Naturally Dreamy

A blog about my life as an INFP living with an ESFJ, INTJ, and my pup. I blog about earth-friendly living and life through my eyes – not necessarily in that order. Come put your feet up where life is Naturally Dreamy!


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An Inside Look At My Brain During a Conversation

conversation-vintage

I feel like I’m the only one who talks with other people the way that I do. So, I know I’m not. Most anytime I think, golly this is terrible. Why am I so weird and do ___? I see someone post something somewhere, and I realize not only am I not the only one, I suddenly feel a lot better, and like it’s manageable, too.

I don’t know why, but I’m so glad. It’s kinda like magic…

So, I thought it might be entertaining, but perhaps also helpful if I wrote about how my brain worked as I met someone new the other day.

The conversation is still fresh in my head, and it was with someone I’m unfamiliar with, so I was well aware of what was happening as it happened, as well as not actually having a familiar flow to settle into.

We talked for 3 hours, BT, newbie, and me, and the pictures I remember most of all are 1. how much mud was on their shoes, 2. the design of the “f” in cafe on the sign on the wall, 3. the dangly thing on their hoodie.

I wasn’t overly stressed – evidenced by that I actually remember full stories that they told, and the lingo they used, and some of their reactions to our own stories. However, while I remember how they said things and what they thought of specific things we talked about, I probably looked at their face for a total of 5 minutes over the 3 hours.

I have a tendency to not look at who I’m talking to, and I also don’t usually look at who is talking to me either. Have you ever noticed that the most open conversations are usually those where the people are seated side by side? Like in a car? I think it really helps us to say what we really want to. Like we can ignore that THIS THING IS BEING HEARD BY SOMEBODY right now.

This tendency is not just me – for several years now, I’ve been logging various people and their length of eye contact when speaking or talking. A lot of people tend to glance on and off. So I don’t necessarily think I’m peculiarly odd for this.

However, I feel my oddity is that I am looking at something SPECIFIC just not them. For example, I well studied that sign on the cafรฉ wall. The writing was uneven, and one fancy f was below the other, as well as the two C’s having different curvature. I analyzed how the bell shaped stopper on their rain jacket might have been made, and why it was placed where it was and why it was the shape it was.

I actually think this may be one reason I try not to look at people’s face or face area. I will nearly always latch onto one thingย  – usually mentally manipulating it, and that could easily make someone uncomfortable. I don’t associate significance with one body part or another but I think other people do, and since my brain quests for something to focus on, I try to choose something benign.

Also, I think it’s interesting. I noticed that Sensors, (the ESFJ, ESTJ and ISTP) in my life tend to like to maintain eye contact, but BT, I and other Intuitives I’ve seen in videos (Intuitives) rarely maintain eye contact. This sounds so disrespectful, until I noticed that we tend to talk for a few words, glance, and look back. It acts like a check-in! I’m not sure why the difference, but I think it’s interesting.

So, I don’t know what other people are doing while they are glancing away, but for some reason I am analyzing.

Also, I fidgeted the entire time. I had a rubberband on my wrist which I put through about 3 different actions (tying into a knot, looping in a figure eight around three of my fingers – anyone else do that?) for 1 1/2 hours before putting my hair up and fidgeting slightly less, before choosing a different item to fidget with. I did all these crazy things while drinking tea, listening, reacting, processing the people’s responses to what they were hearing, analyzing the 4 things I’d chosen to focus on, and choosing words for the stories of my own.ย  <— This is where I start to feel like a really weird human being.

While I didn’t do it in this conversation, I thought I’d throw in that, yeah, I also “fix patterns” and other things. I was so glad to know I wasn’t the only one to do this. Like if there’s wallpaper, or a patterned shirt, where the join doesn’t match, I will mentally fix it throughout the time I look at it. This actually informed what I liked or didn’t like as a kid before it calmed down a little bit – if I would be mentally fixing it the whole time I’d prefer not to have it in my room! XD

I only just remembered, I was doing that while they were eating their sandwich.ย  Like they had filling fall out, and they were trying to grab it with two pieces of bread, and it wasn’t working too well, and I was running mini-simulations in my head. Like seriously how weird am I? (This is why I’m sharing this, however. Just in case it brings a bit of solidarity to someone else! :D)

Besides this, I guess I was pretty normal. I sat cross legged on a chair, but that’s not too weird. I stumbled trying to remember Anapolis (talking about Norfolk being tourist-y or not) – I made them chuckle as I said I thought there was a famous Navy museum there: Anaphylactic! or Anacostia! Er, not Anastasia…” (It took me 5 minutes of research just now to find Anapolis lol. And, no, I don’t think that’s a museum or Norfolk. I was all mixed-up.)

Now the only oddity to present itself is my extreme insecurity. I don’t mind being insecure in the way I am though, because it’s due to a lack of information. I may be super insecure, but it can also be solved very easily.

Like when I’m not sure about trying a new style and turn into a ball of stress, I need a few key questions answered, and I’m good.

I’d like to get a write up from the people I interact with! XD “On January 5th, I felt “uncomfortable, comfortable, very comfortable” with you. You were “disinterested, polite, easy to talk to” which made me feel “_____”. Next time if you _____, it would make things ______.” Like wouldn’t that make things a lot simpler? ๐Ÿ™‚

Q&A:

What are some oddities that you do in conversation?

Eye contact or no? Make your argument! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Winter Nail Art Challenge – New Years

I’m 2 days late on this challenge. Apologies!!

Today is the final challenge in Winter NAC, and the theme is New Years!! *party hat* My thanks to Helena at Lacky Corner for hosting this challenge series! I had a lot of fun making and designing these manis! ๐Ÿ˜€ And thanks to everyone who viewed, left comments, liked, and *ahem Mom and BT* helped with painting the designs!

Since many of my previous challenge entries have featured the nails, individually, I felt like doing a more cohesive nail art design for this one.

In thinking about New Years, I thought about New York City, and remembered one of my favorite nail arts to do from the Klutz Nail Art book (which got me started! ๐Ÿ™‚ ) was the city-skyline, (Credit for this design is theirs! ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and I wanted to add the Times Square ball to the skyline.

Technically, Times Square is smack in the middle of the island, but on Nail York City, it’s visible from the bay. ๐Ÿ˜‰

In their Klutz version, the city sky is a single solid color over all the nails. It’s really pretty that way, but since the design part would be somewhat 2 dimensional and mentioning only one specific tradition re: New Years (that I’m not even sure I fully understand), I wanted to add something, about New Years, with a little more universal import.

My first thought went to somewhat corny, but I also liked it. ๐Ÿ™‚ So, I decided to do a gradient, from black night sky, to morning sunrise over the bay saying “January 1st is a new day!!” and end 2017 on a hopeful note. ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy New Years!

From right to left – Pinky: dark sky with purple clouds, moon & buildings — Ring finger: slightly lighter sky, with dark clouds & the NYC building (the one with a spire) featured in pretty much every NYC skyline photo ๐Ÿ™‚ — Middle: purple sky with light blue clouds — Index finger: lilac sky with orange & blue/blue & yellow clouds and the Times Square building complete with giant display board (er, the white square) and over-sized New Years ball! — 1 building and land-spit surrounded by bay water that slightly reflects the cloud-splosion above of orange, lilac and blue clouds in a yellow sky. ๐Ÿ˜€

 

The sunrise nail oriented right-side up.

Check out other entries in this challenge!

Lacky Corner‘s glittery waterfall nail art!

Skimmerskuggan‘s sparkly and chic reverse French tip!

The Call of Beauty‘s festive mani!


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Selective Memory

In school, I briefly took a logic course. There was a chapter on “selective memory” which I found disturbing.

As I recall, the idea is, say you go into a photo booth, 10 times. 8 out of those 10 times you get pricked. Likely as not, when you think about going into a photo booth next, you’re going to think or say, “I don’t want to. I always get hurt when I go in there.”

But the truth of the matter is, twice, you didn’t get stabbed and you had a great time. But either a positive or a negative memory has the capability or overshadowing other memories so that really truly in your mind you only remember the negative/positive experiences.

Also, the other thing is you’re more likely to notice when something happens versus when something doesn’t happen. Usually, unless they are being facetious, someone wouldn’t say, “Remember that time you didn’t tell a joke?”

So, if your dog barks frequently at passing cars, more likely than not if I ask you to bring up those memories, you’ll think first of times where the dog barks. You might even say, “He always barks at cars when they go by.” It’s really hard to take notice of times that things don’t happen. XD

I didn’t like the idea of my memory being faulty. Or people not being able to control what they thought.

However, in subsequent years, I’ve become more comfortable with this concept, and actually used it as a tool.

  • One, to understand why someone might say “always” or “never” and me not need to feel like I must correct them for correctness’ sake.
  • Two, to catch it in myself when I might say it.
  • And three, to try to take note of experiences that are unlike what I expected or what I was used to in that scenario, so it will be easier for me not to be selective with my memory.

This Christmas, I’ve found another thing the brain probably uses it for. I think it uses it for dealing with trauma. For instance, when reflecting back on our childhood, my brother (who has a much better/fuller store of memories) largely says it was bad. ‘We fought constantly,’ etc.

When I look back, on my childhood, I remember it largely good in regards to my current family. Sure, my brother and I had our small arguements but most of the time we were trying to work together and to boister each other up.

See? Our two memories of the *same time* in regards to the *same* subject vary widely.

If you ask me to access the files for some of the same years – the last 15, I would say they were largely BAD.

But I just said I had a great childhood? Maybe it’s because I was thinking about how I was with my family, and here I’m thinking about my personal mental state.

I think back on that time, and my first thought is how I had terrible run-ins with making friends, became anorexic, and then was poooor so I was cold, and hungry, and scared because I wasn’t just poor I was poor and anorexic, which is just to be honest, a terrible combination. XD (Not having adequate heating when you’re a normal bodyweight is miserable. Not having adequate heating when you aren’t at a normal body weight is life-threatening. My subconcious mind likely picked up on that even if I was psyching myself out to ignore it.)

Sure, that seems likely. I had a great relationship with my fam, but I was suffering internally.

Yeah… but when I think about that, I think about my family next. And how that was going poorly, too. So, which is it?

Here’s what I think it is.

When I was a kid, I bottled up and repressed a lot of stories, and experiences I had. They were bad, but inexplicable. If I couldn’t say what it was, I might as well say nothing.

But, while outwardly bottling them, I inwardly wanted to shout it. Scream it. At anybody. Outside, I figured “It was okay!” Inside, I knew something was whack.

 

This (unsurprisingly) came out sideways. I found occasional compassion, but the people I leaned on most didn’t know what I was going through. Mainly because I didn’t know what I was going through. There was no way to explain the subtle yet pervasive wrongness which sketched out my life.

So, I said nothing to the “right people” and everything to the “wrong people” until finally I got out, was able to tell the right people and move on.

I was done bottling, and now those memories were dealt with. “Largely good” I’d say about my childhood.

The next memories. The ones formed with the ones I love. Currently love and live with. The ones I can’t define or assign blame to, or explain? Those are the ones that are likely informing my current selective memory description of “largely bad”.

Even someone who’s lived through the *exact same* set of circumstances with me says they were “eh, not so bad.”

And I have several stories I want to scream, or have explained, because How could they?!?!

But if you ask me about my life, for the last few years? Eh, I’d say quite significantly largely good!!

Selective memory. More than just a memory aid, I think it’s also a way to deal with bad things happening to you until you can deal with it better later.

For example, what I want to say is that they are heartless. They never care for people who are different or worse off from them. I want to say that because they won’t allow an animal into their home, or because they think that a dog barking in a yard a few doors down is reason to hurl epithets. Or because someone left their door open while making a stop and you can hear Christmas music from their car that they are being inconsiderate of others. These things make me want to scream, if only it could actually make the world a better place.

Of course that wouldn’t actually help. There are deep, base reasons that they feel the way they do about it. What I don’t remember in these moments or in my angst or fear surrounding these moments are how these same people try to save bugs they come across in their home. Or stop for every stranded motorist. Or when they treat my dog with tenderness, compassion, and recognize how hard he tries to understand (though I must admit, that’s when they’re not doing the usual “you’re an inconvenience and stupid” – the dichotomy of which, I still don’t understand). Or when they’ve taken pains to understand me.

What I need to do to change the last 15 is to have someone explain all the weirdness and ignoring that was done when I was at my worst. But I can’t ask for that. That is not happening right now, so no need to dredge up history, which is only going to be slightly altered in the recalling and explaining of it. It must needs come out at a time that’s more natural. Maybe when the angst and anger is tempered and accurate.

It is painful to live with, and very hard to recognize and stop all the times I try to let it eek out ‘sideways’, but it’d be just wrong for me to bring up something that I could be remembering mistakenly! Especially when they aren’t even ‘that person’ anymore.

So, until then, I need to watch out for broad generalizations, and uses of selective memory, or I’ll hurt those whom I cherish. They aren’t evil. They aren’t all bad. And neither were those years. They have ups and downs, and seemingly inexplicable character traits, just like every other human out there. To truly understand the bad, I need to mix it with the good, and then I’ll see their “normal”.


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Winter Nail Art Challenge – Christmas Tree

It’s getting so close to Christmas!! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with your family or whomever you are spending it with!! ๐Ÿ™‚

For this challenge, I was inspired by several different manicures I saw on Pinterest the last few days. (Sparkly ornament, Minimalist Tree)

My idea behind this nail art was to start with Christmas-lights colored backgrounds, but I changed tack on that, and just used some colors that I thought looked good together. Then on one nail I thought I’d add a sparkly ornament, using the same sparkles as I used the other day since I didn’t have big sparkles like in the above pic. I’d also do a tree-outline and make it sparkly too, just for fun.

For the rest, I ended up doing a tree-topper, candle, and Christmas lights! My Mom helped me draw some of the designs and sprinkle on the sparkles as well, which was so handy when I got stuck, like on the left side of the tree, or the bottom two points of the star.

However, the sparkles in general didn’t adhere the way I expected (I was comparing it to the sequin-like sparkles in the above link) so it’s not nearly so *vibrant* as I expected, and the ‘golden’ star-tree-topper did not work the way my head imagined. XD (A watery nail polish works better for sparkle adhesion, by the way, than I thicker polish.)

One thing I’m really happy about though, is that I didn’t over-brush any of the polish this time! It’s the first time I’ve successfully done that, and I did it with my left hand! ๐Ÿ™‚

Check out other entries in this challenge!

Lacky Corner’s beautiful green & gold Christmas tree design!

Skimmerskuggan’s cute & festive Christmas trees!

Merry Christmas, and I hope you all have a tremendous holiday!! โค


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Winter Nail Art Challenge – Winter Characters

Winter Characters is such a cool theme idea, but I had trouble landing on what I wanted to do. Were my skills up for drawing the cast of Hogfather? What about Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future? Frosty has usually scared me, and I definitely wasn’t going to be able to pull off the Grinch.

I puzzled and puzzled till my puzzler was sore (not that long, but couldn’t resist the quote!), and was surveying a Wikipedia article entitled “Christmas Characters” for the second time when something reminded me of the Nutcracker.

I didn’t grow up with ballet, and don’t understand it, by half, but the character of the Sugar Plum Fairy somewhat precedes and fore-ceeds (is that a word?) the ballet (according to my Wikipedia article reading). She is ruler of a land of Sweets (sugar plum didn’t just mean a sugar plum, did ya know? it also signified all “candy”!), and the character has had a few different ways of being portrayed.

…including in nail art, now! ๐Ÿ™‚

I had purple polish and an idea in my head so I went for it!

This thing is insanely sparkly irl, thanks to sparkles my friend gifted me. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’d never used loose sparkles in nail art before, but a couple days back I saw how one person used them and thought this would be a perfect time for me to try it out! I’m glad I did because I love the result! Thanks fren! ๐Ÿ™‚

(Terrible lighting, I know, but the pics didn’t show the sparkles as well as the vid I made last night did. :))

After every challenge nail art, I ask my family what they think – both for encouragement, and for tips. Sometimes I see something I think is bad that they think is great, and other times I’ve missed something that stand out first thing to them.

This time I showed my Mom the fairy and there was an uncharacteristic pause.

“…. I’m sorry, but all I’m seeing is a chicken? I’m soo sorry.”

BT called out from across the room, “Oooh come here! I want to see the chicken!”

So, my main character didn’t turn out *perfectamundo* this time but I can definitely see trying again, with what I know and tried, and creating something more fairy-reminiscent maybe, next time ’round. ๐Ÿ™‚

Check out other entries for this challenge!

Lacky Corner

Sminkan & Emma

Skimmerskuggan


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Tuxedo Cookies

I had an idea to make “tuxedo cookies” because I had both white and dark chocolate chips on hand. I’d also just gotten a new phone, one that had photo-capability (how old did I sound in that sentence lol?) and so I thought I’d document in pictures my experimental recipe.

Well, it turned out – or ratherย they turned out – to be pretty much the most awesomest-tasting and textured cookie ever, and when BT asked if I’d written down the recipe and I said no, he reacted as if a tragedy had struck us.

Theyย were really good cookies.

So, I was reallly glad I had photo documented it, because I hadn’t set out intending to create anything than a novelly-named cookie recipe, but they turned out so well!

So here is my photo-tutorial slash, er, the only measurements (!) I have for Tuxedo cookies – an instant hit in my household, and hopefully you and yours will love them too! ๐Ÿ™‚

In a crunchy-ooey-gooey sugar cookie base, black and white chocolate chips are mixed together, creating a surprisingly complex cookie!

Ingredients:

  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Molasses
  • Vanilla
  • Flour
  • Chocolate chips
  • White Chocolate Chips

Instructions:

In a bowl add about 1/3 stick of butter. Add an equal amount of sugar, separated into 2 mounds:

Pic-01132017-001

 

On one of the mounds drizzle a little bit o’ molasses:

Pic-01132017-002

 

Mix the molasses and the one mound of sugar together to create brown sugar!

Pic-01132017-004

(Then somehow we get to here! Er…

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  2. Add flour – about as much as the butter and sugar together (if you had 1/4 butter and 1/4 sugar, add 1/2 cup flour).
  3. Mix them together! It should look likeย โฌ‡๏ธ

Pic-01132017-006

Then take your vanilla and pour a little bit in! Like a teaspoon’s worth.

Apparently it was too … er, something, so I added some almond milk! – like 1/2 Tablespoon’s worth:

Pic-01132017-007

It should now look likeย ย โฌ‡๏ธ

Pic-01132017-008

Take this delicious and heavy dough, and sprinkle thus many chips beside it (like a 1/3 of the recipes worth).

Pic-01132017-010

Don’t forget to ferry a few into your mouth! ๐Ÿ™‚ And your friends’ mouths, too, if they’re available.

(By the way, this is how I typically think of my cookie recipes – in percentages & ratios. I learned it from making a bunch of Chocolate Covered Katie’s cookie recipes (I like hers because they are lighter on butter and sugar, which is how we prefer our cookies) and noticing the pattern of percentages emerging – so now I add a bit more butter, or a bit more sugar to tweak the consistency when I feel like, but all of it is imagined in percentages.)

Pic-01132017-011

At this point, ahem, whip out your wand and the cookies will form 8 (depending on your recipe’s size!) balls of dough, each about an inch across, and hop onto a parchment-paper outfitted baking sheet, and into the oven at 350ยบ-375ยบ. (You can tell it’s magic because of the otherwordly blue light heating the oven — why is it blue?! XD) (Also, am I the only one who has trouble remembering where the degree symbol is on the keyboard lol?)

Midway through flatten with a fork (but don’t eat! This is a post-cooled photo, but you can see the fork indents well).

Pic-01132017-016

Cook for probably about 8-10 minutes, (not too much! under-do it if you want), until they look like this – they’ll be slightly brown, but still gooey. … Actually, I wonder if I flattened them after cooking? That would be weird, but plausible.

Pic-01132017-012

Serve, share, and enjoy!

(P.S. I’m sorry if any of this post is too tongue-in-cheek! I thought if I wrote it “normal-ish” it could be too boring to read. XD )

Q&A:

What is your favorite home-made/home-invented recipe?