Looking In

You look at me and see the girl
Who lives inside the golden world
But don’t believe
That’s all there is to see
You’ll never know the real me

Within the past year, I have done a lot of deep “soul-searching” and have learned so much about myself, which is weird to say because I feel like people tend to know who they are. In high school, we took the Myers-Briggs to help guide us on our futures based on our personality type. Of course, as a teenager, I was just satisfied with the result of my test having “teacher” as a good profession, because that was (and is) what I have always wanted to do.

She smiles through a thousand tears
And harbors adolescent fears
She dreams of all
That she can never be
She wades in insecurity
And hides herself inside of me

Fast-forward 12 years later…I retake the test and get the same results. This has been huge for me now since I still feel lost about who I am. Why do I think differently from others? Why do I feel so out of place in society? What do I truly desire for myself? Why do I always feel the need for self-improvement with the main course of self-loathing? It’s been hard going through this alone when there was so much left to learn about myself. But after taking the test again, I have been able to research my personality type and came across this beautiful website that helped me understand my quirky, complicated and contradictory self.

Don’t say she takes it all for granted
I’m well aware of all I have
Don’t think that I am disenchanted
Please understand

There was a great article about my personality type (INFJ) and it listed some of my traits that I was happy to agree with. I’ve listed a few to elaborate on.

1. From a young age, you felt different from the people around you. Even if you had plenty of friends, you never felt like you truly fit in. Sometimes you faked being more like them so they would accept you. This is normal for an INFJ, because we need a sense of community and harmony with those around us.

I have always had this sense that I was not like other people…and it’s not because of my bi-racial background. I quickly realized that I did not think like others did and they did not understand me.

2. You want to know what’s REALLY going on in people’s lives, not just trivial stuff like what they did this weekend or what they bought on their latest shopping trip. You want to dig deep and get at the things that no one else sees. What does the person in front of you really think? How does this person reallyfeel? The fake facade they put up for other people doesn’t fool you.

I’m all about real talk. Small talk sucks and it usually gets awkward.  ‘Nuff said.
4. You can be both incredibly shy, quiet, and withdrawn, as well as charming, fun, and hilarious. For an INFJ, it’s all about the situation, your mood, and energy levels—and most importantly, the people you’re with.
6. You are an introvert and you like alone time, but you can’t be alone for too long. Eventually you need to reunite with your people. “Your people” are a handful of good friends who truly “get” you. Deep conversations with these people are priceless, and hanging out with them can actually boost your energy.
THIS. RIGHT. HERE. It is all about the people I’m with. I am in my element when I teach. I love working with kids.  And with my closest friends, I am not afraid to let my hair down and have fun. Put me in a faculty meeting or a crowded bar, and I clam up and withdraw as fast as I can.
7. You’ve been known to suddenly cut people out of your life when they’ve hurt you one too many times. It’s not that you enjoy cutting people out, rather, you do this simply to protect yourself. Even though you may look like you have it together on the outside, you’re extremely sensitive inwardly, and you’re especially sensitive to other people’s words and actions.
Ex-boyfriends. Co-workers. Bosses. This hasn’t happened often, but when it does happen, I have nothing else to say but “byeeeee.”
8. Sometimes you try so hard to make other people happy that you forget to make yourself happy. (This is one of the biggest problems and INFJ struggles to overcome.)
This happens almost on a daily basis. Something I need to work on for sure.
13. You often immediately sense the mood of a room when you walk into it. Likewise, you often absorb the feelings of the people around you. If they’re excited, you get excited. If they’re anxious, you get anxious, too. You tend to gravitate toward calm, centered people so you don’t have to deal with as much emotional garbage.
I have always felt like I can feel the vibe of a room. It saved my life in college when my roommates wanted to watch a rising rapper in Atlanta perform. We went to the club, paid the stupid cover and the moment I walked in, I knew something was off. I ended up leaving and felt safer walking home alone than staying at the club. My roommates stayed and witnessed a shooting in the club a couple hours later.
15. You care deeply about the people in your life, but they’ll probably never know just how much you care, because you keep your feelings mostly to yourself. You can have trouble articulating your emotions, even though you feel them intensely.
16. You’re usually thoughtful, conscientious, and considerate. Other people who are not as conscientious can seem callous and even cruel.
This ties in with the previous point; I feel everything. I absorb emotions so easily, it affects me on such a deep level. So when I feel these things, I don’t usually express it to others because I always felt that they’d think I’m weird or some crazy-stalker.
20. When you’re passionate about something, it feels like nothing can stand in your way. The INFJ motto is, “The impossible takes just a little bit longer.”
This is how I feel about my job. I am passionate about teaching my students and helping them realize what connection they have to music.
It seems as though I’ve always been
Somebody outside looking in
Well here I am for all of them to bleed
But they can’t take my heart from me
And they can’t bring me to my knees
They’ll never know the real me
So there you have it. I could probably go on forever in listing all the revelations I have had about my personality type, but there has to be a stopping point. I feel like I have shared an entire filing cabinet’s worth of my thoughts on one subject; myself. And yet I still feel misunderstood and alienated. I am still coming to terms with all this, but I have to say, I am getting better every day in accepting who I am and telling myself it’s okay to think the way I do. I may be wired differently from others, but in the end, I am just as human as others and will find others who can understand where I come from.
Songwriters: Walter Afanasieff / Mariah Carey
Looking In lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Hello, universe.

I have been staring at my keyboard for the last fifteen minutes thinking of some clever thing to start our adventure with. Before this screen, I had tons of ideas and topics that I wanted to write about and now…nothing.

I am terrified. I am second-guessing myself. This is a bad idea. What the hell were you thinking?

Of course, this goes on for some time and it’s now almost three hours later I am still here, fighting with myself. Trying to talk myself out of it and into it.

Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow…I’ll let my dreams fight it over and figure out what we’ll talk about.

Until next time.

I want the chaos in my brain to stop. But I’m afraid that the moment it does, the fire in my soul will too.