Acceptance, INFP, and TToT

It’s been so long since I’ve camped out and stayed long enough on my own site to eke out a post.

Well..it’s about time I change that. And why not join that most grateful of blog hops?

Thankful for Employment

First things first: I’m immensely thankful for my job. But that’s the biggest reason I don’t find myself visiting my humble abode of cyberspace nearly as much as I had in the past few years. I went from being “just a teacher” to an administrator, managing 35 people plus 54 students, translating and interpreting for the families of those students, ordering supplies, running daily operations, being a liaison for four agencies working together to pull off this program, among other things.

In other words, I’m doggedly tired when I get home but relish in knowing that I have this incredible opportunity to mentor college students and young minority students whose first language is probably not English.

It’s kind of mind blowing, sometimes, when I think about it.

It brings me to muse about how I’m a clark and an INFP personality.

And how, those days when I’m feeling quite stressed out and wondering why I put myself into such an interesting job situation – that is grant funded and never had any guarantee of continuing beyond June of this year – for better or worse.

Well, for one thing, I crave change. You usually don’t hear people say that.

I once wrote here on nearly a daily basis (and oh how many times I’ve thought of deleting this site to get rid of the potential baggage I’ve created for myself here…and in the end I always decide that this is a running record of my journey and that, no matter how little or how much I write here, this is an indelible part of my own footprint, whether I recognize that or not. I recognize that enough to keep it here, me thinks). But see, since I crave change, I don’t write here as much now – obviously.

But that’s the thing.

I used to chastise myself for not “sticking with it.”

I’ve dabbled in palettes of creative: photography, drawing, painting, writing, knitting, crafts and more.

I did all with the notion: ooh, I’m going to make a full time living out of this! I see people online do it all the time! Two Zazzle shops, one Etsy shop, and multiple sites later….

Eh…my focus ebbed.

Do you know how many times I’ve felt like I’ve failed myself?

But before you think this post is going to be oozing lumps of depressive ectoplasm, I promise it’s not.

It’s about the journey. The journey of understanding and accepting yourself.

The Wakefield Doctrine

So the second thing I’m thankful for is the discovery of sites like the Wakefield Doctrine and reading everything I can about INFPs (introverted, iNtuitive, feeling, perceiving) according to Myers-Briggs.

I never stop thinking. It’s the “clarkest” of clark characteristics.

Apparently many INFPs struggle with finding their place in life. And often lack follow-through.

This is me. I want to make a difference. I want to inspire. I want to get those emails in my inbox that read, “you do not understand how you’ve changed my life.”

But then after I’ve gotten all caught up in the moment and my heart is bursting with “I’m here. I’m on it! I’m making a difference!” I sort of get this burned out feeling because I suddenly need to go hide. And recover from the massive energy expenditure of just being me and absorbing the energy of everyone around me.

I swear, if it wasn’t for the “you’re locked in” nature of having a job, I’d probably float all over painting sidewalks one day, volunteering at the nearest Hispanic agency to translate to Spanish the next, and still  on the third day I’d be taking a hike with my slightly deranged dog who looks like he drank one too many kegs of beer. And well, sometimes he acts like a mean drunk.

But that’s neither here nor there. I accept and love him.

Meditation

Which leads me to number three. I’m thankful for meditation.

This practice alone has saved me from many a nervous breakdown. And by that I mean going from being “just a teacher” to managing an organization with all eyes on you is not exactly what an INFP would do. We’re those sorts of people who do not want to lead or follow.

Honestly, that idiom, “marches to the beat of a different drummer” is quite true. Except, I’d probably take that drum, paint it in all sorts of geometric shapes and put a hole in it from too much banging.

I find myself in the reluctant position of being a leader. It’s a strange feeling of attention that you get and every day I’m grateful for the smooth-running nature of the program and how my employees say they feel like they’re all extended family and that the students in our charge are like adopted children.

That’s pretty cool. That very notion keeps me going – despite me feeling like all these folks are watching every move I do, down to the last footstep.

I wonder if they’ve figured out that I’m a free spirit, yet. I’m sure they have; some of them know I have an artist website….

I try to keep it under wraps. But I still find ways to express myself, despite the serious attitude I have to adopt each day: I wear crazy socks that usually only I can see, I go home and draw or watch bad Spanish videos at night (it’s for practice…but I do get hooked), and on the weekends I find myself reading books about Buddha; still, I’ve recently taken an interest in yoga.

Contemplative Coloring

Back in January, I finally decided to create a site where I’d put all my “sharpie art” drawings in one place. Yeah, once had a “Sharpie Artist” website, but alas, blame it on the INFP, it didn’t stick.dragonfliescoloring

I go through bursts of creativity – feverishly creating work after work after work, and then I have to take a break.

But still…drawing is meditative, people want to color, I like to draw things that have spaces to color…so Contemplative Coloring was born.

It’s a way to build a portfolio over time, yes. But I’m a giver. And not a seller. I like to give my work away. If it somehow leads to something else in the future, well…it won’t be because I’ve stuck to it religiously like a daily ascetic practice.

It’s because I had fits of starts and stops, and decided to not delete that website, too…and sort of kept going with it for years longer than I thought possible and surprised even myself.

I have a lot of fun drawing and sharing these. And I’ve been spending a lot of time there that I otherwise would have spent here. So, now, I have a sort of “personal musings” website and a completely niche coloring one.

Writing

The other day, I made a comment on Bill’s blog, Artistry with Words. That’s the inspiration behind this particular strand of grateful.

Bill is an Energizer Bunny: he cranks out articles, books, hubs, and blog posts. He’s done it for years. I commented on his remarkable endurance.

And that post he did also made me think of the four or five (I honestly can’t remember! Isn’t that slightly nuts?) novels I have sitting on various jump drives and such. I tried to write fiction. Short stories. And other such things.

But, my brain isn’t wired for creative crazy imagination like that. It’s okay. I had to write that much to figure it out.

I’m into nonfiction and personal reflection. I always have been.

Interestingly enough, JK Rowling is an INFP. One of the hallmarks of an INFP is the person’s ability to write. J.R.R. Tolkien was another INFP.

Somehow my expression of being an INFP came more on the artistic side of things.

I’ve always resorted to painting, drawing, and finding colorful activities to entertain my optic synapses. The writing I’ve always done? Journals. I just love to write and express myself through secret entries that will never meet another’s eyes.

It’s just what I do.

It’s taken until I’m 36 to accept all aspects of this: the fact that I’m not one to go blindly into the crowd to celebrate the end of a hard-won work week (please, can I just go home, have a glass of wine, read some more on being a Buddha and go to bed after an episode of Águila Roja?). I change my mind a lot. The thought of having to work at a job until I’m 65 fills me with a simultaneous sense of dread and quiet acceptance of what is.

And still I dream of what could be.

Childfree

I’ve never shared this much before, but…

I think I’m electing to live the childfree life. Being an educator, I do get a lot of raised eyebrows at that one.

It’s due, in part, to a family background that yes, made me write a secret memoir that I’m too afraid to publish.

It could be the miscarriage that occurred two months after my brother’s death in 2011.

It could be the fact that I’ve faced infertility since then and there have been times that I thought, “I’m gonna be a mom!” and then it doesn’t happen over and over again. And no, I’m not one to do anything about it except the fact that if it’s supposed to happen naturally, it will. (The thought of fertility treatments, the expense, the spending time as a specimen in antiseptic offices? Yeah, no. I’m lucky to get my own self to the doctor once every five years.)

It could be the fact that I actually do like my life as it is and I’m learning to embrace the notion that, perhaps, I’m supposed to make a difference on a wider scale than the route of having a family.

Maybe I’ll adopt. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll foster. Maybe I won’t.

But I’m grateful for the acceptance I’m starting to feel at it all.

The Magic

I picked up this book at the library in October or November. And it’s entirely related to the theme of being grateful. It’s by Rhonda Byrne, the same author of The Secret, though I admit I didn’t like that one at all.

But, The Magic? The whole book is about being grateful.

I make grateful lists everyday now. Sometimes I write them down, and sometimes I do them mentally.

But I’m learning to feel gratitude as often as I can throughout the day: there’s a special power in the feeling of feeling your blessings through gratitude. It’s the kind of thing that, no matter what’s happening in life, you have blessings beyond that which you’re even aware of.

Until I read this book, I never thought to be grateful for the asphalt street upon which my house sits. But I am. I’m grateful for the labor of the people that endeavored to put all that yucky stuff down so that others might benefit. I’m thankful to the earth for supplying the resources necessary for the street to come into fruition. I’m thankful for all the people who planned all that out. I’m thankful for the streetworkers who come and maintain the roads in the summer and winter.

I am grateful in countless other ways, too.

I never thought to walk 1,000 steps, saying the words “thank you” over and over again.

I have been thankful for my health before, but never on a daily scale that I can walk, talk, and lead a normal life.

I have been thankful for my vision before, but never in a way that understands how lucky I am that even though I’m blind in my right eye, I have nearly perfect vision in my left.

Gratitude, meditation, and acceptance of who I am – on every level – are not only changing my life, but they are practices that often make me deliriously happy at best, and mildly discontent at worst (a condition that, honestly, is short-lived).

I’d better end this post here, lest I end up writing some sort of e-book on all the intricacies of a right-brained girl in a left-brained society…

This is a post in the Ten Things of Thankful Blog Hop

 

 

35 thoughts on “Acceptance, INFP, and TToT

  1. I’m exhausted just reading about your life…but….

    When I take a look at my life I realize how similar mine is to yours…just different shades of the same color.

    I can’t rest….I am driven to be the best…what? person? writer? human being? My mind is never at rest…..and today, and most days, I’m fine with that. I look at other lives, and how people go about their days, and it’s all cool for them, but this is me, and I’m fine with me being me and….

    the end 🙂

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    1. THERE IT IS! I found it! I went digging around my site some more and found it!
      Different shades of the same color – I love it!
      I’m find with you being you. And this is why I call you Big Bro. It’s like we’ve led parallel lives – with nuances, of course – but arriving at similar conclusions to this thing called life.
      Am so glad to know you. So glad our paths have crossed.

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  2. (ok…. I’ll admit that this looks like cheating to claim ‘Frist comment’ by according to the Book of Secret Rules (aka the Secret Book of Rules) Rule Number 670.2 subchap 7.3 ‘a visitor to a TToT Post may, provided there is a photo of their canine family member in (said) post, may proceed directly to the Comment section and claim Frist, (of course, said visitor should try to shorten of the comment or someone will surely get to the first Comment before he can)

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    1. Awesome Contemplative Coloring site… May I link to Carrot if as a fav if you’re okay with that? Also elected to not have children then the universe decided a kid needed me and one fell into my lap and an adoption was born… so life has a way of working it as its meant I suppose… I would have never elected to have a kid… I thought the only forgone conclusion was I wouldnt be having one…best layed plans however…

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      1. Ivy – aww, shucks, thanks! Of course you can link.
        I love that: “the universe decided a kid needed me” – I’ve always thought that if a soul would choose me, I’d welcome that little soul…though I admit I’ve been afraid for a very long time.
        And yes…those best plans that take an interesting detour…hehe. Have a good one!

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  3. damn! I forgot to claim ‘FRIST’!!

    and I didn’t know that there was an SAT Math Section Security Test to take!

    Luckily the questions is: one x 1= and I’ll bet I can do that without my calculator!

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  4. Fun, honest and vulnerable. Nice combo for a post Cynthia. I’m a dabbler too who has never found that thing in life that I want to stick with or commit to, including relationships. (ugh). Thanks for sharing your journey so openly. hugs, Brad

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  5. Thing is, having this place to come back to intermittently, will give you a tangible record of change in yourself, your circumstances, your perspectives, and will enable you to be in touch with the movement of your life in a way you might otherwise miss (seeing as how we’re too often surrounded by trees to see the woods).

    I’m glad you’re here, and glad you’re ‘out there’, and HUGELY glad you’re doing well.

    That acceptance thing…a couple of years ago if you’d told me it could happen – that one day I’d be glad to be childless, be thinking I might never have a family that way, and be okay with the idea – I probably would have punched you. But now…life has changed so much, and me with it, and all I can feel is gratitude for what was not to be, and what I have now.

    Love you, lady 🙂

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    1. Lizzi – you’re absolutely right. I totally see that with my handwritten journals, too. It’s always fun to go back and look at what I was thinking in a particular time.
      Hugely glad YOU’RE doing well. I see all your adventures – can’t always comment – but I look on with glee knowing your heart is shining!
      That acceptance thing: it’s something I’ve been working on my whole adult life. Somehow it seemed easier to accept things when I was a kid, but anyways…
      Life has a way of working out, doesn’t it?
      Love you back!

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    1. Dianne – I love this “you do not need to apologize for your choices. Ever.” I have to tell myself that when it comes to toxic family issues that leave me wondering if I’m doing the most loving thing for them or the most selfish one. But…in the end, I try to do everything with love. I often fail, but I try.
      Thank you for coming by!

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  6. I have never held a job for more than a few years. Each job has been vastly different from the last. An auditor at a lawn company, a cake decorator, a photographer, a 5th grade teacher, a preschool teacher, a receptionist in a food brokerage. We won’t even go into the hobbies I’ve started and then got tired with. Now, my youngest is in school, and I’m in a tailspin trying to figure out what to do with my life. There are so many options!!! How am I supposed to choose? Especially because the chances are that whatever I choose won’t last for too long. I’m pretty sure I’ll get bored with it soon enough and want to try something else. Anyway, I get ya, though I’m ENFP and a scott. (With a good dose of clark thrown in.)

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  7. “how many times I’ve thought of deleting this site to get rid of the potential baggage I’ve created for myself here…and in the end I always decide that this is a running record of my journey”

    I am one of many who are grateful you didn’t delete this site. Your journey, how you dealt with your baggage and life’s challenges, your poetry, your art – all an inspiration 🙂

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    1. Denise – haha, I know right? I always think I’ll end up sort of regretting what I have done here. The crazy journey of photography then art, then writing, then personal musings then this then that…I meander. This…this is what I do. Hehehe. Thank you for being you! Hugs.

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  8. I love so much of what you’ve put in here that I’m coming back again later to re-read and really savor. *leaves tab open*
    I think what I like best though, are your thoughts on acceptance. Accepting who and where we are in live is such a huge thing and makes all the difference in outlook and so much more. I wish you nothing but the best!
    I love the Meyers-Briggs stuff. I’m an INFJ or INTJ, depending on the day. I’ve taken it many times and come up one or the other equally – I think it must depend on circumstances in my life or else I’m just that much of a borderline. Or something. 😀

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    1. Lisa – hehe, thank you. Acceptance: it is a daily practice. 🙂 I once tested as an INTJ on the Meyers-Briggs, but looking at the description of it, I think I answered the questions wrong or something, hehe. So a few years later, when I retook it, I learned I was an INFP and I agreed with the whole description of it. Ha! That’s so awesome that you are an INTJ, though. I *bet* you’re into science and Star Trek – I love those, too! Haha!

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      1. Hmm…science and Star Trek? Not so much. I dropped out of science in school the minute I was able and Star Trek never turned me on. However. Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and other such things? Yeah. X-Files? Love. Although I quite prefer the conspiracy story lines to the monster of the week ones. 😀 So perhaps my “T” is off.

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      2. LOL..science…I used to want to study biology and/or math and/or aeronautical engineering. But it hurt my brain and I went for anthropology, Spanish and art in favor of creative expression and the human condition. But, well…hehe. Love the X-Files. And I don’t think your “T” is off. 😉

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  9. Ok so there was a whole lot here I was going to comment on but my brain is swiss cheese and I am also a Clark so.
    1. I think your artwork stands on its own and that other people coloring it in or not isn’t the point. I think you should put it out there more, because it’s incredible as is. For real.
    2. The kid thing. (and this is my nugget in my head)
    I think you should try to not overthink it… mostly because I overthunk it, got pregnant, miscarried, had a whole bunch of a million other things happen, tot married again to another person, tried and tried and tried and then, one month, forgot. And boom. I was 39 and 2 months and then figured it’d never stick. I didn’t tell anybody for MONTHS (except my husband, but even him, I waited to tell). Anyway, with friends in similar situations who have done all the things and none of the things, just see. You’ve still got time.
    Is that okay to say?
    3. Or 4?? I think about deleting my site(s) all the time. I hope you won’t.

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    1. Kristi – love your words here! Fellow clark. 🙂
      Thank you for the feedback on my art. I admit: I’m going the free route right now in the hopes that eventually someone notices. Not sure if that’s entirely a good idea, but seeing that I don’t have a lot of time for art shows at the moment, I figure free exposure might be better than none. Or, I’m just a terrible marketer when it comes to my own creations and have always needed help. Hehe.
      Regarding the kid thing: what a cool story! Yeah…part of my problem is that I’ve always been on the fence about it. And why I waited so long…probably too long. And well, I’m embracing the childfree life: I actually hope to travel more very soon. LOL.
      As for site deletion: I think about it, especially when I don’t have time to write here for months, but then I end up thinking naw…it’s a journey. All about the journey. 🙂

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  10. Oh wow, this is one of my favourite posts you’ve written so far… I found myself nodding along to almost everything you’ve written.

    Acceptance. YES! I’m so with you on this point. Man, we spend so much of our lives trying to be a person everyone wants us to be. A mom by the time we’re xyz years old. Having written a book, because well, urm, aren’t you supposed to be a ‘writer’? Being okay to be in the same job for years and not look like you’re job hopping all over the show. Wow. Life, people – always interesting and never a dull moment.

    I’m enjoying writing my daily gratitude notes and this new found love for yoga. Especially on those tough days, just knowing that I can roll out my mat and get lost in this wonderful meditative art, it’s helped the anxiety a lot.

    That colouring in site you’ve created? It is a work of art; and the fact that it’s free and just exudes your passion in every single drawing, wow – it’s just amazing to see! 🙂

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    1. Melanie – hehe, thank you for your sweet words!
      Yes, acceptance. Knowing that “it is what it is.” So much to learn from, no? I also have that new love for yoga. I did some today! Thank you for your feedback about the coloring site, too. Thank you so much for YOUR amazingness!
      Sending hugs! xox

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  11. This is great musings. I saw Clark posting your coloring pages and I was intrigued. I used to love drawing. I think that’s interesting, what you say about Rowling and Tolkien. I am like that often.
    I wish I could still see enough to draw, but since losing more of my little remaining sight I moved onto writing instead, to take its place. I still miss colour and pictures. I loved art until I couldn’t see it any longer.
    Glad to meet you here.

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    1. Kerry – thank you for your feedback. 🙂 Haha…Rowling and Tolkien – two of my favorites! Glad to meet you here. I love how you have taken up writing: it’s still an art form and its ability to reach far beyond just a few people is so remarkable. Thank you for coming by!

      Like

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