As in, I’ve always felt a deep need to be something more than I am. It was fine when I was in school. There was always another grade to get, year to move up, class to pass, project to finish. But now that I’m supposed to be content with my life, I’m very much not. I’m getting the itch to change the world, and I don’t know what to do with it. Continue reading “A Little Discontent Never Hurt Anyone”→
Tonight seems to be more about organizing and less about writing, and I don’t know whether it’s from a lack of creativity, the fact that I do nothing but write and my mind just gave up, or some reason I’m just not thinking of. Probably all of the above. And also none of the above, because it’s not actually possible to run out of creativity. It’s a finicky fountain of manic self-hatred and joy, but it runs forever.
Anyway, that’s what I started the alphabet challenge for, however many years ago I actually started it. Blogging is hard.
Searching the Internet for things to blog about is like trying to relieve your frustration by pounding on a punching bag made of memory foam. It’s useless, a little painful, and not at all satisfying. So then I remembered that’s what I started my endless A-Z challenge for. With that in mind,
I was recently accused (for the twelfth time) of not talking about myself enough. I tried to argue that everything you say is really “about” you, in that everything is a reflection of you: what you think about a person/place/thing and how you express those thoughts shows some aspect of your personality, character, and thought process. He wasn’t having any of it. Which is dumb, because I totally talk about myself plenty. I think.
Either way, I wanted to write but didn’t want to research anything, and, as many an icebreaker game has taught me, there aren’t any good adjectives that start with K (here’s looking at you, Kooky Katie, Krazy Kristen, and Kind Karen), so here’s a list of some random stuff that could probably mostly be qualified as “about me.”
I hate icebreaker games. They’re inane and awkward.
My favorite kinds of movies are ones in which an underdog gets ahead through hard work and perseverance (e.g. Morning Glory, Never Back Down, Dirty Dancing). Bonus points if there’s a happy ending and/or the protagonist won’t put up with any drama.
I hate having all my toenails the same color.
Expensive art makes me lose faith in life and the rationality of humankind.
If my life were a romantic comedy, I’d probably be throwing Milk Duds at the screen right now. (That actually happened once. To a friend. Obviously. This one’s for you, Matty Flamhaff, you eternal heartbreaker.)
Asiago cheese bagels are my favorite food, especially when paired with a really good iced coffee.
I really hate talking about myself. I get about thirty seconds in and start to wonder why would anyone care? I’m not really that special. I don’t have anything to say if I’m not explaining something or providing some new, interesting revelation. Is this too much? This is dumb. And irrelevant. And then I take the time to convince myself otherwise and then thirty seconds later I repeat the process. It’s like one step forward and eight steps back. Blogging is supposed to help get me over this. Without turning me into some self-absorbed, self-obsessed dweeb.
I love 80s music. And 80s movies. Probably more than is socially acceptable.
There are exactly two people that I trust completely and don’t feel at all anxious around.
I believe that thrift shopping is a lifestyle and, if done right, a good lifestyle. You don’t have to pay a lot for clothes or art or coffee mugs. But, there are some things that definitely shouldn’t come from thrift stores if at all possible: underwear, bedding, stuffed animals, bath products, etc. You should always have a full and presentable set of dishes. You should always have a fuzzy blanket that’s only ever been yours. And you should treat yourself occasionally, because you can.
I expect the worst of people but hope for the best.
My perfect date would be a day at an amusement park, specifically one on a beach, like Cedar Point or Coney Island. There’s just something about the lights and the excitement and the sunshine and the smell, that lovely mix of sunscreen, sweat, fried food, and fish. I love it.
I’ve been a college graduate for a little over a week and so far I’ve managed to move home, almost redo my room, lay on the couch sick for a week, watch two seasons of The Fosters on Netflix, and receive a very vaguely worded rejection (probably?) from a job I applied to.
So J is not for job hunt.
Because it’s overwhelming and sad and I really don’t want to talk about it.
There aren’t many good words that start with J. I don’t really like the letter. I’m not sure why. There are plenty of good names that start with J, but very few good, deep, bloggable words. Maybe it’s just a lack of imagination on my part–that’s totally possible. My well of inspiration is running very dry.
So, with nothing better, J is for Jacques.
As in Prince Jacques, who wears aftershave to make people think that he’s older.
Can you blame him, though? Nobody’s going to take him seriously either way; he’s just trying to seem like the adult he feels like.
I get you, Prince Jacques.
Here I am, masquerading around as some kind of adult, crossing my fingers that people are going to take me seriously and not realize that I’m secretly an eight-year-old trapped in a college graduate’s body. I put on my makeup and my big girl clothes and I use fancy words to convince people I don’t regularly take time out of my day to color and nap and eat too much cake. Granted now I pair that cake with wine instead of milk, so does that make me a real adult? What’s the secret? When do you cross from “precocious” into “actual adult,” even though you feel exactly the same, possibly even less prepared than you did before you had to worry about whether you were actually prepared or not?
Liberal Arts is quite possibly my favorite movie. This line is one of the reasons why. Josh Radnor looks back (realistically) on his liberal arts education and drops truth after truth in a funny/sad/beautiful way. I honestly can’t recommend this movie enough.
I guess J could be for Josh Radnor, too. He’s pretty cool. I think we’d be friends.
(His parents actually do live in Ohio. He went to college in Ohio. The same college Liberal Arts was filmed at, actually. Fun facts.)
But seriously. I love both of his movies. They speak to my soul. And he just seems like a cool, down-to-earth dude. Here’s some things he said, if you don’t believe me.
If you’re out there, Josh, we should be friends. Either way, I’m a big fan.
I’ll leave you with a few of the best quotes from Liberal Arts before I go watch it:
“I like trees because they give us books.”
Nat: Want some good news?
JesseFisher: Yes, please.
Nat: Caterpillars… give me my hat… they’re just scooping along, right? Being caterpillars. At some point, these cells show up, called imaginal cells. Scientists don’t know where they come from or why they appear. These imaginal cells show up inside the caterpillar and say: “Get psyched, caterpillar! It’s butterfly-turning-into time!” And what do all the other caterpillars do once these imaginal cells show up?
Jesse Fisher: I have no idea.
Nat: They attack ’em! Try to kill ’em! They’re, like: “Screw you, imaginal cells. We’re happy being a caterpillar. Get lost!” But eventually, the imaginal cells keep growing and overtake the destiny of the caterpillar. They will be in this cocoon! And then guess what happens next?
Jesse Fisher: The caterpillar turns into a butterfly.
Nat: [repeats him excitedly] The caterpillar turns into a butterfly!
“You think it’s cool to hate things and it’s not. It’s boring.”
“Fortune never smiles on those who say no.”
“Don’t be a genius who dies young. Be one who dies old. Being old is cool. Grow old, and die old. It’s a better arc.”
I once had an INFP friend tell me, without any doubt, that he understood me. Naturally, I told him to prove it. And he did. He nailed it. He understood my emotions, my motivations, how my past affects my present. But he missed one thing.
He didn’t realize that while all those things are true, they aren’t the deciding factor on how I think and act.
They affect me, sure, but I am logical and rational above all else. Feelings are secondary; motivations only hold if they fit into my schema of survival. I’ve told him this many times, but I don’t think he believes it. Naturally I took that disbelief into account: am I more influenced by emotions than I think? are my actions impacted by unjustifiable thoughts? am I controlled by unconscious factors? The answers I came up with were, respectively, yes, yes, and no. I’m not a robot, as much as I might wish I were sometimes, but all my unconscious motivations are run through a serious of rigorous (often habitually subconscious) tests of rationality and reason. Is this going to benefit me? Is this going to last? Is this going to have a negative impact on anyone? What is the ratio of positive to negative? Will the negative impacts have worse implications down the line? Do I want this? Do I need this? How does this tie in to my eventual plan for success and fame and fortune and happiness? Etc.
If a thought, feeling, or motivation doesn’t pass the test, I don’t act on it.
Granted, I make mistakes. I do stupid things–though I usually do them well–and say stupid things and I make bad decisions that don’t benefit anyone either short term or long term. In short, I am human. (Ugh.) Anyway, I have a lot to say about Myers-Briggs. It’s one of the things that fascinates me (at least until I get bored of it) so I’ve spent a fair amount of time researching it. It, of course, is just a theory, a way of categorizing people that’s generally fairly right but, since people are people, has exceptions. No two people are exactly the same and that’s the beauty of humanity.
So, that being said, I is for INTJ.
First, we are not villains. Fiction has given us a bad rap. Meet your INTJs:
I mean, I get it. The intensely driven, seemingly emotionless, incredibly intelligent, easily obsessed character is a shoo-in for the perfect villain. I’ll confess, my favorite villains are (or could be, with more fleshing out) INTJs, specifically INTJs done right, given personalities and motivations and not just a desire to watch the world burn. Though those can be interesting, too.
I fully believe that the Joker used to be an INTJ. Before he got those scars. Let’s see if I can explain.
INTJ is broken down into introverted intuition, extraverted thinking, introverted feeling, and extraverted sensing (Ni-Te-Fi-Se). Our dominant function is introverted intuition, which is how we can disappear into our heads and come out with a seemingly random solution to a problem that’s almost guaranteed to work. This is paired with extraverted thinking, our auxiliary function, which essentially means that we take any and all objective information (information outside of our own minds) and weave it together to draw conclusions. These two are why we make good wizards and mages. Our tertiary function, the one that’s usually slightly underdeveloped, is introverted feeling, which is concerned mostly with personal feelings, values, etc. This one makes us uncomfortable. Since it’s not as developed as the other two, we push it down, ignore it, hide it from the world. This is why we’re made out to be sociopathic robots. Finally, our inferior function, extraverted sensing, is the reason we’re overwhelmed in large, boisterous crowds. It’s the reason we abuse substances. We try to work without it, but it occasionally pokes its head in and makes us crazy.
So that’s an INTJ.
An ENTP is broken down into extraverted intuition, introverted thinking, extraverted feeling, and introverted sensing (Ne-Ti-Fe-Si). It’s the shadow of an INTJ (and vice versa): The letters are in the same order, so the two have similar strengths and weaknesses, but the introversion and extraversion are switched. From what I understand, when a person enters a period of extreme stress, he’ll act as his shadow functions. Therefore, a stressed ENTP would draw inward, and a stressed INTJ would lash out. So the Joker, after enduring trauma, snapped, and became his shadow type.
(Disclaimer: I know nothing about the comics. This is all based on The Dark Knight. And Heath Ledger’s Joker. It’s also all speculation.)
My best friend, I believe, is an ENTP. She’s never quite been able to figure out what she is since every test gave her a different answer, and for a while she thought she was an INTJ. She and I are similar, but not similar enough. She’s too much of an optimist and a risk-taker. After realizing this, she tried switching a few of the letters–INTP, INFJ, etc.–but, like Goldilocks and the beds, none of those were quite right. So when I found this whole shadow function thing, I was intrigued. Being an ENTP would make her simultaneously my twin and my opposite which is, I guess, pretty accurate. We think in the same meandering patterns, which makes us excellent at brainstorming together, but we see different sides of issues, so our reasoning for something working or not working balances out. She’s more right brain and I’m more left (Lenore Thompson‘s theories of cognitive functions), but we’re both creative and both rational.
I checked reddit INTJs’ opinions on ENTPs and it seems to be a mixed bag, mostly “wow they’re tiring” or “I hate them.” My initial response is, of course, people who comment on the internet are dumb. But I know that’s not a perfect answer, so I’m looking into it some more. I think I’m on to something, but I don’t know exactly what.
Anyway, she was dead set against this typing at first: “But I’m not an extravert,” she said. And she’s not. She recharges alone, or with a certain few people. But she focuses her energy on the outside world, rather than spending hours introspecting, which is how Carl Jung meant the words. This may have come from her being raised as a PK, or it may just be her–which brings in the question of nature vs. nurture as it applies to personality types, something I have no answers for yet. But I’m working on it.
But we’re not villains, really. We’re just people. With traits that make us easily typed as sociopaths and evil geniuses.
Second, INTJs go on rabbit trails. If you haven’t noticed.
Our extraverted thinking and introverted intuition work together to show us every side of every issue and then the merits and downfalls and future implications of each side. We attach random facts to other random facts and try to make a spiderweb of sense until we find answers that please us. The closest representation of this I’ve seen is Sherlock’s mind palace.
This is seriously how my mind works, for those of you who thought this was purely fiction. Granted, it doesn’t often work this fast or this well. But it’s the general idea. So, when not given an important case that needs solving before people die, we tend to meander, explaining as we go because we learned long ago that most people can’t keep up, not because they’re any less intelligent (though it’s tempting to think so, and sometimes true), but because we jump from idea to idea very quickly.
Third, we get bored easily.
We can go from obsessed to uninterested in less time than it takes you to read this sentence. This switch can be flipped due to a few reasons: we learn what we wanted to know, we see whatever we’re working on is pointless, or we get distracted and lose our momentum. Which is what happened here. I left to go furniture shopping and now I’m bored. So, I’m sure there will be more INTJ posts in the future–I really do have a lot to say on the topic–but I think this post is already long enough. And if I’m bored, I’m sure you are too, dear reader. So thank you for getting this far. I’ll talk to you soon.