Today’s Moment in Synchronicity

Whether or not my post from earlier today has any weight in truth or something I pulled out of thin air, a few things I mentioned had eerie semblance to a blog post by Megan of infjblog.com today: The Perfect Match? INFJs and ENxPs

For the record, the article itself really resonated with me… But here are a few things that struck me as “synchronistic” (is that even a word?). It is! I just checked. ;)

Megan writes,

“ENxPs are Perceivers. While their spontaneity can be initially attractive to an INFJ, over time the J/P difference can cause conflict in the relationship. The INFJ will become overwhelmed always being the one who has to take charge when it comes to making plans, and the ENxP may view the INFJ as bossy.”

“Overwhelmed” is the word I used to describe how I can feel at times, particularly due to the spontaneity, though I did not call that out specifically…

Another moment in Megan’s writing that struck a chord with what I had in mind was,

“ENFPs can have a hard time understanding INFJs feelings, and vice versa. ENFPs use Introverted Feeling, and any relationship between an Introverted Feeler and an Extroverted Feeler is going to come with issues. INFJs prefer to process their feelings verbally, while ENFPs prefer to process internally. INFJs may think the ENFP is being selfish after making a Fi-based decision, because it might not take into consideration the feelings of others (Fe).”

Although, I didn’t have a grasp on it, this is exactly what I had in mind when I wrote,

“They don’t always seem in-tune with how the solution affects others as long as, to them, the solution “works”… “

I didn’t know how to articulate it, but Megan has a stronger grasp on the concepts so she writes much more intelligently on the matter… I merely had a few random thoughts I wanted to quickly post, but when I read this, I equated my

“They don’t always seem in-tune with how the solution affects others…”

with her

“INFJs may think the ENFP is being selfish after making a Fi-based decision…”

(I had to read about Fi/Fe after reading Megan’s post, but, yes… I think I have a slightly better understanding of those functions now.)

Okay, so there were only a couple items I noticed,… but it struck me as almost serendipitous that what I wrote today, to some (a tiny?) degree was validated. I don’t write often so I think that fact plays into the fact that it seemed so… synchronistic to read Megan’s article today. ^_^

Are These ENFP Traits?

… Or am I just making something out of nothing?

The two ENFPs I’ve known have similar qualities and I’m trying to determine if it’s an ENFP thing or at least traits that possibly stem from being so. Both are from completely different circles (personal vs. professional), but in learning that both may be ENFP, I had a real A-HA! moment in realizing the similarities…

In two brief descriptions… they seem to have very I-CAN-DO-IT attitudes toward any challenge and also be very, “There! I fixed it!”

Let me explain…

I Can Do It!

No matter what the challenge, they seem to be whole-heartedly up for it, especially if it’s tied to personal interests (They can go into “crusade” mode if that’s the case). Self-sacrifice, late nights, working to exhaustion, sometimes throwing caution to the wind are all things I’ve seen in both.Many times, they succeed and get all the applause they deserve. When they don’t, they pause, grieve a bit, and quickly move on. (I wish I could do this… Failures stay with me forever… =/)

There! I fixed it!

They’re masters of hacks. When working toward a goal, they try to achieve it no matter what the means. Well, as long as it isn’t going against their core values. They have very “There! I fixed it!” attitudes, often involving lots of duct tape (literally and figuratively) at the expense of aesthetics or how it may be perceived (at least until someone points it out).

They don’t always seem in-tune with how the solution affects others as long as, to them, the solution “works” (because sometimes, it doesn’t) and they can say they’ve accomplished what they set out to do.

Side Note

Both ENFPs bug me in similar ways, but I also get/got along with them very well. I had a very close personal relationship with one. The other, I know in a professional capacity. I can be overwhelmed by them both regarding different things, but get the same feeling when that happens. I love them both as people and would love to know more ENFPs.

Also, they both genuinely care about my well-being with greatest concern. They’ve both given me a lot…

Again, I don’t know if this is an ENFP thing or just some completely unrelated traits… I’m just trying to understand if this is common among ENFPs.

Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker Review

Hi, all… Here’s an off-topic post about my new coffee maker, the Aerobie AeroPress.

My philosophy regarding coffee has long been, “Bad coffee is better than no coffee.” While this still rings true, “Life’s too short for bad coffee.” is starting to sink in more as I age. I had an epiphany at a wedding I attended last week… “Why can’t I make wedding-quality coffee??”

My search led me to the AeroPress…

At home, I use a French press… I love the thing. I’ve owned FOUR of them (because I broke the previous three). It’s easy to use, makes a lot of coffee and requires no filter. At work, I use a single-cup drip coffee maker. It is… convenient.

I’ve only used the AeroPress for a couple of days, but I really dig it. I bought it from Amazon for about $30 including shipping. It comes with everything you see here…

AeroPRess

 

I immediately placed it on my Zombie Apocalypse mug so I could admire them both together…

IMG_5527

 

It makes a good, clean, smooth cup of coffee… again, I’ve only been using this a couple of days and I understand there are many different ways people have used this (as I’ve found on YouTube), but it amazed me that such a culture has developed around this device that was invented by a guy who also invented a type of frisbee and lectures at Stanford University.

So far, here’s how I think it compares to my personal French press and my office’s drip coffee maker.

Office Drip Coffee Maker

The Good

  • Convenient
  • Coffee pretty much makes itself
  • No filter required

The Bad

  • Coffee somehow tastes, meh…
  • Only makes one cup
  • Very impersonal… no opportunity to try different things with it

French Press

The Good

  • Makes lots of coffee
  • Makes good coffee
  • Easy to use

The Bad

  • Coffee is a bit murky and can be silty
  • Cleaning it is a pain. I usually avoid it until I decide it needs a proper cleaning
  • Breaks! (I’ve accidentally broken the glass on three of them)

AeroPress

The Good

  • Makes clean, smooth coffee
  • It’s quick
  • Easy to clean

The Bad

  • Making the coffee is more involved (I actually bought a thermometer to measure the temperature of the water, though it’s not absolutely necessary)
  • Only makes one cup
  • Maybe a little too quick…

Conclusion

I really like the coffee the AeroPress makes and I don’t mind the (minimal) extra work that goes into brewing the coffee, especially since I’m in pursuit of the greatest-tasting coffee (which I’ve not yet brewed). That’s my motivation, so it’s worth the effort. Part of my tolerance of the extra work may also be the novelty of having this contraption. I’m certain I’ll continue to use my French press if I’m feeling lazy or just want cup after cup of coffee.

I really do appreciate the clean, smooth tasting coffee the AeroPress brews compared to my French press. With the French press, the coffee can sit in the container too long and it starts getting really bitter. I suppose I could pour the coffee into a carafe, but that means an extra thing to wash.

As for the drip coffee maker,… there’s just something too “robotic” about it. Very impersonal… BUT, as with the French press, although it takes longer, I find the time it takes is sometimes the time I need to just chill out and do nothing or stare out the window as the coffee brews. I admit, even though I enjoy my new AeroPress, I’ve used the drip machine at work, just so I could have time to do… nothing… as the coffee brews. With the AeroPress, pretty much from start to finish, you’re involved in the coffee-making process.

That said,… I still have not obtained my objective of making wedding-quality coffee… I have a hunch that it has to do with the coffee beans themselves. My next investment may be a coffee grinder and really good coffee beans…

Really, though, I may have made it sound more involved than it is… Just go to  YouTube and look for AeroPress how-to videos and you’ll find a variety of them… some simple, some very precise.

Conquering Demons

Today I set out to conquer demons…

demons-conquer-myself

I start therapy for reasons I won’t get into right now. These demons have been around since early childhood… I remember them well. And, though I can keep them at bay most of the time, sometimes, they come alive; unexpectedly and very strong.

I’m not in a horrible place right now. I feel I’m a few notches below where I should be in terms of my well-being. But I feel I’m in a slow, downward spiral right now and I need to address it.

It’s very humbling to admit that I need this. Part of me, the realist, says that it’s a futile endeavor; that the demons are part of me… they are me. That anything I do will just be covering up a part of what I am.

But a tiny, hopeful side says I can be rid of these demons. Never mind the previous 35+ years of my existence that I’ve lived with them! I WILL overcome them! So, tonight I feel anxious to get started. I’m not in the best place as I write this. In fact, I may delete this post (as I have so many before).

Someday, I would very much like to be a martial arts “master.” Always have. But I personally feel that to attain this, I need to overcome myself. I could never consider myself a master with these un-vanquished demons.

Wish me luck! I’m gonna need it!

“We all have inner demons to fight. We call these demons ‘fear’, and ‘hatred’, and ‘anger’. If you don’t conquer them, then a life of a hundred years… is a tragedy. If you do, a life of a single day can be a triumph.” - Yip Man (as quoted in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story)

Collaboration Kills (me)

I’m coming to realize how much it pains me to collaborate at work. It just kills the “creative ride” I’m on. :(

[Note: I’m VERY self-conscious about my writing. This is something I’d like to work on. This post in itself is an exercise to improve! I’ve written many posts that I’ve trashed simply because I was embarrassed about my writing.]

This week, I’m tasked to write a piece about the company. My coworkers tend to get too technical with their write-ups. They delve too deep into the technology and the spirit of what we want to get across is missed. They realize this and is why I was asked to write the piece.

My first draft came out pretty well. (I actually liked it! I usually don’t like what I write.) My coworkers thought it was decent, too. After some suggestions for the next draft, I was amped to continue to work on it and hammer out a good piece! I started immediately.

A coworker then decided to “help me out.” I know he means well, but his changes seemed to detract from the spirit of the piece. It became too wordy; too technical. I thanked him and tried to mesh our work together. After several hours of trying to make it work, I said to him, “Let’s just submit the document with your changes.” I even explained to him that I was just having difficulty “making it all come together.”

I felt defeated. :(

We were to track changes (we’re using Microsoft Word) and circulate the document. As I began editing, I was undoing a lot of his work. If you’ve ever tracked changes in a Word doc, edited parts turn red and blue, and words are stricken through… The page began to look like the freaking American flag! o_O

There were a few things that bothered me:

  1. I felt bad that I was undoing a lot of his work and felt uncomfortable telling him so.
  2. I felt that my changes being tracked was a look into my thought process, and though I’m ok explaining it, I didn’t like that it was “tracked” for everyone to see.
  3. Because the changes were tracked, what if I was called out on something I did “wrong?” What if some of my coworker’s writing I undid was actually brilliant? “Hey, why did you cross that part out? I think it sounds great! Put it back in!”

The last thing bothered me so much. I’m sure this isn’t a healthy way to deal with it. Maybe I’m more self-conscious about being wrong than not being able to be as creative as I want? Either way, I couldn’t reconcile the changes with the vision I had and I was shooting for. It was all-or-nothing and I felt I relinquished my work. My creative ride was killed. :(

Maybe I need to remind myself that this was a business piece and I don’t have full say in what words stay?

At any rate, this is a common challenge I have here at work. I’m asked to provide creativity. I can work with suggestions, but when certain things are imposed, I feel like I’ve lost control and it’s easier to give it up. True, I could argue, but… well… That’s another challenge I struggle with. ;)

A Message for my Friends

Last week was a pretty good week, and for reasons I can’t explain, I had the urge to give thanks to my INFJ friends on Twitter that help me attain a certain state of mind. Not that all their tweets made me particularly “happy” (though, many did), but that I felt like I “belonged,” if that makes any sense.

Before leaving work for the weekend, I wanted to do something to let my thanks be known. I thought I’d make a video recording of myself personally giving thanks. It was just an idea… until I told a fellow tweeter that I was considering doing such a thing… So I did.

Were it not for this brief interaction, I probably wouldn’t have gone through with it. But I’m SO glad I did! It only took me about four takes before I had a recording I thought was “ok” enough to post. Then, I had so much hesitation in actually posting it. The hardest part was actually sending a link to the video to people. That made my heart race! I was thinking it might be taken as just another weird thing that weird ol’ me would do.

The responses I received were very rewarding to me! To know that I brought a little bit of joy by sending a simple message brought me joy! It catapulted me into a great weekend feeling positive and warm! All the awkwardness and difficulty to overcome the hesitation was worth the effort to get this message out that I so wanted to express to “my people!” ^_^

I hope I can do this from time to time… It really is my joy to bring smiles to others. :)

The Bad Incident Challenge

My weekend ended badly. :(

Last night, I let a few events pile up on each other until the weight of the last “bad thing” broke my back. I said and did things in which I felt was justified, but didn’t need to. Happens to all of us, right?

Regrettable? Yes.
Forgettable? I wish.
Fixable? To a degree.
Able to make peace? I MUST!

It’s the only way I realize I can move forward! To accept the bad, which, I admittedly caused.

The difficulty is that these instances of regretfulness stay with me a LOOONG time. Memories often get triggered from my single-digit years. In fact, most don’t ever seem to expire. AND THIS SUCKS!

When this happens, I cringe and find I have awkward, distorted expressions on my face. I literally catch myself making faces, at in the shower, at work, at a restaurant… and I realize the need to snap back to reality; a quick revert to a “neutral” look. Sometimes, a memory so regrettable surfaces, I actually mouth words cursing them; cursing myself.

I wish I could burn these all away. They haunt me.

My latest incident is causing me great distress today. But I’m finding it therapeutic to write about it. I’m learning to keep this under control… to keep the bad feelings at bay. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster today. Sometimes feeling horrible, sometimes able to rise above the situation and start leaving it behind.

I’m my search for inner peace, I encounter hurdles. I’m a beginner at this.

My challenge to myself is to leave these negative feelings and LEAVE them behind. Leave them behind FOREVER! Is that possible? I hope so! I’m on a path to train myself mentally to let things go… :)

Every Day Is Halloween

What is it about Halloween that I love so much? It’s the one day I can dress how I want and not get crap for it.

I take Halloween seriously (whether I like it or not). Always have. Save one or two Halloweens, I’ve always put much thought and effort into what I wanted to be and it was always some aspect of myself manifesting itself in the physical world.

Let’s go back thirty-some years… One of my first Halloweens ever, I remember being… SUPERMAN! I’d recently seen the movie and everything about the man of steel made me feel… well,… “super.” I could hear John Willams’ score playing in my head as I ran and let my cape flow, arms stretched out in front of me as if I were flying. For several years, I really believe I could eventually learn to fly.

Some Halloween later, I was… LUKE SKYWALKER! Huh? o_O The young kid I was, I could only vaguely recall key moments of the film… But the light saber, the blowing-up of the Death Star… the heroism… YES! That’s what I wanted to be! (My sister was Princess Lea that year… Weird, huh?? lol)

Fast forward a few years, now in elementary school. The martial arts theme begins to appear… One year, I was a NINJA. This was in the early 80’s. People didn’t know what the hell I was!! I had to explain, “I’m a ninja!” A good friend helped me throughout the day,… “He’s an inja!” “Inja…” That still cracks me up. lol

In high school, I went through a Native American phase (thanks to Dances with Wolves and Native American friends). I decked myself out in a bone breastplate, bone choker, face paint, feathers… all hand-made. And it wasn’t so stereotypical. It was more, “warrior”-like. Even when it wasn’t Halloween, I wore the bone chokers and feathers in my hair. (I had REALLY long hair then.)

What else?? Freddy Krueger, Eric DravenAshitaka (Princess Mononoke), Scarecrow (the Batman villain), Jack Skellington, Kung Lao, Gogo Yubari… There are so many aspects of these figures that have become a part of me somehow. Some for my interest in horror films, some for overall creepy things, some for martial arts… But I’ve never been one to randomly pick just any old costume. It HAD to mean something to me. ALWAYS!

Most of these costumes required much time and effort and my mother helped me with many of them. Even a few that were post college! lol (My mom is awesome like that, by the way. :)

Anyway, I don’t know that there’s really point to this post… Just that Halloween is very special to me because I can let things out and feel the part for one day.

Sometimes, it seems I dress up for work in clothes that I don’t want to wear… clothes that don’t represent me. In that sense, sometimes it can seem like every day is Halloween.

HAPPY “MONTHIVERSARY!”

One month ago today, I discovered this thing called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

It all started with this image someone posted on FaceBook.

How-to-care-for-introverts

It looks as though it was meant for children, but it really struck a chord with me. I began researching the topic of introversion with more inquisitiveness and discovered a whole world of you out there! I’ve mentioned this before, but I feel like I’ve found my people: my “race!”

That moved me enough to “plug-in” to this lively world, which once felt like a cold, dark room: I created new Twitter identity, purchased books, started this blog… Not that I’ve posted much. -> I’m way too self-conscious of sharing much of what I think, but this… today… is important to me.

Suddenly, I felt not so alone in this world: that I was a part of something else. It’s been amazing and wonderful to see streams of thoughts not unlike my own – Things I could really relate to: affirmations that I AM NOT CRAZY! (Or that we’re just all crazy together, which, still, is comforting. ;) This last month has been a huge growing experience for me! (At 39 years old, that’s a momentous thing for me to concede.)

Since then, I’ve set off on a quest to understand the different personality types and better understand myself and my MBTI type. (For the record, I’ve tested INFJ five out of six times with online tests: ISFJ once.)

Last night, I finished reading Quiet by Susan Cain, learning much about introversion and relating to so many anecdotes within. (I’ve highlighted passages and wrote in the margins, “YES! This is/was me!!”) Now, I want to learn more about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. And so my journey continues. In fact, it’s only just begun!

Now, let me just say that I live a somewhat normal life, in case I’m coming across as a depressed, reclusive individual. Outwardly, I get along with my coworkers, have friends (with whom I could probably spend more time), have a wonderful daughter I get to see on weekends and have an awesome and supportive girlfriend. In my head, though, there’s so much racing through, sometimes, to the point where it feels like “noise.”

But, I digress… more on this later! For now, I want to say, “THANK YOU!” Thank you, to all of those who have written blogs, books and tweets. They’ve been most helpful in easing me into a better understanding of why I am the way I am… Up until now, I’ve been a mystery to myself.