I found a list of 100 writing prompts on emotions here and I’ve decided to write blog posts on each of these emotions. The first “emotion” on the list is Birth. In my first blog post, I wrote how I tested at 100% introvert on the Myers-Briggs test, which makes me an extreme introvert. Since I am so introverted, I often wonder if I was born an introvert or if I’ve become a more introverted person from life experiences.
My parents often tell me stores about how I was quiet and reserved around strangers even as an infant. I only wanted to be held by my parents and I was uncomfortable around their friends. I even have baby photos of their friends holding me and I always look like I’m about to cry. As a child, I enjoyed one and one activities and I never liked group activities. This meant that going to child birthday parties or large social events was something that I didn’t look forward to doing. As much as I preferred to be around my immediately family, I still needed my own space and moments of solitude.
From elementary through high school I was bullied and I had difficulty forming friendships with others. These experiences had a profound impact on my life and they have a lot to do with how I interact with others even today. Being bullied made me withdraw deeper inside myself because of the hurt and pain that I was going through. I learned to embrace being alone and to trust only myself. Since I had difficulty making friends, I learned that not everyone is going to accept me for the person that I am. I take my time getting to know others and I’m not immediately trusting of everyone.
I believe that my introverted personality started at birth but that I probably became even more introverted because of my life experiences. Regardless of the reasons, I’m learning to accept myself more and more each day.
Do you think you were born an introvert or have life experiences also played a part in shaping your personality?
I am currently reading “The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You” by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. According to Wikipedia, a “highly sensitive person (HSP) is a person having the innate trait of high psychological sensitivity.” I’ve always felt that I was more sensitive than other people to noise, touch, emotions, and moods. I read this book a few years ago and at the time I was trying to “find a cure” for this trait because I really felt that I was overly sensitive about things and I felt that something was wrong with me. This time I’m reading this book to be more accepting of myself. I want to understand this trait and to view this trait in a more positive way. Each chapter of this book has different exercises that you can do to help you reflect and I plan to share some of my reflections on this blog.
There is a self-test at the beginning of the book that asks 23 true or false questions to help you identify with whether or not you are a HSP. I answered true to 20 questions. According to the test instructions, if you answer true to 12 or more questions then you are likely a highly sensitive person. There are many traits that are listed in the self-test that make me a highly sensitive person but the traits that I’ll speak about below are the ones that I strongly identify with
- I seem to be aware of subtleties in my environment – I always pick up on very subtle changes in my environment that most people don’t seem to notice at all. I’m very attuned to what is going on around me even when I don’t seem like I am.
- Other people’s moods affect me – This is a huge trait for me and it’s something that I have to deal with everyday. I take in the moods of others and when someone is in a negative or a really bad mood then it affects my mood in a negative way. In order to maintain my own mood, I try to stay away from people who are constantly angry or bitter because I know that their moods will affect me too much.
- I tend to be very sensitive to pain – I can’t take a lot of pain and something as simple as a paper cut can feel very painful. Whenever I got to the doctor, and especially to the dentist, I have to make them aware of my sensitivity to pain.
- I have a rich, complex inner life – I live in my head and this is where my creativity and deep thought comes from.
- I am made uncomfortable by loud noises – Loud noises really bother me and this probably explains why I have a fear of thunder.
- I am deeply moved by the arts or music - There is a deep sensation that I feel when I visit a museum, see a dance, or listen to music. There is a profound connection that I make with art and music.
- I startle easily – I’ve always know this about myself but I was not aware that this had something to do with me being a HSP.
- Being very hungry creates a strong reaction in me, disrupting my concentration or mood – This is another trait that I didn’t know had something do with me being a HSP. I’ve always said that I must have my meals on time and when I don’t eat at a certain time then I get very, very angry. This is one of the reasons why I always keep crackers at my desk in case I’m not able to each lunch on time.
Since March 2011, I have been working full-time and studying as well. When I leave work I rush home to start homework and I no longer have time for myself. I’ve been feeling stressed and anxious because I don’t have a lot time for reflection and true solitude. Daily moments of solitude are critical for me as an individual. Solitude helps to rejuvenate my spirit especially when I’m feeling drained. It’s my time for reflection and deep thought. I’m able to focus and solve problems. It’s also the time when I’m most creative.
In June, I made the decision to take a break from classes for the summer so I could rest and relax. Everyday I come home , I turn off my phone and my computer, and I spend hours writing and creating art. This is the happiest I’ve felt in a long time.
In the past, I’ve written about my dissatisfaction with social media and Facebook in particular. Over the past few months I’ve been feeling depressed in part because of things I’ve been seeing on Facebook. I’m not sure how this happens, but I can see when my friends comment on the status updates and photos of their friends even when I’m not friends with these people. This has lead to me finding out about the lives of so many people that I’ve gone to college with and they’ve become very successful in the professional and personal lives. It’s seems like so many of my former classmates are married, have kids, have really good jobs, and are working in careers that they enjoy.
I’m not the type of person that compares my life to the lives of others. I think that we all have our own paths to take and no ones path is the same. Recently, I find myself becoming sadder with the way my life has gone. When I was in college I did not envision my life the way it has turned out. I thought that I was be able to find a job that I really enjoyed and to live the life that I really wanted but that hasn’t been the case. I’ve struggled in my professional and personal life from the moment I graduated and on top of the that I’ve been supporting myself financially since there was no way I could live with my family and have them support me. I wasn’t able to take internships and really low paying work to explore certain careers because I would not have been able to pay my bills. Another issue is that I have depressive episodes in my life and it’s hard to deal with issues when you feel sad and anxious.
I found some of my old journals from ten years ago when I was 25 and many of the issues that I was dealing with then are the same issues that I’m dealing with now at the age of 35 and it doesn’t seem like I’ve grown at all. Back then I was single and I’m still single which is fine because I value my independence. I always thought I would have met someone who I’d be happy with by now. When I was 25, I was working in a bad job but I had to stay there in order to support myself and that was a struggle. Even though I’m not working at the same job, I work in a job that makes me unhappy. I was also dealing with my depression back then and I still deal with it now. The only thing that has changed in the past 10 years is that I’m in grad school and this is something I’m really proud of.
I’ve decided to stay off Facebook for a while and to focus on my goals for work and school. Once I’m finished with my classes I’ll be able to focus more on other aspects of my life this summer.
Plinky Prompt: If you had a chance to make a living by creating art, what would you do?
If I could make a living by creating art, I would be a painter or I would make ceramics. When I was in middle school, I participated in an art program for kids that lived in my neighborhood. I learned how to make canvases and to paint with acrylics. I spent 2 years in this program and I produced two large canvases, which I still have. Painting is a therapeutic process for me and this is why I began learning how to paint with watercolors last summer.
In high school, I took up ceramics and I loved this course. I took it all four years of high school and I was even an assistant to the ceramics teacher. I learned how to make clay, how to glaze pieces, how to make my own glazes, how to throw on a wheel, and how to fire pieces in a kiln. I miss ceramics and there have been many times when I’ve considered taking a ceramics class for fun.
There are many aspects of having an artistic career that I would enjoy. It would be fulfilling to wake up every morning and to work on something I love. I could see myself wanted to formally study each craft and to become part of an artistic community.
My life has been feeling out of control lately and I’m stressed out everyday. This has been one of the hardest quarters for me in school. My course is challenging and so is my job. The amount of work I’m responsible for has increased each month since the company I work for is growing. This is obviously a good sign given the economic situation however; I’m starting to feel burnt out. I only have four more weeks of school left and I need to put myself on a strict study schedule so that I finish my course and keep up with all of my responsibilities at work.
-I need to keep up with my schoolwork: I’ve gotten behind in my schoolwork over the past two weeks because I’ve been working late. I’m almost caught up with everything but it’s critical that I stay caught up for the rest of the quarter. I also need to start doing research and creating my final project so that I’m not trying to do it the last-minute.
-Go to bed by 10:00 pm: My sleep schedule is totally off. In the past I would go to bed by 10:00 pm but late last year I started going to be at midnight. I get up each morning at 5:45 and I’m not getting enough sleep. There are various reasons why I’ve been staying up so late but starting tonight I’m determined to be in bed by 10:00 pm.
-Wake up on time: I know I’ve stated this before but I’m not a morning person. Regardless of whether or not I get enough sleep, it’s really hard for me to get out of bed in the mornings. I hit the snooze bar multiple times and when I finally get up, I have to rush around to make sure I catch the bus on time. This morning I actually got up on time and things were so much easier for me. I was able to get ready for work and I didn’t feel stressed and worried about missing the bus.
-Stop checking social sites on cell phone at work: I keep checking Twitter at work because I follow a lot of good magazines and blogs and I wanted to read all of the interesting articles that are posted. I need to wait until lunch to try to read these articles so I don’t get behind in my work.
-Exercise: I haven’t been exercising like I normally would. I have so much going on and the last thing I want to do is to go the gym. Starting this weekend, I’ll be going back to the gym. Exercising is very important to me because it helps me to deal with the depressive episodes that I have from time to time. Over the past 3 or 4 months, I’ve started feeling more and more depressed and I need to return to doing yoga and Pilates.
Do you ever feel like you’re way too stressed out? How do you deal with stress?
This video has 12 examples of how to not treat your introverted friends and family members. I think that anyone who is an introvert can relate to this video.
About two weeks ago, the bus I was riding home from work was almost hit by a commuter train. I’m not sure why, but the bus driver didn’t stop at the traffic light that was before the train tracks. She just kept driving and the next thing I saw was the train coming at full speed towards us. It was honking loudly and I sat frozen and extremely frightened because the point of impact was right where I sat. I was so paralyzed that I couldn’t move! I have no explanation as the why the train didn’t hit us but I believe it was Divine Intervention. The train was coming so fast and it couldn’t stop.
Everyone was yelling at the bus driver about how the bus was almost hit by the train. The driver was uncaring and unapologetic. She claimed that she had the right of way as if it was the train’s fault. I don’t like this driver and I’ve noticed her “I-don’t-give-a-care” attitude in the past but this situation was awful! To be honest the situation was dangerous, disheartening, and disturbing. Needless to say, I reported the incident to the bus company.
I’ve kind of developed a small phobia now when we drive across the train tracks. I pay close attention to the traffic lights and whether or not the train is coming. I’ve also stopped catching the bus at the time this woman drives. I don’t want to ride with her driving ever again.