones used in my wedding or ones that remind me of my wife, which are many.  “Last Night On Earth” by Green Day was our first dance.  “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by The Darkness was what we ran out of the church to after becoming man and wife.  Anything Beatles reminds me of her.  That’s a large library right there.  Anything Owl City reminds me of her too.  I got turned onto them when I first started getting to know her aka stalking her on Facebook.  I guess it just boils down to what is most important to me in the music world is anything that reminds me of my wife, who is undoubtedly the greatest thing in my life ever.  I hope that she knows that.  Often lately I feel as though I keep dropping the ball as far as letting her know how important she is.  Heck, even our anniversary was meh because I’m poor at planning and didn’t get anything together in time.  I also use our poorness as an excuse for not getting her things, which is true, but it still stinks.  I want to give her the world, but sometimes I feel like I can’t give her table scraps because of our money situation.  Tis frustrating.  I’m surprised we were able to afford our costumes for upcoming cosplay events.  I hope those turn out well.  I’ve noticed the Heroes of Cosplay show on Syfy channel again, and it makes me want to do that too.  Making costumes and dressing up like my favorite characters or personas for a living.  How awesome is that?  Of course, I know absolutely nothing about making costumes; I just buy them and put them on.  Still, it would be fun to do.  The cons are definitely my scene.  I know that people will be there that I can identify with.  Nerds, namely.  I want to be able to do something nerdy for a living too.  People keep popping up in nerd culture with their own TV shows and websites and podcasts and so on, basically getting paid for talking about what they love to talk about.  I want to do something like that too.  I just don’t know how.  I mean, some time ago we tried to start a podcast/vlog thing, but that didn’t go anywhere.  Well, it didn’t even really get started.  We filmed some banter about Batman: TAS but never even edited it or put it up.  I think about Kevin Smith’s Batman podcast, and I’m like “Man, I wanna do that so bad!”  I find I deal too much with “what if?” or “wouldn’t that be cool?”, but my usual way is doing nothing.  I need to take more risks.  I need to act in something.  I always talk myself out of it.  I feel like I could be good if I cared about what I was doing.  In the past, I have been involved in little projects that I didn’t care too much for but was being a good friend and helping, and it showed in my performance.  Still, I want to and need to do that.  Otherwise, I know it will be a regret.  I want to be able to at least do karaoke too.  Basically I just need to get over being so darn timid about public things and just do it.  I think I could be good at things but don’t know because I won’t even attempt to try.  This is something I must get over.  I’m tired of my wife being sad because I won’t sing songs to her.  Wow my mind really does wander; writing it out shows that so much more.  Time’s up for today…doing more free writing.  It is the way to go I think.  Better to get words out and revise later rather than writing nothing because it needs to be perfect the first time.          

Free Writing

Okay, so I’m supposed to free write for twenty minutes for today.  I’m not even sure why I’m doing this.  I mean, I’m not the writer-type person.  At least, I don’t think I am.  However, here I am doing something to help me with writing things in general and posting blogs.  Maybe I am just bored and looking for a challenge.  I think it just really got to me when my wife suggested I should get a hobby because all I do is work, sleep, and watch TV.  She’s not wrong.  Well, she’s never wrong, but that’s her gift/curse.  She does speak the truth though.  I really don’t have any hobbies.  I don’t have MY thing.  You know, that thing you have that no one else enjoys quite as much as you.  Or is as good at.  That thing that people look at your Facebook because they never see you and say, “Oh yeah, he’s THAT guy.”  For a long time now, people have labeled me as “Counselor” or “Psychologist”, and to an extent that’s true.  I have the learning.  I have the experience.  Yet, when people label me as such things, I feel like I don’t quite identify with that, or I miss the link entirely.  I feel like I identify more with “nerd” or “gamer” or “Batman/Spiderman/most comics enthusiast” than labels of the psychological variety.  Probably not the best thing to say when you’ve spent many years on a path towards being in the position to be called something psychological and professional in the same breath.  Perhaps I just spent too much time in school that any interest I had in the field had diminished, and then so-called “real life” took care of what remained.  Alas, time moves forward, not backward.  I can only continue to grow in myself and dig deeper into what it is I truly want to do.  It is something psychological for now.  Later, who knows?  I doubt it though.  Whatever I am doing, I want to be passionate about it.  If there is no passion, there is no point.  Just the usual drudgery of the day.  I want to find something I truly care for.  I want to feel alive.  I want to find my true passion (besides my beloved wife, of course) that makes me happy, that makes a job something I get to do rather than something I must do to get to the next payday.  I’ve tried that for a good while now, and I’m not a fan.  There must be more than that.  Much more.