Last night my friend told me I could write a book about work. I actually started one not long after I was hired, but then abandoned it because something about it wasn't working for me. The next time I need to be talked out of anything, I'm going to reach out to her. I made the mistake of believing that she really wanted this guy when what she really likes is the idea of having a crush on someone. She's going to stay single because she's afraid of moving forward and risking anything. The other night I told her that I saw a long straight relatively new stretch of relationship freeway ahead of her, but instead of getting in a vehicle with someone else, her car was parked off to the side of the road because she was busy rolling orange cones out to slow down and impede progress. Women at work support her thinking and I think I have to step back and just let her believe every wrong idea that gets into her head because she's clearly incapable of exploring whether or not what I'm telling her could be true. She likes drama and now I'm sorry I told her I was going back to PT because I could have kept this a secret and not added any fuel to her destructive fire. The only barriers between her and this guy are the ones she's putting up herself and it's really annoying me.
The person I really feel for is this guy. I wonder if he thinks he can help her somehow, he's very capable and could easily set up a plan for her to lose weight, the laughable irony in all of this is that he wants to help her achieve the goals she can't seem to reach on her own, and rather than just accept that at some point you have to risk looking terrible in sweats if you want to burn calories she's hiding behind her fear in which case she's not going to be a good partner for him unless he has some need to nurture and she's bringing out that side of him. I can relate to that since I did that with the father of my children. He was an intelligent person working at a dead end job, but he made decent money so he was reluctant to leave it. I'm proud of where he's at today and often feel that I get very little of some very deserved credit for encouraging him to dream bigger and to go out there and keep applying for jobs in the field he wanted. My friend's crush probably hasn't had an easy life, there are things I want from him and i think he knows that, it's kind of hilarious to me that she tries to tell me how to handle him when I haven't had a problem with him and she drove him away through her inexpertise and lack of understanding.
I'd like to talk to him about a couple of things, but I also respect him and his environment and mental processes by showing him that I can take care of myself the majority of the time. Silence can be a great gift to people like that, he would be willing to talk to me and maybe even wants to on some level, but I know he will dislike it if I waste his time, he's a valuable resource in my life and I like to conserve resources like him because so many others are pulling him in other directions that waste his time and energy. I want to be someone he can relax and recharge around and I think I do a decent job at that by going into his clinic with a good attitude, being myself, refusing to play games that involve her, and just accepting the feelings I get from him. My boss at work is like this, she has a lot to do and when she's in work mode she wants to have the time to focus on what she's doing. There are times when she wants to talk and times when she wants to be left alone. I'm very much like this myself, I don't always do this as well as I'd like, but I try hard not to take it personally when she is focused on the task at hand because I know she feels the pressure and heat from upstairs.
Last night I had a dream that I was going back to school. One of the guys from work and his wife were in the dream, I was out in the parking lot, late for class, one of the people I've long admired is an English professor I had when I was in high school. He's half Japanese and he took some time to get to know me and helped me in several ways when I was in his class even though I blatantly disrespected him by bringing a book to his class and reading it when he was lecturing. In my dream I told myself, forget it, class already started, just skip it and go on with your life. Then another part of me said that I had signed up for this class and I was being disrespectful as well as wasting my time and money by not attending. I packed up my bag, when I was in college my mom bought me a bag with my initials on it, I had a different bag in my dream, I miss that bag and sometimes wish I had kept it around, but after I got married my initials changed and then I felt like I had to let it go. During my dream I was ushered into this small room by one woman, it had two doors and I could see a classroom beyond the second one.
The wife of a guy I work with was there along with another woman who seemed familiar to me. We chatted for a couple of minutes, it seemed as if they were discussing working while going to school with me, but it could have been another matter entirely. I left, went back to class, and spoke to the professor about being late, or at least I think that's what happened. Last night I thought about going back to school so I'm pretty sure that's what prompted the dream. Years ago my therapist and a guy I used to go out with conspired to try and get me to go back to school to become a licensed clinical worker, or something related. She said I would be so good at it, he said I was pretty much already doing this type of thing for free, at the time he was working for a local paper and having all sorts of problems with a woman in the office that I felt was operating under the direction of the owner and creating a hostile work environment for him. They ended up terminating him not long after there was a merger with another paper, the writing had been on the wall, the hammer fell, and he lost his job because he had been passively aggressive instead of actively challenging inappropriate behaviors and searching for a new job.
Every so often he will either say that we could go back out or otherwise indicate that he would like to be a couple again, I have told him in no uncertain terms that this will never happen and he knows why. He's told me he's depressed, and even before the admission I sensed that about him. I absolutely can't afford to go out with anyone who is depressed. That is a deal breaker for me. I've struggled with it myself, I was married to someone who denied it, I have children with this issue, and I almost shut down lines of communication for good after he sent me a text message telling me that we should both kill ourselves. Fortunately I was in a stable and rational frame of mind and not very emotional that evening. I wouldn't take calls from him for a long time after that. I told him I wasn't angry, I was scared of getting that kind of a message when I wasn't in a good place even though I'm pretty sure I would be able to recognize that another person saying that must have some pretty serious issues and I should prevent myself from buying into their mood. Still, I think it's wise to avoid that kind of risk in the future. Life and death matters are too important to gamble on like that.
After the phone call with my friend and a conversation with another friend who is feeling down I started reading some articles as a way to distract myself. My throat was still sore, I was tired, but I was fighting sleep for some reason, probably because sometimes I am very stubborn, even with myself. For a while I thought that my youngest daughter may have the INTP personality type so I started reading up on that. Most of the time I feel as if INTJ best describes me, but there are times when I can really relate to what one blogger calls The INTP experience. I suspect I may be closer to the P on the J continuum than others although I can also see where I differ from them. The school dream was especially interesting to me because while I love to learn, I do not love every class equally and I have an insanely hard time paying attention or caring or even attending a class that I think is boring, pointless, or is poorly taught. This is a terrible thing to admit, but when I was in college I routinely skipped a super boring English class. I received an A anyways because my professor told me I added enough when I was there to merit that grade. He probably shouldn't have done that, but I'm grateful he did.
My daughter really doesn't care what most people think about her, but will spend quite a bit of time putting on her face before she ventures outside. She's an odd contradiction of noncomformity and pure teen girl with her own spin and take on things. She delivers hard hitting analysis when she can be bothered to reflect on a given situation, she's sensitive to conflict, and has a tendency to see another point of view and disregard it entirely if it doesn't happen to suit her whim at the moment. She's artistic in a fairly logical and predictable way, her color choices are subtle, classic, refined, and tasteful, when she was younger her dad let her pick out a ceiling fan for her room and then people felt like something was wrong with her when she chose one that was black. I didn't think the one she chose was the right size for the room, an electrician once gave me some advice on how to determine what size fan was needed for what room, but I had no problem with her color choice. We asked, she chose, and if you're not going to honor the choice of another person, why did you give them the choice in the first place?
Some of the best parenting advice I ever received was about choices. Whenever they are offered they should always be between acceptable outcomes. This was a source of contention in our house because their dad would ask them what they wanted to eat as an open ended question and I would say, we have this, or this, which would you prefer? Invariably one of the girls would want something we didn't have, and I couldn't explain to him that there's no way to go grocery shopping based on what someone may want at a future point in time. I don't know why I'm writing about this because it's bringing me down and I woke up in a good mood. Maybe I want to solve this problem and the problem was being in a relationship with someone who didn't think the way that I did and thought I was being quarrelsome when I was merely stating that we didn't have whatever it was that someone wanted to eat and I couldn't just magic it up on the spot either. This thing with my friend is really bothering me, now she's saying that she should have known not to get close to anyone because they always leave. If that's true, I have insight into why.
She thinks I'm trying to fix something and perhaps that is more true than I would like to admit. The way I see it is she doesn't understand him, he doesn't understand her, there was an unfortunate breakdown in communication, and since they both seem to want each other why not explore avenues that could lead to reconciliation? I don't view this as fixing anything, more as righting a wrong that could have been avoided, maybe this is semantics, I genuinely care about this guy and his feelings and now I feel like I owe him an apology because I think I did give him some false hope when I came back to him as a patient. She needs way more help than someone like me can give her. She needs new thought patterns, she needs to let go of the past and move forward. I was a history major so I understand the value of studying the past to glean lessons from it, but staying transfixed on moments in time and going through them obsessively is a problem and that requires professional help. Cleaning up her diet and exercising will help minimally. She fears growth and there's not much you can do with someone like that unfortunately.
Last night I was laying there thinking about the situation at work where one of the women I work with is: not doing her job, being insubordinate, and flirting with another guy at work so his productivity suffers. If I was in charge I'd call her upstairs, go through these topics one at a time, and hand her walking papers. Since I don't have that power and authority I tried to think about other alternatives. My mind went back to this summer and how one of the other guys I work with told me that I had to say something, but I had to keep my emotions out of it. I think I had once said that I was going to say something, but didn't think the timing was right. I very clearly remember his 'don't overthink it' advice, he never said those words out loud, but I can practically hear his voice going through these steps one at a time. I have to say something, I need to keep my emotions out of it, the timing has to be right, and I should stop overthinking. The more I reflect on this the more valuable the comment becomes because I am a classic and chronic overthinker and I've tried and considered numerous ways to avoid that trap. I never thought the solution could be as simple as recognizing when this is happening, and just stopping.
There are times when I value logic too much, but it is a refuge of sorts. The other day when I was talking to my friend I told her about the old fashioned weights and measures scales I have in my head. This is a method I use to determine who stays in my life and heart and who gets frozen or ignored. As relationships progress people make deposits or withdrawals with me. Maybe their smile brightens my day, they go out of their way to be friendly to me, or they notice something I do well. My PT has a large and substantial amount of goodwill built up with me, because like this guy at work, he solved a very major problem that I had been trying to figure out for decades. I'm sure he could think of some way to alienate or estrange me, but it would have to be very significant. I could forgive him for just about anything because I feel deeply indebted to him for what he gave to me. His comment about going down to the lake changed my life. He gave me permission to meet my nature and nurture needs and he did it with a single well timed sentence that kept emotions out of the equation. It was brilliant, it was life saving, and this is why I love him.
My mom is actually a practical problem solver, but she can't set aside what she wants to solve someone else's problems. She doesn't really listen like these guys do. It might not seem like they were giving me one hundred percent of their attention, but they solved problems I had in seconds which means they understood what the actual problem was and that went a lot deeper than what I had told them during these brief conversations. Both of them were super short, probably less than two minutes long and for sure less than five, but I walked away feeling like the ground beneath me had shifted, and a world that had been tilted and skewed became theoretically level. It was like getting new tools I hadn't had before, it was like being told that they believed in me and my ability to overcome and achieve. When I told my PT I wanted to learn how to golf he told me he wasn't the person to teach me. My mom took the golf problem and turned it into a personal attack on me, shamed me for wanting what she called a very expensive hobby, told me she would pay for me to go if my brother went with me, and I ended the conversation feeling simulataneously irate and worthless.
My boss can do this too, but she's not as quick as the guys are. Where she's better than they are is when it comes to insisting that I take credit and better care of myself. To be fair to them these guys aren't in that role in my life, but I don't know if they could do this even if they were. When she gave me my birthday present she told me I was one of the most organized people she had ever met and she was almost sixty years old. I know I'm organized, but I felt like she was owed honesty so I told her how I'm pretty methodical and organized at work, but I don't have the same high standards at home. She countered with an argument that I can't recall accurately enough to convey here. As soon as I start feeling strong emotions I lose the ability to remember conversations, normally my memory is pretty good, but a lot of times I have a sense of what is said rather than the exact words someone spoke. When I connect with people on an intellectual level there's the dialogue that goes back and forth between us, but then, maybe they don't think this happens, but it seems as if there's a lot of unspoken information being traded while the conversation is taking place. It's really cool and I just love these people for that ability whether it's one sided or two are playing that particular game.
One thing I really like about my boss is how she is somehow able to determine which relationships are worth salvaging and which need to go. I had gotten hung up on this baseball guy, I told her I was going to let go even though I really missed him, she suggested reaching out as a friend, I had to think about that for a while, I wanted him to know that I still cared, but I understood things weren't progressing and I was fine with that once I realized he didn't need or want me the way I wanted him. He's still in my life because I took her advice. I was scared, but went ahead with the message and I doubt I would have kept him as a friend had she not given me a way to communicate with him that wasn't scary or threatening for either party. Another thing I love about her is the role she takes when it comes to other people's relationships. She doesn't try to talk people out of bad choices, she says that they are adults and they will learn more from making their own mistakes. Her role, and she practices what she preaches, is to support, encourage, and build. Whether you love or hate the guy she refuses to judge, and it doesn't matter to her whether you love him madly one day and want to decapitate him the next. She's like an attorney that way, she's always on your side even when you have to go to her and tell her how you totally fucked up, there's no harsh words or 'I told you so' comments from her. It's simply amazing.
Yesterday I was sitting at work listening to the people who were sitting at the table next to me. I was still angry and upset, I feel stuck in a certain sense, I'm not doing the things that I know will help me move forward and I'm mad at myself for that. But I have made progress and I want to take a moment to reflect on some accomplishments from 2017 as the year winds to a close. Getting into the personality types has to be close to the top if not the top most memorable event. I love people who lend me their insights and teach me new systems. Going to the lake by myself would be another event that transformed me. I think I've been misunderstood because I didn't know myself as well as I could have. Carol Tuttle's Dressing Your Truth book was another highlight of my year, her analytical insights helped me personally and professionally. My dad dying was significant. I'm free from him even though I miss him. It's like his death helped me filter out the horrible and focus on the positive memories and interactions. I met my personal financial goal, sat down with a planner, it went better than I thought, but I'm still disappointed in myself for failing to follow through on some of his suggestions.
Today is rough because I'm not feeling well physically, but my mind is going. I tried reading some things I wrote back in 2015. My mind is a strange place at times. I'm not sure what I was trying to accomplish when I wrote some of the things that I did. Now I have these notebooks and I'm not sure what I should do with them. I finished the book I had started, but it doesn't resemble my initial attempt whatsoever and judging from how out there what I found is, I'm glad. One thing I think is important, clearly that writing is a reflection of what I was thinking about and feeling back then, if I stumbled across the notebook I had been reading and found it, I would be very concerned about the safety and well being of whoever wrote that. I'm not into horror, most of the time it's either too fake for me to believe or way too realistic and then I feel like I'm in the movie instead of watching it. Hitchcock was a master at taking the everyday interactions between people and turning them into scenes of unimaginable terror that unfolded slowly and blandly, it's disconcerting to read something I wrote before I was hospitalized and now I'm kind of angry at everyone and nobody because this kind of thing would probably take an expert to diagnose.
I needed a distraction because I was getting upset so I went back and looked up some articles for my friend. I tried to see things from her point of view, his perspective makes sense to me. She's baffled by the idea that we've probably exchanged fewer than twenty words and I feel like he and I have this very deep understanding and respect, neither of us are very conversational, I don't feel like I have to say things to him to communicate what I want him to know and I'm guessing he has a similar thought process as far as I'm concerned. She told me she was interested in reconciliation and I told her that was a brilliant word. I wrote him a note and stuck it inside a box of sunscreen, it's very short and to the point, it doesn't name any names except for mine at the very end. She's worried because I got into trouble for giving someone notes at work, I told her that writing someone a poem about suicide because you're concerned about the state of their mental health is a very different thing than offering someone a potential solution to a romantic communication problem I think that they have. An article I read said that the INTJ wants solutions and insights rather than facts and figures. This rings true to me so that's what I'm doing.
At some point I found a link that asked how someone would go about trying to seduce an INTJ. I almost laughed out loud when I read that, but just for kicks I clicked on the link to see what it would say. It turned out to be better than I expected although there were people who suggested resorting to cavemen tactics, I didn't find that very funny because to me seduction is fabulous and fascinating and knocking someone over the head is neither. One person said that although the INTJ has a reputation as a thinker, a better way to appeal to them is through stories about yourself, imagination, creativity, and employing their intuition which is by far one of my greatest strengths. I'm not actually that great about remembering facts and figures, but I will shine in areas where intuitive processes are required and appreciated. The first time I went to PT I expected him to be very guarded and almost secretive about his private life. When he asked how many kids I had I told him, then I asked him if he had any kids. He said he didn't and volunteered that he had never been married, then he went on to say that a lot of people he knew were getting divorced or splitting up and that's when I knew that he was asking me for any advice I might have.
I asked if he was interested in a suggestion, he said yes, and then I told him that even though I thought it was unlikely I would ever get married again, if I was ever serious about anyone I would take them in to meet my therapist because she has vision where I have blind spots. I told him that in my opinion he should work on himself first, to become the person he wanted to be rather than waiting around for someone else to give him the motivation to change. This is a paraphrase because like I said, I have more of a larger big picture idea of the conversation rather than the individual words. It may seem as if I'm not paying close attention to what someone is saying, and sometimes my mind does wander, but I'm also taking in a lot of other details and trying to weigh whether or not what someone is saying makes sense to me on an intuitive level. This is where it can get very messy because someone can tell me something that they think is true, but my intuition tells me is actually a lie, or not completely true. I doubt many others use feelings this way, I don't mean emotions, I mean I can feel the rightness or wrongness of what others are saying (which doesn't always make me 100% accurate either).
When I'm writing something creative I don't really care what I'm writing on or whether anyone (including me) can read it. I don't often copy it even if it is messy, if my handwriting is neat then I was wondering what someone else might think about something I wrote, when I'm transcribing thoughts from my head onto paper, I really don't care what anyone thinks and typically the message is powerful enough that the recipient or reader understands why I was in such a hurry to write what I did. I'm not big into editing although I can see how it improves the final product. Their is beauty in the ugliness of a creative mess, the type of bravery that comes from the ability to share a piece of my mind and heart with another person. There's a great deal of trust that goes into these types of things which is why almost nobody receives anything that's too serious from me. I like to have fun, I like to be distracted from darkness although there are times when I sit and think about how pretty it can be to see shapes and shadows, the same room at night can appear very different at night. I'm not a big fan of the night, it's when I hate being single the most, but it's a problem I've learned how to solve on my own.
Today is one of those days where I feel like I could just sit here and keep writing, probably because I'm sick and not up to doing much else. I designed a life for myself where not much had to be done so now I have the ultimate luxury of time to myself. Today I feel like it's my job to figure out myself and how I relate to others. This morning my friend tried to tell me that my PT was a problem in my life. I disagreed and told her that at this point in time I have zero man problems in my life. She didn't believe me and that was super annoying. I told her I could say anything to him, I could tell him my deepest darkest secrets, but he wouldn't really care what they were since he already knows everything about me that he needs to know for us to get along well. I'm going to keep an eye on job postings for that place because although I can see ways in which we would and could clash, I think we also have a lot of potential as fellow employees. Yesterday I realized that two of the women I work with are a huge drain on my energy and health. My boss and I got so much accomplished and we had fun doing it. That's how work should be.
There's something on my mind that I want to write about and figure out, but it isn't quite clear to me. It's this nagging restless persistent thing that won't go away and nothing I do to try and get to the bottom of it seems accurate. I don't know what triggered it, I think it may be related to money, or my job, or the future, but none of those things seem exactly right. This is the kind of thing that feels related to the intuitive process, something is bothering me, but I don't know what it is, I'll know when it finally comes into focus, but for now it's this murky indistinct blob of weirdness in my head. I have a lot of compartments in my mind, I opened the door on the blue and white one, remember when I was into the blue and white phase? I think I got rid of that book and now I'm sad because I loved flipping through the pictures inside. I forget how much I love beautiful things and people, I think I miss someone, I think, maybe I think I have half or part of a puzzle, and someone else I either haven't met yet, or don't know well has the other part of it. We can only do so much on our own, we need the other person before the whole thing can come together. I don't know if that makes sense, but now that I wrote it, I think this is true. Someone else has something I want or need, but I don't know who they are, or what this could be yet.
This is giving me a book or a short story idea. Someone, the main character, has a piece of a puzzle that a family member gave to them without instructions. They hang onto it and carry it around with them because they like it and it reminds them of this mentor that they had in their life that is now gone. One day they meet the person who has a piece that clicks, and I think this is a good way to describe how I view the phrase, opposites attract. Together you are more than you are on your own. All the people in my life are puzzle pieces, the ones that are most closely connected to me are the people who love and care about me, the further away they are, I like the idea that I can add pieces to the puzzle or remove them to bring people closer to me, or give myself freedom or protection from them. I'm going to start thinking about people this way, who makes me a better person, and who can I move around so that me leading my life is better for me and mankind in general. I actually love this idea and may start writing out names and cutting them into puzzle shaped pieces. Then I can write what I like about others, and the people I dislike are going to go in their very own separate pile until I have enough warmth, positivity, and problem solving skills to safely deal with them whenever that's required.
I don't know what this will accomplish, but I'm excited to try it out and see where it leads. If nothing else it's a game to play by myself when I'm not feeling well. I'm kind of wondering how long this sore throat thing is going to last because I feel like it's been going on for a while now. This morning my friend told me she wanted to get me a card for my birthday, but was afraid I was going to throw it away. I told her I probably would, then she asked if I would throw a thing away too and I said it would depend on what it was, then she asked if she should just wish me a happy birthday and I told her that was fine, the conversation was very awkward and I'm pretty sure I hurt her feelings, I actually really like cards, but I will typically throw them away and I felt like I had to be honest about that. I like it when people choose cards that seem meaningful to me and I guess I haven't done a very good job of conveying that to others. When I was reading the INTJ seduction article one of the commenters wondered why anyone would be interested in an INTJ partner and part of me had to agree. I don't mean to be difficult, I'm actually trying pretty hard not to be, but sometimes the harder I try, the less successful I am. I just don't usually see what the fuss is and dislike it when I'm presented with a gift or card because that puts me on the spot. I like cultures where gifts are opened in privacy to protect the feelings on both sides. That makes sense to me.
And now a quick feelings update even though this is already way longer and even more rambling than my usual posts which sometimes have an actual point, okay, maybe not, but I like to humor myself. Today I am kind of sad and lonely. A friend reached out last night because he was down and I didn't know what to say to him. He's legally blind, he and his wife have been having problems for a while, she's pregnant, and they have no idea if the baby is his, or another man's because his wife had bariatric sugery and started sleeping around. Needless to say that hurt his feelings quite a bit. This is tough for me because I've never liked her, and I really like him quite a bit. I feel bad for him and I hate that there's nothing I can do other than try to be his friend. His wife knows we are friends and has said some things that make me think she's jealous even though she has absolutely no reason to be. He offered to turn over his phone to her so she could read our conversations. she said she wasn't interested, but I think she already went through his phone and is still mad because she can't pin anything on either of us. Whatever lady. You are a hot mess and you're dragging others into it which is really unfair to him and that baby. Figure it out and let him go, or woman up and be the wife you promised to be when you married him.
I'm not in a bad mood, but my throat is so sore it's making it hard to be super cheerful. I want someone to come over with popsicles, pudding, tea, soup, and it would be absolutely lovely if they brought a puzzle to put together that was really interesting, but didn't mind if I took a nap every so often while we were putting it together. Reading about extraverted thinking and introverted intuition and seduction of robotic people is all well and good, but it's not the best way to deal with this type of mood. I want a hug, I want someone who is just going to be there, I may even want to watch a mindless movie, I want someone who will treat me the way that I treat others when they are sick. Now I feel like I might start crying because I still have to go to PT in an hour and I have a feeling I should have cancelled my appointment and just told them I'm not feeling well. But I don't feel terrible and I do miss them and my ankle will never get better unless I put in the time and effort to strengthen it. I got a text from someone who got my number from someone I used to work with who wants to pass on a job opportunity. Normally this would make me happy, today I'm just not feeling it. I'm selfish and tired, and needy today. It's not fun. Stay away. But not too long. I miss people more than I admit. It's my deepest darkest secret ever and I only told you because I'm having a rare feelings moment, okay, I think it passed. Time to go get ready for PT.
P.S. I can tell I'm not feeling well because not even the library is appealing today.
Him: "How many kids do you have?"
Me: "I have two girls. Jill and Jane. Do you have any kids?"
Him: "No, I'm not even married. A lot of people I know are splitting up and getting divorced." Maybe he is afraid to commit on some level, I know I am, but I also thing people are judging him too harshly. He sounded wistful when he said this.
A parenting accomplishment would have to be my daughter getting a job, keeping it, and paying me for rides back and forth to school. I've had some tough conversations with the girls, my unicorn friend helped me in ways I didn't understand would be as valuable as they are now. She once said something about the way I parent that I wish I could remember, she taught me that it was okay to explore emotions through writing (I found this at the bottom, I have no idea how it got cut off from the rest of the post and now I don't have time to finish my thought. Maybe another day...