“I dunno why but i [sic] always thought you were single”

•19 August 2012 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been “passively” single for awhile, but this morning I decided I wanted to be “actively” single by listing it in my relationship status. One of my coworkers quickly responded “Sorry to hear. I dunno why but i [sic] always thought you were single.” There is so much wrong with that I didn’t know how I was going to respond.

First of all, I love the thought of “I always thought you were single” because being single is awesome and I’m usually happy when I’m single, especially after ending a relationship that needed it. But I think a lot of people see singleness as something bad, and my coworker seemed to be one of them with his “sorry to hear” intro. Second of all, I’ve dated two people in a relationship-y (but non-exclusive, so I still consider myself single) context since I started my new job. So part of me wanted to point that out to dispel the “single = alone” idea. Thirdly, my decision to embrace the label of single again has less to do with my dating status and more to do with this feeling I currently have of starting over fresh. I have a new job, I’m moving to a new apartment, I feel completely free and independent and unaccountable to anyone except myself. Single! But was I going to write all of that in a Facebook comment? Ugh.

I decided the best thing to say was “My response could easily get complicated, so suffice it to say that your assumption was correct and the condolences are unnecessary. I’m enjoying being single.” The coworker immediately liked my response, as did several others. This may be silly, but I feel like I turned the situation from “feel sorry for single people” to “being single is enjoyable” and with every response I feel more validated. Last month I read this article about this book, and it was kind of depressing to me that either one had to be written. How is it 2012 and the belief that a person cannot be completely happy without a partner persists? I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to explain that single ≠ bad, but it turned out to not even be an issue. At least my friends seem to get it.

Even the stars look brighter tonight

•29 April 2012 • Leave a Comment

After a frustrating weekend of stagnation which was supposed to be filled with productivity, I found myself drawn again to Adulting. I did not realize until coming to write that the last time I visited her blog was the last time I wrote here. I guess I know to whom I turn in my low points. There is something very comforting about knowing you aren’t the only one who feels like a child in an adult costume. Like the time one of my campers pointed in my direction and referred to “that lady.” Kid, who are you talking about, there are no adults here. It’s also strangely comforting somehow that she just went through her own medical thing too.

So okay, that was December. Since then it’s been a fun ride. Five different doctors couldn’t figure out what the hell was wrong with me. Mostly it was a huge waiting game since I didn’t have health insurance and you get what you pay for at sliding scale clinics. Ultrasound scheduled two months away? Oh, cool I’ll just hang out with these symptoms and all this fear and no answers. I was put on four different antibiotics, one of which I turned out to be highly allergic to. I had to get a cortisone shot for throat swelling and full body hives. (I’m still getting hive flareups when I’m stressed, so a dermatologist is added to the list of specialists I’m supposed to see now.) I was in the hospital in isolation (anyone who visited had to wear gloves and gowns) for three days where they ran every test they could think of and all of them came back negative/normal/no infection. I left the hospital with a fifth antibiotic but no diagnosis.

And then I revisited one of the five doctors – the one who, despite working at a clinic like all the others, seemed to genuinely care – and she had two possible diagnoses. We are currently in the process of testing her first theoretical diagnosis and I guess we’ll go from there. I’m not sure if I want her to be right. While it would be nice to have a label for what’s wrong and to finally have a possible treatment path, this medical condition has no cure.

And then I got a new job. It is so many things that I only dreamed of before: a predictable, yet flexible schedule; weekends; health insurance; 23 paid days off a year; my own desk; a chance to help people; a lot of opportunity to direct myself, while asking for help when needed is met with warmth and encouragement. I love it.

But yeah, a good job (career!) is only one piece of the happiness puzzle. I’ve already had to hit the ground running with the start of 2012 and I’m not in the clear yet. May is just around the corner, and maybe I’m already feeling it. I already asked off work the 23. It will be ten years since my mom died.

Depeche Mode – Nothing’s Impossible

Why did I save my cat?

•30 December 2011 • Leave a Comment

Why did I shell out the thousands for his surgery when I can’t even afford to go to the doctor? It was guilt, you know. Put an animal to death, or let it suffer with disease until it dies miserably, or fix the problem. I couldn’t justify any but the third option when I thought about it. Besides, I didn’t need to go to the doctor. I didn’t need health insurance. I was fine. Healthy.

I’ve discovered that December is the worst time to find out you have health problems. Everything’s shitty anyway because it’s cold. Hours at work are long and rough because of the Christmas rush. Doctors’ offices are booked with weather-related illnesses, they have less hours because of the holidays, their staff is on vacation, no one’s free to answer the phone, no one’s free to call me back. What if, while I’m waiting to hear back about test results and ultrasounds, things get worse? I can’t afford to go to the hospital, but what choice do I have? I’ve had paranoid thoughts that I’m going to die all week.

It is 7 and I start work in 2 hours. I’ve been up all night thinking these thoughts. Funny, because I just read about this in Adulting‘s archives.

No. I don’t want to be an adult. I don’t want to go through this alone. I don’t know how to pay for this on my own. I want someone to take care of me. I want my mother. My mother is dead.

Kate Bush – This Woman’s Work

MBTI: Myers-Briggs Type Indecision

•17 October 2011 • 3 Comments

I had always thought I was an INFJ, but today someone said he thinks I’m more of an ENFJ. While it’s true that I sometimes test as Extraverted, and sometimes I fall right in the middle, I mostly test as Introverted. (I always test NFJ.) So I was skeptical until he showed me this:

As an ENFJ, you’re primary mode of living is focused externally, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit into your personal value system. Your secondary mode is internal, where you take things in primarily via your intuition.

ENFJs are people-focused individuals. They live in the world of people possibilities. More so than any other type, they have excellent people skills. They understand and care about people, and have a special talent for bringing out the best in others. ENFJ’s main interest in life is giving love, support, and a good time to other people. They are focused on understanding, supporting, and encouraging others. They make things happen for people, and get their best personal satisfaction from this.

Because ENFJ’s people skills are so extraordinary, they have the ability to make people do exactly what they want them to do. [Is this true???]  They get under people’s skins and get the reactions that they are seeking. ENFJ’s motives are usually unselfish, but ENFJs who have developed less than ideally have been known to use their power over people to manipulate them.

ENFJ’s are so externally focused that it’s especially important for them to spend time alone. This can be difficult for some ENFJs, because they have the tendency to be hard on themselves and turn to dark thoughts when alone. Consequently, ENFJs might avoid being alone, and fill their lives with activities involving other people. ENFJs tend to define their life’s direction and priorities according to other people’s needs, and may not be aware of their own needs. It’s natural to their personality type that they will tend to place other people’s needs above their own, but they need to stay aware of their own needs so that they don’t sacrifice themselves in their drive to help others.

ENFJ’s tend to be more reserved about exposing themselves [don’t know if I agree with this, but the guy who directed me to this website particularly agreed with this one so perhaps my view of my own behavior doesn’t line up with reality] than other extraverted types. Although they may have strongly-felt beliefs, they’re likely to refrain from expressing them if doing so would interfere with bringing out the best in others. Because their strongest interest lies in being a catalyst of change in other people, they’re likely to interact with others on their own level, in a chameleon-like manner, rather than as individuals.

Which is not to say that the ENFJ does not have opinions. ENFJs have definite values and opinions which they’re able to express clearly and succinctly. These beliefs will be expressed as long as they’re not too personal. ENFJ is in many ways expressive and open, but is more focused on being responsive and supportive of others. When faced with a conflict between a strongly-held value and serving another person’s need, they are highly likely to value the other person’s needs.

The ENFJ may feel quite lonely even when surrounded by people. [!!!] This feeling of aloneness may be exacerbated by the tendency to not reveal their true selves.

People love ENFJs. They are fun to be with, and truly understand and love people. They are typically very straight-forward and honest. Usually ENFJs exude a lot of self-confidence, and have a great amount of ability to do many different things. They are generally bright, full of potential, energetic and fast-paced. They are usually good at anything which captures their interest.

ENFJs like for things to be well-organized, and will work hard at maintaining structure and resolving ambiguity. They have a tendency to be fussy, especially with their home environments.

In the work place, ENFJs do well in positions where they deal with people. They are naturals for the social committee. Their uncanny ability to understand people and say just what needs to be said to make them happy makes them naturals for counseling. They enjoy being the center of attention, and do very well in situations where they can inspire and lead others, such as teaching.

ENFJs do not like dealing with impersonal reasoning. They don’t understand or appreciate its merit, and will be unhappy in situations where they’re forced to deal with logic and facts without any connection to a human element. Living in the world of people possibilities, they enjoy their plans more than their achievements. They get excited about possibilities for the future, but may become easily bored and restless with the present.

ENFJs have a special gift with people, and are basically happy people when they can use that gift to help others. They get their best satisfaction from serving others. Their genuine interest in Humankind and their exceptional intuitive awareness of people makes them able to draw out even the most reserved individuals.

ENFJs have a strong need for close, intimate relationships, and will put forth a lot of effort in creating and maintaining these relationships. They’re very loyal and trustworthy once involved in a relationship.

An ENFJ who has not developed their Feeling side may have difficulty making good decisions, and may rely heavily on other people in decision-making processes. If they have not developed their Intuition, they may not be able to see possibilities, and will judge things too quickly based on established value systems or social rules, without really understanding the current situation. An ENFJ who has not found their place in the world is likely to be extremely sensitive to criticism, and to have the tendency to worry excessively and feel guilty. [Hmm…] They are also likely to be very manipulative and controling with others.

In general, ENFJs are charming, warm, gracious, creative and diverse individuals with richly developed insights into what makes other people tick. This special ability to see growth potential in others combined with a genuine drive to help people makes the ENFJ a truly valued individual. As giving and caring as the ENFJ is, they need to remember to value their own needs as well as the needs of others.

Aside from the horrible grammar and spelling, wow.

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Peaceful happiness

•17 September 2011 • Leave a Comment

I feel the most peaceful when:
– surrounded by dark, bold colors.
– the temperature is above 75 and below 95.
– listening to music I like.
– in or near (warm) water.
– I can afford healthy sustainable food.

I feel happiest when:
– I am around other people.
– I don’t have to choose between social and productivity.
– I can tell I helped make another person’s life better (even momentarily i.e. a smile at hearing “happy birthday”).
– I can feel the sun.
– I have a plan AND I am following it.

– Does my current job consistently provide me with things on this list?
– Does my current lifestyle allow me to pursue things on this list?
– Does my current city provide consistent access to things on this list?
– If I found a better job in a warmer city, would I be happy leaving my friends behind?

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