On the Border Of Being Overt

January 14, 2008

Today the post was going to be about blogetiquette: my definition of what should not appear on a blog, for reasons of gentility and just plain Not Embarrassing Yourself Later. I’m sure that I have broken some of these rules, and I am probably about to break more of them. This morning I realized that I need to do a little honest writing here, a little something that shows what’s really going on.

This transition to California has been hard. I’m not going to go into all the little details of it because I don’t believe in writing things that I wouldn’t tell people to their faces. Especially on the internet. (This would be one important rule of blogetiquette that many, many people violate.) I might make exceptions in a journal, but journals are meant to be private outlets of thoughts and feelings.

But I can talk about myself and some of the things that I have been going through. Most writers tend to be inward people. We are the shy ones, the introverts, the ones who don’t really want fame but have to write anyway because it possesses us, and the fame sometimes just comes with it. It is hard to write anything worthwhile without an audience.

I made an important discovery about myself a few months ago when a Myers/Briggs expert came to my workplace and went through the Myers/Briggs test with each of us. My personality type (INFP) came up as a person who has high ideals for herself — so high that she often can’t reach them. And when she doesn’t reach them, rather than realizing that she’s putting too much pressure on herself, she gets upset at herself and begins a downward spiral. It is so easy to get sucked into that spiral and have a difficult time getting out. It’s happened before, in a life-altering way, so I feel better equipped to deal with it through talking to friends or positive self-talk or even therapy. It’s infinitely more easy to deal with something when you realize that it’s happening.

This Myers/Briggs expert warned me that when I went to California, I’d have to be careful. “I have such a soft spot in my heart for INFPs,” he said. “You need to surround yourself with people who you trust who are going to encourage you and support you when you move. Moving to a new place can be incredibly discouraging.”

This move has been especially hard because I had such a wonderful time with my family while I was home in Minnesota for those few months. I am very homesick this week, not because I necessarily want to go back to Minnesota, but because I miss my family so much that I get tears in my eyes every time I think about them. I know that coming to California was the right decision, and I’m going to fight through this because I can’t live my whole life in the circle of their safety. I’ve got to get out and do my own thing for a while. It’s just that with them I am always home, and here I am not.

Yesterday I acknowledged for the first time that this move has turned my whole world completely upside-down. Just before this, I was in the safest place possible. Now I am living with people I barely know, far away from my closest friends, in the second largest city in the United States, without a job. D is the only person I have known long enough to trust, even though I know many people who are trustworthy, and I even feel bad about depending on him so fully — not because he has made me feel that way but because my over-idealistic personality type tells me that I should be independent all the freaking time.

Plus it’s just difficult to transition from living on your own for the past six years and never having a real curfew in your life, to living under the roof of kind and generous people who raised their children a lot differently than how you were raised.

Also, even though I am overjoyed to finally be in the same city as my boyfriend, moving from a long-distance relationship to a close-distance one is harder then you might think. Roommate J had a similar experience with a guy she used to date, and she told me that finally becoming close-distance almost broke them. I know D on a very deep, communicative level because of the long-distance part of our relationship. As far as the detailed, every-day planning, interacting side of things, I’ve never really experienced that with him except for the few times we’ve seen one another in person. And those times were always with the starry-eyed attitude of, “We’d better savor this while we can because it’s going to be over soon.”

We’ve had a lot to talk through. I’m invading his turf. I’m adopting his friends. I’m expecting him to make adjustments in his life to fit me into the every-day-ness of this. My whole life has been one giant adjustment for the past several weeks. Yesterday D and I had a very good talk about one important thing that was bothering me. It was good. Through all of this, it’s good to know that I have strong allies in Roommate J and D.

And my best friend L is coming down from San Francisco this weekend. She has a habit of swooping in and saving the day at the exact moment that I need her, and I’m getting all teary-eyed right now just thinking about her. It will be nice to have a bit of home for a few days. Also, my friend LR lives in Irvine, and I need to get together with her this week. She is another strong ally who I haven’t seen in a very long time and miss considerably.

I just pray that God leads Roommate J and I to the right jobs and the right apartment. And that whatever He’s developing in me right now will develop quickly and help me later on.

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8 Responses to “On the Border Of Being Overt”

  1. Katy said

    Oh, Ann. I know exactly how you feel. P.S. I’m also an INFP.

  2. L said

    I miss you so much and can’t wait to see you!! Don’t worry, things will get much better. Much, much better. It will be hard for a while, but once all the pieces are put in place, you’ll have time to settle into your new life. I’ll be there sooooo soon!!!

  3. Laura said

    Ann–I’m an INFP too. Transitions are hard for us, so remember to show grace to yourself and take one day at a time. A good rule of thumb for me is that it takes about 6 weeks to feel the stress of a major life-change abating. You might be more or less, but give yourself time and eventually, one day you’ll be out somewhere and say “I want to go home” and you’ll mean an apartment of your very own in LA!
    p.s. I’m proud of you. I’m struggling with a major move myself right now and it’s daunting. You’ve really already done the hard part!

  4. Joby said

    Hang in there – life in California gets easier. I remember being in your spot 10 years ago when I moved here from Michigan with little to no safety net. The job comes, life begins in earnest, and your loved ones, your friends, your faith and your family still help you through rough spots. Good luck with everything! Joby from Panera

  5. DeMo said

    If the Irvine LR is the same LR that I think it is, you will have a great time. Things will get better for you.

  6. hannah said

    You’re doing it! L would be the perfect companion for a day trip to the Getty Museum.

  7. A, A, L, E said

    We are praying for you and can’t wait to come visit you. We know what you’re going through. I have a very similar personality, can’t remember exactly what it is but with Help and Strength I survived and learned how to get where I needed and to communicate when we lived in Taiwan. We are already looking into what will happen when Alan graduates and a lot of those feelings of uneasiness and feeling like you don’t know anything or where and how to get things come back; along with feelings of excitement for a new challenge and the reality check of how things could actually be with our small family. We have a lot to think and pray about. Thanks for the postcard, Ezra will love it, but hopefully he won’t eat it. We love you!
    P.S. I know what it’s like to cry every time you think of family or MN or even things that shouldn’t make you cry. It’s normal, it’s called culture shock. Everyone goes through it differently and if you’re like me you try to deny it. I even went through culture shock when we moved to GA.

  8. Moyra said

    I stumbled across your blog while looking for something and you said something I could really identify with about us INFP’s needing to be so independent all the time. I actually laughed out loud because its so true its not funny. I turn 32 in a couple of days and wonder if I will always be alone becasue of these traits, its like some imperative that we not allow ourselves to become dependent on someone else and it just never occurred to me it was an INFP thing. You’ve given me a great deal to think about! Thank you:)

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