I can’t get no satisfaction.

All my life, I have always been wanting for more. More independence, more money, more success, more confidence, more happiness…you name it. It’s like I can never achieve this hypothetical level of satisfaction.

I’ve been feeling this way lately in regards to my living situation. I’m currently living in my hometown where I’ve lived most of my life except for 3 1/2 years abroad and a few miscellaneous years before I was 5. I live in a small-to-midsize city that, while pretty and pleasant, is truthfully boring to me most of the time. Since I grew up here, I am familiar with the region and there is nothing new and exciting for me to discover.

At times I just want to pack up and move to a larger city with more opportunities and new places to explore. I can’t seem to bring myself to do it quite yet though. I am constantly torn between moving and staying. I’ve composed 2 lists: why I want to leave, and why I want to stay.

Anyone else feel similarly about their living situation?

Why I Want To Move:

  1. I have a desire for new experiences: meeting new interesting people, visiting new places, learning new things. I like to explore.
  2. There are more career opportunities in larger cities.
  3. I can be more independent from my family.
  4. There are more diversions to occupy my free time. I love concerts, museums, and restaurants. I’ve pretty much exhausted the options where I currently live.
  5. Most of my closest friends have dispersed and live all over the US and abroad. I feel lonely without them and wouldn’t feel too sad leaving since they all have already!

Why I Want To Stay:

  1. Although I want independence from my family, we are still close and the thought of not being able to see them regularly would be kind of depressing.
  2. My doggy. She is extremely bonded to my mother and if I moved away, she would stay with my mom. I would miss her so much.
  3. Familiarity. I confuse myself: although I crave new experiences and adventures, the familiar feeling of my hometown is comforting.
  4. We have nice weather here, and most places have more extreme temperatures. I am highly sensitive to temperatures and don’t fare well in hot or cold. I need moderate weather to be fully functional which is what I’ve got now!
  5. Although at times I find my current city boring, it is nice in that it is not overly crowded. A bigger city would mean more crowds, more traffic, more noise, and more pollution. I am highly sensitive to my surroundings and I can see myself becoming a constantly frazzled person if my senses are constantly assaulted and I can’t get much peace.

For now I’ll stick with my current living situation. I won’t force a move just to get out if it doesn’t feel right. If ever a new and better career opportunity arises elsewhere, I’d highly consider a move if the location was nice. I guess I’ll just keep at it and see where life takes me. In the meantime, I’ll try to keep myself entertained with reading, writing, films and travel. Sometimes I forget how refreshing and revitalizing to life travel can be. Now on to plan my next trip…

I was hiding, but have not disappeared.

Hello Reader!

After over a year of hiatus, I have decided to return to blogging. I don’t know why I abandoned this in the first place-I probably just got caught up in my job. Now that I feel more settled, back to writing I go.

As we enter into the new year, I have been doing a lot of reflecting as well as planning. I want to establish personal goals for myself so I have something to work towards. Upon reflecting on 2016, I don’t feel like I accomplished a whole lot. I probably am just being hard on myself, but that’s the story of my life. I’ve always been hard on myself. Besides work, I didn’t really do anything significant with myself and I’d like to do more with my life this year. But what?

One of my main goals for 2017 is to find a new project to work on in my free time. I feel like my life’s purpose is to serve and help others. Life is just not fulfilling or meaningful unless I am doing something to help others. If anyone read any of my previous posts, you would have learned that I got a job working with people with disabilities. I am still in that job, and loving it! I kind of stumbled into the job not knowing what to expect, but wanted to give it a try. I was thinking it would be a good experience to tie me over until I found my “true calling.” Little did I know when I applied, that this field may be my true calling after all…

I get so much gratification out of my work, knowing that I act as a positive influence in people’s lives and that I can give them the support they deserve. Life is hard enough, and if I can help make it a bit brighter or easier for someone, then I am happy with my work. Nothing warms my heart more than receiving positive feedback and words of gratitude from the individuals I support. Although it can definitely be challenging at times, I absolutely love working with this population and can see myself doing so for the long term. I feel like I can be my true, strange self around them and they welcome and embrace it! I am so happy to be able to enjoy going to work everyday and be greeted by a caring and accepting work environment.

Back to my goal of having a new project…I’m not 100% sure what I want to do yet, but I’d like to find a worthwhile volunteer project. I’ll keep my eyes open for new volunteer opportunities where I can help others in need. Perhaps helping youth, homeless, terminally ill or any kind of disadvantaged population. I’m sure the right opportunity will come along in time. I just want to help as many people as I can. Stay tuned…

Oh and another goal for 2017? Continue with this blog. Even if only one person reads it-heck only if I read it-I find it cathartic to write out my thoughts and feelings. Some things I just find too personal to share online, so there may be some weird abstract/metaphorical postings in the future to deal with these emotions.

If you have read this, I thank you. Wishing everyone a bright and beautiful 2017!

Update on the job situation

In previous posts, I explained about my educational and career path thus far in my life.

Now, I’d like to give an update on what I’ve been doing these past few months. I spent weeks looking for jobs at the beginning of the year, while trying to figure out what kind of work I would be happy doing. As an extremely introverted and highly sensitive individual, I have a lot of factors to take in to consideration when considering potential jobs. For the longest time the only listings I could find were for retail and office admin jobs, both of which I had zero interest in.

I spent a lot of time thinking about what kind of job I would like. I knew I wanted to do something that involved helping people and that was not profit-driven. Since I had worked with animals in the past, I applied to work at a dog day-care facility. The interview was a breeze since I had so much animal experience, and they called me back the next day to offer me part-time work. Right after the interview I thought about if I would like working there. As much as I love dogs, I knew it wasn’t the right fit for me for 2 reasons: (1) it seemed pretty boring/no intellectual stimulation–I would basically be monitoring dogs all day to make sure they were behaving and not fighting; and (2) the constant barking and jumping would just rattle my nerves too much. So, I declined the offer even though I didn’t have anything else lined up.

Luckily, a few days later I saw a couple of job postings for two different non-profits that assist adults with disabilities. I had never worked with people with disabilities before, but it sounded like a very rewarding field. So I applied to both. I got a call back from one of them the next week, and the other one emailed me back. One was more on-top of communicating with me so I followed through with that non-profit. The interview process was very lengthy–understandably since they want to make sure they have responsible and honest people working with disabled people. Luckily I must have made a good impression, because I got the job!

I have been working there for about 3 months now. My title is job coach and I am in charge of supervising crews who work in the local community. I have to drive them to the job site, give them instructions and feedback on their work, and do regular progress reports. The job can be tough at times, but it is very rewarding and I am so glad I did not get stuck in some awful retail job. I really enjoy helping others and making a positive difference in people’s lives. It means the world to me when my crew members tell me they like me as their job coach and that they are happy to work with me.

For at least the next year I’ll be happy in this position. I would like to go back to school for a Master’s degree in a year. Right now I am thinking career or college counseling. After lots of research and thinking, I believe this would be a great fit for me. I would be able to help people while being in an educational setting (which I love). I have always loved helping people figure out what they want to do with their lives. So if all goes as planned, I’ll be back in school learning how to be a career/college counselor in a year’s time! In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy helping the awesome people I supervise.

You Want Me To Buy Something? Then Leave Me Alone.

Yesterday I was browsing shops at the mall and as I was walking along the pathway, I was pestered by a handful of store employees standing in store doorways trying to entice potential customers. I hated this. As an introvert, I really don’t like talking to people I don’t know. I especially don’t like being confronted in such an aggressive manner when I am trying to have a peaceful, solitary shopping experience.

As I ambled along the walkway, a sales associate at a cosmetics store shouted at me to try to catch my attention. When I ignored him after the first attempt, he tried again, louder. I continued to pretend I didn’t hear or see him, and went on my way. Can you talk about annoying? I really wanted to go up to him and say “if you want me to buy something, then leave me alone.” I am non-confrontational so I did no such thing, but boy did I want to! Maybe I will next time if I feel aggravated enough.

In fact, I am much more likely to make a purchase if I am not approached by sales associates. I am always keenly aware of their intentions: to make as many sales as possible. I know they are trained to pitch products as amazing and will turn on the charm to persuade people to buy stuff they don’t really need. As a very intuitive person, I can see straight through this and it doesn’t work on me. I can’t say I’ve ever been persuaded by any sales person to buy something. I prefer to quietly study products on my own to figure out what is best for me. If I have a question then I will ask for help, but other than that I prefer to be left alone in shops.

Usually when I go in to a store, I have an agenda of what I am going to get and I don’t stray from it. I rarely go in to stores where I don’t need to buy anything, and if I do, I just look around first. I prefer to be an informed shopper and I don’t make any purchases before reading multiple reviews online.

This level of preparedness reflects how I tackle most situations in life. Any other INFJs/introverts out there act the same way regarding shopping? Do you let sales people sway you or do you see right through them as well?

Breaking free

If you read my previous posts about my educational/career path, you’ll know that I had been unhappy in my pursuit of veterinary medicine. Today as I was driving, a mental metaphor popped in to my mind of what my life had been like. It was as if I had been stuck inside a glass cube for years. The cube represented the veterinary career I had forced myself to pursue. I could see outside of it, and I wished I could escape to the outside world which was more desirable than being stuck inside. I would stare outside of it for years and years, but too afraid to try escaping. However over time I started having my doubts about this career, and so I would slowly chip away at the glass. It finally got to the point where I couldn’t bear being stuck inside any longer, so I mustered up all my courage and punched right through the glass, finally breaking free and being able to breath easy again. Even though it was painful breaking out, it was the best thing for me to do, for time will heal the wounds and now there are new possibilities open to me.

I can’t help but stare.

I have always been a starer.

I don’t mean to stare, it just happens. I am a very deep thinker, and quite often my mind is racing with various thoughts that come in an endless stream. I’ll be lost in thought for long intervals before I come back to the present, and then I realize I had been staring at someone.

I usually never know if the person was aware of my staring. If I happen to meet their gaze, then I become acutely aware of what I had been doing. I will proceed to awkwardly smile, inwardly reprimand myself, and declare to never stare again. If they do not appear to see me, then I wonder to myself if they had seen me staring, then looked away because I was making them uncomfortable. Or, had they never noticed my gaze in the first place?

I torment myself with all these what ifs, and I stress over what other people think of me. Do they think I’m a weirdo for staring? Or maybe luckily, no one ever notices me staring.

Does anyone else ever have a problem with staring? Any tips on how to combat it?

I love self-checkout lanes.

I’m not a fan of small talk. I can fake it if necessary, but I really have to force myself to appear interested and friendly. It’s not that I don’t care about people, it’s just that if I’m going to say something, I want it to be meaningful and important. I just don’t see the point in exchanging general pleasantries like “how are you?” or “how’s your day going?” with random strangers. I’m sure they don’t really care how my day is going, yet society dictates that we make this small talk.

That being said, I sure love self-checkout lanes at grocery stores! If they are an option at a store I am shopping at, I will use these lanes 100% of the time. It saves me having to talk to a random person whom I would otherwise forget moments after leaving the store. For me, the less human interaction while shopping, the better. I prefer to do my own thing in the store, leisurely peruse the aisles, and check out by myself.

It’s too bad that Trader Joe’s, one of my favorite grocery stores, does not have self check-out yet. Granted, their employees are always super friendly and pleasant to be around. However, sometimes I simply do not feel like uttering a single word, and it would be nice to be able to check myself out there without having to seem rude by not engaging in conversation.