Full-fledged INTP? – 2.0

Last time I didn’t get through even half of the relatable ‘You know you’re an INTP when…’-memes, and it has been nagging in the back of my mind ever since. So, now, I finally got my act together and spent some of my buck loads of spare time to write down those I missed (instead of applying for jobs *sigh*). See how many you can tick off for yourself. 😉

You know you’re an INTP when…

… you can be best friends with someone for over ten years yet still not feel any kind of emotional connection.

… you can’t be bothered to proofread before submitting something.

… your default emotion is ambivalence.

… you simultaneously feel inferior and superior to people.

… you try to show amiability by critiquing.

… you reblog so you can read it later, but never get around to it because something else catches your interest.

… you consider yourself your own, longest-running psychological experiment.

… you feel the need to teach your teachers how to teach.

… people ask you “what are you thinking about?”, and your response is “too much…”.

… you tag everything you reblog on tumblr so you can find it again later.

… you are unable to take personality tests and receive accurate results because you know how to manipulate the variables to achieve a particular result.

… you find yourself switching sides in an argument if too many people agree with you.

… the very thought of being an ESFJ makes you shudder.

… death isn’t scary until you remember all the things you need to learn before dying.

… even hanging out with your best friend for too long is tiring.

… you think for someone while trying to determine what they’re thinking.

… once you figure out the person you like, you grow bored of them.

… you have a list of ‘must reads’ or ‘must do’ items that never actually gets read or done.

… you think you’re no good, but think that other people are worse.

… you have lots of “friends” but no one to hang out with.

… you can see patterns in the behavior of other people and act, around, or againt those patterns.

… you strive to blend into the masses while not letting yourself become part of them.

… your catchphrase is ‘I was just thinking that!’.

… you struggle to unite your scientific and spiritual thinking.

… regardless of how many people you know, you don’t belong to any cliques, you’re a drifter.

… in groups you don’t speak up because “It’s so obvious, everyone must already know”.

… you considered stopping reading fiction because ‘its all been done before’, but quickly came back to it to escape reality.

… you submit to the “notion” that quoting every other word is adding “merit” to your argument.

… you say ‘never mind’ after reexplaining it once if they still don’t get it.

… you try to edit and make something shorter, you end up adding even more than you initially cut out.

… you try to write something down but give up because your brain gets too far ahead of your hands.

… you find someone’s brain attractive before all else.

… your interest in someone is mistaken for caring about them.

… you’re supposed to be cleaning your room but instead you reorganise your book shelf and neglect everything else.

… you spend more time arguing with people you agree with than people you disagree with.

… you can’t find the balance between explaining enough so people understand you and explaining so much that they feel patronised.

… you take other peoples ideas, improve, alter and refine them to make them your own.

… you never completely finish things. There is always something left undone.

… by the time you’ve figured out exactly what you want to say the conversation has moved on.

… you fluctuate between getting your act together and acting random.

… you hate superficial people, yet you pretend better than they do.

… people call you a cynic, and you reply that you’re simply realistic.

… you constantly use the phrase ‘but going back to…’.

… small talk not only bores you, but you find it downright insulting sometimes.

… you shun trends and fads purely because they are popular.

… you recluse into your own mind for salvation.

… you decline opportunities to experience things because you can already imagine what it would be like.

… you solve problems in leaps and jumps rather than using a step by step process.

… you are an expert at the ‘but why’ game.

… you like something in theory, but are disappointed by the reality of it.

… you go to bookstores, pick a book then stand in the aisle and read the entire thing.

… social cues have never been a strong point.

… you become tongue-tied when you try to explain your emotions.

… you believe no one else understands the true meaning and beauty of irony.

… you edit your own posts so that they are precise or to avoid finality.

… if you had a super-power, it would be the ‘revise’ button.

… you like all types of music, but only really good music.

… you find yourself in situations where you don’t have time for anything, even if you have all the time in the world.

… you come up with brilliant ideas for your blog but forget them well before you can actually make the posts.

… characters other people believe to be weird or crazy seem relatively normal to you.

… you will argue any side of an argument just to find out what the other person’s rationality on the matter is.

… you are clueless in how to properly respond to random displays of affection.

… you spend excessive amounts of time trying to decide what to post/reply, then just end up deleting it entirely.

… you sound uncertain to other people, even though you’re ∼99.99% certain that you’re correct.

… you know more inside of your head than outside.

… you have pondered over the merits of being intelligent versus knowledgable.

… you would download the entire Interweb into your brain.

… you make completely random yet accurate observations.

… you wish there was a ‘M’ option for Y/N questions.

… you are most attracted to interesting people, people who don’t give everything about themselves away.

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Going with your gut

It’s not easy to go with your gut.

At least, I tell myself I’ve gone with it so far and stubbornly continue to do so.

However, I use it as an excuse in too many situations where I should make a hard decision and compromise, but instead just say that ‘it doesn’t feel right’ and that ‘I choose to go with what my gut tells me’. That ‘it has worked so far’.

On the one hand, one should celebrate such an idealistic, almost romantic notion of ‘following your gut’. On the other hand, it’s quite naive, really. Because life is about making hard choices; you cannot avoid or outrun them.

Though, you could argue – as I did in the beginning here – that going with your gut is a hard choice. Simply because – in a society where everything, including choices, has become too caught up in ‘the risk of it’ – few dare to do so or stand by it.

Or again, it may just be a part of the excuse of not making the other hard choices.

Ugh, I honestly don’t know anymore. Going with your gut certainly isn’t practical or well thought-through. It just … happens. It’s instinct and intuition all wrapped up in one. It’s a survival technique of sorts, I guess. A force to be reckoned with, just like my imagination. And reason so often struggles to intervene. What one should or should not do gets all mixed up in this; an exhausting, 24/7 internal battle of what is the best way to go about it, so, in the end, you just give up and decide to go with the flow – thus go with whatever instinctive feeling that flows through your gut. It makes life less structured, less predictable, and from the looks of it rather privileged and almost hedonistic. But can I really brutally force my reason through and repel what is my instinct – simply in order to have a more planned-out, outwardly pleasing life?

No, I don’t want to. I feel like I must do what I feel is right and yet, I’m perpetually conflicted about it.

It is not easy to stand alone in this, but, in the end, I don’t think I can ever turn off my gut feeling.

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In badly need of a reality check

amelie6

When will it ever really hit me?

I’m such a romantic, old fool.

No, not decisively romantic. Nor sentimental. Cynic-romantic. Arrogant and naive, idealistic and self-deprecating at the same time. Like constantly running a voice-over from a film noir inside my head. (Seriously, the commentary is switched on 24/7.)

I wonder on which level of development as a Type 5 INTP I currently find myself? I think and hope I’m (still) on an average level given my polar (or complementary, depending how you see it) cynic-romantic relationship with the world. No matter how pointless this perspective feels at times, with no definitive answers or meaning, it also sustains me, ironically and stubbornly infusing hope and pulls me back from the edge – or sometimes urging me to take the jump (in a positive sense).

Yet, I fear sliding down a slippery slope; of isolating/detaching myself further from the world if it continues to disappoint or I disappoint myself in aligning myself with it. Perhaps rooted in my feeling of having no purpose other than existing? However, more often, I find the fault lying within the world than in me. And I guess that is a rather ambivalent notion, since, on the one hand, it distinguishes me from those who – in desperation and despair of not conforming or finding meaning – end their own lives and, on the other hand, makes me somewhat deluded into being ‘blameless’ concerning what happens in my life. Both, in a sense, are true, I guess.

This leads way to why this back-and-forth, cynic-romantic pull also sustains my sense of being caught between a rock and a hard place as I’ve so often mentioned on this blog. It enables and feeds a passivity (or even a depression) to do nothing at all because there seems to be no real meaning in doing it anyway, in the end. That – combined with the knowledge that life is absurd and most things happen by luck, unluck and coincidence – takes most of the control out of one’s hands, rendering most actions and ways of life pathetic and deluded; as means to distract ourselves from this lack of control.

At least, that’s what I tell myself. And that may be a delusion in itself. Another deduction and excuse to do nothing about it. Another knowledge that does nothing to lessen my frustration, passivity and sense of pointlessness but instead drives me into circles.

I’ve got no narrative in my own life. Thus the lack of purpose. I can live in and make out everybody else’s narrative but not my own. And reality is there for me to make it in and to guide me, yet I feel like there’s a gulf between us. I’ve become too accustomed to live in a world outside reality and only exist in reality. As author Richard Wright once so aptly put it: “Whenever my environment had failed to support or nourish me, I had clutched at books…”

Is fear and knowledge holding me back? Probably. The cynic romantic in me pulls me back and forth from the edge of the gulf in an eternal loop. And I wonder when it will tell me to jump or let me – in order to take the chance and reach what should be more real. Because I fear what I will become in this otherwise eternal stasis.

*revised 30/1/17*

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How (self)perception can deceive you

“I am both worse and better than you thought”, Sylvia Plath once wrote.

If you ask me, this quote is completely ingenious.

It fits almost every situation in which you interact with another human being and worry about their perception of you and how it matches your own self-perception.

So often we put our hopes and expectations into our fellow man and so often we get disappointed. Yet, what did we truly expect? Here Plath’s quote applies perfectly. We are only human, after all, aren’t we? Human and complex. In this regard, I come to think of a generally used misquote of Plath but which in reality belongs to author Dean Walley: “Please don’t expect me to always be good and kind and loving. There are times when I will be cold and thoughtless and hard to understand”.

We can never really live up to or stay true to the expectations of others – that is, not everyone’s – despite how much we truly want to, deep down. In my experience, positive impressions jump or sneak up on you unconsciously. You might have known a certain person to be a certain, amazing way, but it was not something you ruminated upon everyday why or how or selfishly willed forth like you often do with expectations that you hope to project onto others. You just knew without consciously knowing. You follow?

Yet, you could argue the same concerning negative impressions, couldn’t you?

I still fear I’m a freak in the sense of unintentionally being a ‘bad’, irritating, egocentric person deep down, despite caring about the world and wanting very much to help the people in it in some way. Well, in my way and the best way I can.

Perhaps not decisively ‘bad’, but not decisively ‘good’ either. (Not that man has ever been just one thing). And that one of these ‘traits’ may stragetically, almost instinctively dominate the other whenever it feels necessary and justifiable to do so – for my own benefit – simply in order to get through and survive in this world.

I don’t know what I’ve become anymore.

But, the thing is, this fear may stem from a recurring insecurity. I’ve realized that my insecurities from my younger years are as prominent as ever. They’ve just grown and changed; their conditions shifted.

I may have distanced and isolated myself throughout my life, because I have – among other things – battled with this knowledge; this insecurity and the possibility that it might have some truth in it, but denied it or denied to do anything significant about it. And thus pushed away the responsibility of deciding upon it, stubbornly telling myself that I am also just me and that that cannot be changed. Not for anyone. Not the essence of me. So be it if people get aggravated by it.

However, the faux confidence only lasts for so long.

An event – a turning point, really – occured just this past summer where I was rendered shocked, hurt, confused and sad that I could ever make people feel immediate hatred, dislike or anger towards me. The fall-out was mainly caused by a mutual misunderstanding; of related tempers clashing in a moment of stress before apologizing and reconciling again. Still, it felt like it was subtly my fault more than anything. That I had ‘a problem’ that needed to be dealt with somehow; that I was being too critical, too snarky, too personal. Perhaps slightly unfair since it takes two to make a quarrel – but also partly true. I knew I was projecting, that I was being unfair as well and that it needed to stop. It’s never nice to come upon such realizations but I think they are somewhat healthy in order for you to grow.

In the end, the episode shocked me to my core and made me realize that I have somehow come to never expect that I can inspire any kind of passionate feelings – platonic or otherwise – in anyone. It’s sad that I feel this way, isn’t it? That I’ve come to view my own effect and impact on others – negative and positive – with so little regard. In so many instances I need to remind myself that I’m not invisible but actually can have an impact. Too often I just hide in the shadows or lay back, dismissing or taking it for granted. Especially that some people actually do care about me and thus can get hurt by what I do or don’t do. (Those out there with a greater emotional understanding and interpersonal guidance may be chuckling at me right now, but you must understand that this is a core feature in the INTP; this particular blind spot regarding emotions).

It may also be a causal/Pavlovian symptom – a misconstrued symptom – because I’ve taught myself not to care too much in order not to get hurt myself and in the end managed to include myself in that view: That if I do not care overtly about people but just what is required when it is required, then that goes for me as well: They do not care about me more than required and thus are not that affected by what I am or do or say.

Seems I’ve gone out on one of my rational limps and got tangled up in the strings. And I’m not quite sure how to disentangle myself. Should I just begin to care more and to visibly, physically, verbally show it more – even when it feels fake to do so? Again, it’s not like I do not care at all, but I’ve already been hurt enough to find that gate hard to open even more. So – as pathetic, lazy, sobby and uneffective as it sounds – I hope and wait for someone – somehow – to come to know and care about me on a deeper level and thus pave the way for me in this regard. As if it will happen out of the blue..! *scoffs* But at least then I think the gate will be a little less heavy if I have two more hands to help me push it open. Only then I see more sunlight than only dim fog at the end of the tunnel. (A bit heavy with the symbolism here, I know). It comes to no surprise that I also categorize as an Enneagram Type 5.

As hinted to, I am still as confused as I was as a teen. It is just … slightly different now. I know my inherent value but am bound to take the outside world’s response to me into account in order to sum up who I am as a person.

Strangers or distant relatives have called me sweet and nice –  humble even – however, they rarely know me that well and probably perceive me as slightly reserved or shy. Some people have been in awe and called me very insightful by a mere, immediate thought I voiced, yet also smiled and likely wondered how arrogant and naive I can be as well. Teachers have hinted to both a talent and a waste of talent; for not taking more advantage of my ressources and showing my intelligence to the fullest. To open my mouth more while my parents, ironically, wanted me to shut it more. Closer friends or family seem more ambivalent and likely find me as irritating as I am insightful, as naive as I am arrogant, and probably too closed-off, too excentric and too humble at times. Perhaps because they know me, care about me or even love me? Especially since this ambivalence is mirrored in my own self-love and self-perception. In the end, it all constitutes what is complex about humans and being human, right?

As a person on Tumblr described it:  “I am a different person to different people. Annoying to one. Talented to another. Quiet to a few. Unknown to a lot. But who am I, to me?”*

Resonating Anne Frank: “Everyone thinks I’m showing off when I talk, ridiculous when I’m silent, insolent when I answer, cunning when I have a good idea, lazy when I’m tired, selfish when I eat one bite more than I should…”

Still, most of all, my own insecurity (aka my Fe) wants people to simply like me. Well, don’t most people feel like this? But I cannot just exist. It isn’t enough for me to just be. I need to give as well. I sometimes wish – or my insecurity wishes – I could be less me and thus less of a ‘nuisance’ to the people I know and adapt to their needs; be more of a help and comfort, despite not having the inclination to be more emotionally helpful and ‘touchy-feely’. My empathy inevitably mixes with my rationality, but I have so much to give of this particular ‘mix’. That is my kindness and though it isn’t very competent in giving the immediate, emotional and physical comfort, I think it can help in other ways. (I’ve found that I am a great pep talker. Huh.)

And yet, I also do not want to reduce myself, because merely showing an outer personality that constitutes of being kind and helpful is not really a personality but rather personality features, in my eyes. I’ve met pretty, kind girls my age who only ever acted kindly, never really giving away any faults or anger or deviations from the perceived norm. It equally frustrated and impressed me that they wouldn’t or couldn’t get riled-up but always gave a polite smile. Perhaps they simply were genuinely sweet people. Or they made a hell of an effort to acquire and keep up this diplomatic façade. I never saw any other side of them. Of course, if I had really gotten to know them, they’d perhaps shown more sides.

But, to quote Jane Austen in Persuasion: “She felt that she could so much more depend upon the sincerity of those who sometimes looked or said a careless or a hasty thing, than of those whose presence of mind never varied, whose tongue never slipped.”

And to me, you should be ‘allowed’ to have the space to display weird gestures and quirks in public. You should be allowed to show anger and eagerness and not be regarded as immature if you do (especially if it does not harm anyone), because you are so much more! Honest about who you are: Kind and considerate, but also distracted and selfish. Intelligent but also naive at times. I know, it may be a very INTP thing to think this way, and I (or perhaps the child in me) may be talking on behalf of myself now. Yet, people have to somehow take everything else that comes with these ‘kind’ features as well in order to have what constitutes me or you, no? And it would be utterly hypocritical to do otherwise, since all people have quirks or deviations or whatever. Some have just learned to curb or diminish them in some situations and express or channel them in others – which could be viewed as just as ‘abnormal’ from another point of view. We are all different, in that regard, but no less or more faulty than others.

Anywho. I think the above-mentioned event changed me, somehow. Made me more aware of myself and others; gut-punchingly aware. At least, I hope so. I tell myself so. And I know such events cannot be entirely prevented in one’s life or in the future – they are there to make you grow, after all – but hopefully, now that I’m more aware, they will rarely occur.

*revised 5/6/17*

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When analytical observation is your default mode …

Do you also let any possible situation in your life play out in your head; regarding as many variables as possible, inserting various dialogues and people in and out of your life?

I certainly do. I always have. It’s a trait I’ve chosen to call my infamous ‘chessplayer brain’ from time to time. And which has caused me as much exhilaration as head- and heart-ache, I must admit, though it has nothing to do with other people as such.

No, I’m in love with the possibilities of life. Not in achieving as much as imagining them. The sheer fact that they are there. Though I may not or never experience even a third of them first-hand, the mere thought of all the wondrous crevices and elements in life enthralls and possesses me to no end. My brain naturally and constantly absorbs all that it possibly can and simulates all the possible narratives and feelings not yet discovered.

I am an INTP to the core. This abstract universe of pure thinking and imagination that I can practically get off on is at the very essence of my being.

In real life, on the other hand, it dawned on me that no matter the situations – big or small – I am thrown or throw myself into in this life, I always return to a state of analysis and observation. It’s my default mode. The center of the court I return to when having caught the ball and bounced it back over the net; once in a while missing it, but always returning to the center.

For a long time, I couldn’t quite fathom why my life has been relatively quiet; why I had so little happen to me and so little to tell.

It makes sense now. I violently facepalm myself because of my own blindness, for not having realized this sooner. Because, of course, my life has mirrored my introspective nature. Whatever little or bustling event that has happened to me has seemed paradoxical and mystifying at best – in keeping with the very fascinations I have with life, roaming my head; its paradoxes, strange occurences, big and small mysteries, etc.. The entire, complex, abstract, real and absurd, but utterly fascinating connection I wouldn’t want to miss or be without. That, naturally, goes hand in hand with my existence as well. Whatever significant effect the events had on me, an implosion rather than an explosion occured.

It’s a strange explanation for a strange phenomenon that is life (for an INTP) but I cannot put it in better words at the moment.

And so, I wonder if I’ll ever partake in much in life if this – this harmonizing stasis of analytical observation – will forever be my default mode. Not that it is so bad, it’s just … illuminating. Strange. There’s the word again.

My role in life has and maybe always will be shaped by this notion. I don’t mind it so much. After all, it suits me for a reason. But, for that reason, a distance of some kind is already cemented, because being of an observant and analytical nature I have to step back; to distance myself in order to gain clarity and objectivity. No matter my involvement in a matter, I can never give everything of myself. In fact, I cannot allow it. I have to keep something at bay; something to pull me back and let me breath. But more than it’s something that ‘I am letting’, it seems instinctive. Necessary. A core part of me.

And for that part there are situations I do not dare to even try, because when your brain is programmed to take in and study every possibility in life, it, inevitably, also take in every risk. And those risks hault the extent of my bravery.

“Do it or don’t do it — you will regret both,” Søren Kierkegaard so wisely said.

Thus, I fear parts of what’s essential in life will never reach me. Not truly. I do mind that, I guess, since I fear the potential loss of what others seem to find so easily or fight to reach, but, in the end, always will taste. Because even if I find it or choose to fight for it, I will inevitably and out of necessity see myself drift back to my status quo. Draw back to my analytical self.

However, I will always fear losing something, won’t I? Won’t we all, as Kierkegaard said? It’s part of life, after all. I just wish I felt less pity for myself about it. But I can’t help it.

And that may be my role in life, my toil, my destiny, my yoke, my burden, etc.; selfish or unselfish: To stay the always observing, distanced analyst while others tend to other parts of life. (That said, I’m a logician; my brain needs to, first and foremost, divide and dissect things in order to analyze and understand them and how they go together – with each other as well as with their surroundings. So, naturally, that former sentence seems a bit silly and black-and-white. But I need to think like this in order to dig out the complexities and my points).

But there are times, in social situations and gatherings, where I – unconciously or not – assume different roles according to what I analyze and see the need for – in order to maintain harmony, I guess. When someone is panicking or unravelling I become calm and collected, but if I see others staying cool and on top of things, I allow myself to unwind and not worry if I panic, because I know someone else will provide reassurance if needed. When travelling and no one is taking the lead or can figure out where to go, I usually come forth to suggest various approaches and often become ‘the one with the map’. If someone becomes wary or sceptical of a situation, I become confident and positive, and, at times, vice versa. When there’s a quiet or awkward tension at a party I become the jokester to defuse it, but when I see someone else being the jokester, I pull back and stay much more quiet. At times, when I feel utterly ignored or feel that the people around me are being totally ignorant, petty or unjust, I become moody and sullen and I justify my right to be so because of people’s sheer stupidity. Other times, I become slightly self-righteous and a warrior for justice and reason; I want to challenge and fight and change people’s perspectives for the better.

Maybe I don’t know people well enough or have been around that many to know if this is fairly common; to assume different roles in social situations in order to keep a balance of sorts. And, after all, we all have various identities that come together to the person we are, according to what situation we are in; at home, at school, at work, with family, with friends, etc., don’t we?

I think I’ll leave my reflections on the matter here, for now, as any true, analytical observant would do. A bit of food for thought is always healthy, after all.

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Being at the mercy of others and wanting to free myself

When I got my degree, I said to myself (and I bet I’m not the only one who has done so): “Why, now I’ll never have to do any more exams! Nice!”

Ah, the bittersweet irony of freedom returns!

How naive I can be. If the educational system taught me anything it is that life is an educational system in itself; with a string of ‘exams’ you have to get through in order to achieve what you want. In the more romantic sense, life is an education but the harsh reality of modern life is not without its systems. It cannot be without its systems, its hierarchy and bureaucracy.

It’s pathetic, really, to suddenly realize that you’ll probably spend your whole life being valued and validated in some form or another. Like it’s so much of a surprise. Being at the mercy of others’ judgement and scale. It’s cynic too, but hey, I’m an INTP. I can’t help it. I cannot not include such thinking.

I instinctively resist and rebel against the notion of forever being weighed and judged. I know, I know: Most people would tell me that I’ve got hold of the wrong end of the stick here; that I sound totally distrusting of my fellow man. And maybe it’s true. Because maybe it isn’t so much about being at the mercy of other people, but more about people just wanting to help, using their skills and experience to help and guide you. Just like I want to do so myself.

I’ve talked about an inner struggle before and part of it also consists of wanting to free myself from being at the mercy of others and then again, accept that I might never be free. I suspect it is an universal, existential struggle when it comes to grasping freedom, independence and the concept of it.

The thing is: I don’t want to prove myself to anyone! I don’t want to ask for help! I know my worth. I don’t want to spell it out or document it, have several others’ approval for my worth just so others can truly believe it. I’m stubborn and utterly childish that way; I’ve never learned to put it aside – or deliberately chosen not to do so – but staunchly held on to this characteristic and used it as an excuse or deluded myself into thinking it gave me spine.

Or maybe it’s simply the force of nature of being an INTP? We are the stubborn few?

I’m not sure what to do with this stubborn independence. Has it become my excuse to not deal with certain elements of adult life? Or is it something in my nature that I cannot curb but must learn to accept and wait for those around me to accept as well?

Regarding the matter of judgement, being at the mercy of others’ and one’s own judgement and disregarding any current overthinking, I have examined myself (surprise!) and asked why I can still be surprised, even shaken to my core, when other people remember things I’ve said or done; something characteristic about me that caught their attention or struck a thought in them.

Is it because I have so low expectations of myself or how others see me – and tend to tell myself that I expect nothing from nobody else – that I expect no one will remember anything about me? (Which is hypocritical and self-contradictory, really). Or am I surprised because I realize that people have actually come to know me, that I – unconsciously – ‘let’ them close; and that frightens me as well as excites me?

And then it occured to me that I react differently when it comes to personal matters. I can easily delve into non-personal matters; talk big about big, abstract concepts and philosophize the hell out of life and the world. But when the question comes to myself, I react very contradictory: As I mentioned in my previous post, I like to distract from my daily doings and current, practical situation in life. It may sound strange, but it is simply not something that I prefer to talk about nor does it interests me that much. On the other hand, I highly value my own position and existence in the world, and I hate to have my inherent value immediately and consistently judged, questioned, patronized, misunderstood or ridiculed. (Well, who doesn’t?). I balk against such treatment. That said, I am always open-minded to having my ideas constructively questioned and broaden my mind, mainly because I constantly question and expand my views myself.

However, I sometimes react so differently to comments about something I’ve created compared to comments on my character. I have always wondered why I rarely feel anything of significance when people praise or criticize something of my creation. Yet, when people remember the smallest little thing or gesture about me, I am shaken to my core.

And it’s strange because my explanation for the former would be because I know my own inherent value and that of my creations and thus no level of critique will ever really get to me. I am that confident, maybe arrogantly so. Yet, when it comes to the latter – the comments about my character – this notion should apply as well, shouldn’t it? But if my expectations truly are that low that I get so surprised when I get positive comments my way – then I don’t really hold my character of that high value, do I? Or it may just be that those comments don’t happen that often, so I’ve taught myself not to expect them (even though I secretly hope for them)?

I’ve realized that what I may lack and have always lacked in my life is more of the latter. That is, positive comments about my character alone. It’s a selfish, attention-seeking need, indeed. And it so happens that my idiotic brain chooses to remember all the bad, hurtful comments about my character – even if there were good ones in-between. I can practically count them on one hand. (… I can’t believe I hold account of them! Damn my Fe! It’s like having a watchdog in the basement of my brain that also happens to be my brain’s nit-picking accountant. Ugh! And when it all gets too much, I just want to yell at people to throw the dog a goddamn bone so it’ll shut up!).

From that, my impossibly logical brain must conclude that, in my case or in any case, one is judged on different levels – by others and oneself – and that one judges oneself through others. That is: what I am, what I do and what I create. Though they seem like the same thing and do correlate, I’ll argue that one can differentiate between what makes a person – a person. The notion of ‘what I do’ is sort of split between ‘what I am’ and ‘what I create’. So you see why I (and perhaps others as well) feel so split when the question falls on ‘what I do’?

But I digress. Back to beginning of this post:

Maybe because I was on my path of learning when I was a student, I didn’t need to worry about any other path. I more or less just had to sit back and learn about the world, knowing my next step would be another level of the same form of learning. I wish I still was on that particularly path. But I need to grow up and accept that the path of learning doesn’t end when your school days are over. It just changes. I instinctively fear this path because it is much more non-linear and unpredictable. More pro-active than passive. Frankly, it is not a fact that surprises me; I mentally prepared myself for this. Just the feeling of it does. The feeling of truly standing on this precipice. It should be the exciting thing about life, but it is so in a frightening way, first and foremost.

Maybe that’s what I’m trying to overcome at the moment? The immediate fear. Maybe it has something to do with my being an INTP and needing more time to deal with my feelings and understand them in order to get anything productive done?

I’ll probably first have an answer in a retrospective light.

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Leaving my safe, little, solitary lighthouse

I guess it’s only natural when you’re in a ford of your life: People ask you ‘what now?’ and you cannot answer. Not even in the slightest. I have no hobbies besides writing stuff here and there and when people say ‘then get a hobby or join a creative writing course or yoga or something!’, basically saying ‘get out and do something substantial with your life and meet people!’, then I rebel against the notion.

I try and explain that I want to write; something, anything!, most of all: write for myself, but it isn’t always easy to explain nor to comprehend. People in my immediate surroundings mostly want to hear something concrete, something they can relate to. Of my doing something. Writing, simply writing – unless published – is not immediately grasped as doing something. Not really.

And I know it. Don’t I know it.

It’s the only thing I do. I write and think. As much as it pains me, I think I need to leave my safe, little, solitary lighthouse overlooking the world, and join people on the mainland. Metaphorically speaking.

My life is in a ford, a sort of standstill. I cannot entertain people with my life, because nothing concrete happens in it or will in probably a good amount of time. Until then, I can always talk about all the strange concepts and big ideas and paradoxes of the world, but I cannot give any exciting news about my life. And it’s the awkward silence that now follows – when I cannot distract from my own insignificant life no more – which I do not know how to save. I have nothing immediate to refer to. I try and it merely becomes small talk; a masquerade I put on that makes me cringe and I ask myself why I just don’t do something about it then?

I don’t know. I speculate I might have a mild depression rather than merely feeling ennui. Or it might just be ennui and all I need is a well-placed kick in the butt??

*sighs*

But it’s not like I’m letting things slide or have lost interest in the world and begun to hate people and turned bitter! On the contrary!

I rack my brain (and the Internet) 24/7 for inspiration to get a job or a new hobby or something concrete to express how much I care and want to help, but time and time again I end up here, by the ‘paper’ or one of my blogs, to express and demonstrate my frustrations instead. Or finding others who share them. It’s not very productive, even though I get to vent, because I still end up right where I started.

I don’t know how to express this interest in the world – other than through writing. More than meeting new people (even more people I need to distract from my non-eventful life? No thanks!) I need to have something else settled in my life. Within myself. Whatever it is. And yes, I could do so through signing up for some random course and meeting new people, but this, this thing inside me, feels somehow more important. Or, at least, something my gut tells me I need to prioritize, no matter what it is or how long it takes.

Ugh. I want to yell at my gut for being so darn obstinate and inconvenient! But I reckon I am somewhat of a slave to it in the end. I rarely can’t follow it. Especially when it concerns my own path I set. Even if I end up on the street, desperate and with no money. Hmph. No worst case scenario yet, my dear fellow.

But all this, as I said about my need to write, is not easily explained nor understood. I can say that I listen to my gut and that my gut tells me to wait and think, not… jump and jive. It doesn’t sound effective, eventful, smart, lucrative nor concrete in any way. Most of all, I just want people to let me be – or not ask me about my life no matter how much it shows that they care – until I have figured it out and had time to do so. And I suspect that’s all people really want for me, more or less. It’s probably just me, getting anxious and blowing things out of proportion in my head (as usual).

Now I have vented. Now, I guess, I must … do something.

*revised 7/1/2017*

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