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 café 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 thing  – 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.  <— 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.  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? 🙂

Q&A:

What are some oddities that you do in conversation?

Eye contact or no? Make your argument! 🙂

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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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Will the Real Me Please Stand Up?

I was talking to BT yesterday, and he said how it was frustrating how even with how long you might know someone, it seems that trust isn’t really cultivated. He meant a different sort of trust – like trusting someone’s judgement – but what struck me is the horrbile trait that I don’t tend to trust someone as “they would never do ___” even after knowing them for a while.

If I consider how I trust other people, I think to myself, I never am sure that they wouldn’t hurt me. Or lie to me. Or do something horrendous for some reason.

I was thinking about it as I packed away recycling in the vehicle, that I don’t think that’s really what it is. I think it’s the same thing that stymied my starting to recover from an ED – I saw people for their weight (a lot of times), so I expected the same. I didn’t realize that that could change – and it did. But it took me recovering, first.

So I thought, I can’t trust someone else to not be something, if I never trust all of who I am with anyone. If I never reveal all of myself to someone I could never expect to know who they are all the way through, either… could I?

I tend to not want to alienate people, so I don’t show sides of myself. For instance, maybe, I don’t show the part of me that is really conservative (or I don’t want them to think their views aren’t welcome because they differ from mine – I don’t mind that). Or I don’t want to scare people so I don’t reveal my temper (or say I have one). People get annoyed at people who are excited so I won’t be excited. I try to cut away and whittle off anything that someone might wish for me not to be.

But you can’t grow by cutting off pieces of yourself.

Yet I think that’s what character development *looks like* to me a lot of times. (And I tend to get well-convinced by “looks like”.)

Take Tom Haverford from Parks and Rec. I think BT and I are in the 3rd season? When he starts his Rent-A-Swag business endeavour there is definitely some character development going on.

It looks like him deciding to NOT be a party boy and NOT be this or that. That’s my first thought. Look at all the things he didn’t do.

But those things he didn’t do, weren’t the point. He decided to stay true to his word. Take care of his friendships.

And as they discussed in a succeeding episode, if Tom tried not to be the confident, flashy person he is, then his new business would definitely fail.

He shouldn’t throw all his money into trivial items for his business – as he might have done – but if he “cuts that off” and doesn’t spend any of it, that’s not good either. The growth was to use it in things that appealed to him, and they all pitched in to help build the items he needed. Character growth.

I’ve never been great at nuances. (Hey, look, there’s a character trait someone may not like about me!) When I learned horseback riding, and my teacher was trying to teach me something, my mom would take me aside after the lesson and say “exaggerate it, do the complete opposite of *insert bad habit teacher was trying to break* and you’ll hit the middle.”

So if somebody cheers on somebody’s character growth and I think “Look, they didn’t do something, and that was good! I saw it, too, that was really helpful for them, and I’d much more enjoy spending time with them now, too.” I think “I won’t do things, either!”

Well, that has been proven to not work. And even though I’m much more trusting, and expressive, than I was there for a while, I still would describe myself as “not trusting”. I’m not sure if that actually manifests in my life, or if I really do blanketly (I kinda feel I don’t) not trust anyone. But I do believe I’d be hindered in being able to trust someone if I never chose to show that person the less-“good” parts about me.

And, wouldn’t it be true that nobody can trust me if I conceal so much…

 

Growth is about growing, and if you chop off everything, there’s nothing left to grow. And if “change” is really rebuilding like I feel better describes it, there’s got to be something to start from.

(Full disclosure: the people closest to me probably know all of me, even if I try to not show it XD When I say, well actually I have ____, they’re like “Oh good. I’m glad you know it, too.” or “Uh-huh, I could read it on your face!”)

I gotta be honest though. My high energy never seems to be a good match for anything…

And if the internet and stories from other people have taught me anything – it’s that frequently, (if you have a good heart), when you are real, and have flaws, it’s encouraging, humorous, helpful, and it sometimes even helps you and everyone else grow. 🙂

Q&A:

Has there ever been anything you tried to chop off, that you realized later wasn’t helpful like you thought’d be?

Do you have any special plans for the weekend? or Thanksgiving? 🙂

 


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A Discussion about a Subject of Unknown Origin that is just about as abstruse and abstract as this Title

A few short months after victoriously gaining a license, I lost it. I have every other previous version of it, but the newest one just vanished!

“To your credit,” said BT peeking into my room midway-through-ransack, “I thought, ‘where would she keep something like this besides her wallet?’ and I couldn’t think of anything. You’ve definitely done your due diligence.” We searched for another half hour. It is nowhere to be found.

But the thorough overturning of all storage spaces mine caused me to think a few thoughts.

There’s like a category of my brain that is like “that is it’s place” and it goes back in that place, and I’m just so tickled and happy that I’ve got a place for it. Slingshot goes on bed, next to books. Receipts with story ideas go in the paper stack below the books. The ages-old origami game goes in the hidden compartment in my backpack.

And the only thing that I can think of as to why that gives me so much satisfaction is the pretty much catch-all excuse (which I’m wary of using, but will if I need to pinch hit a reason/intro to my life to someone) that I’ve moved a lot.

So saying, “This goes, here and that goes there” is sorta opposite.

Hand in hand is my sad, sad, sad made up bed. At least I’ve been told it was sad. Even Mom said my oh-so-precious quilt was on it’s last legs. It’s yellowed with age, the quilted squares are losing their middle and exposing the stuffing below. There’s even an edge section that’s torn away from the rest of the blanket that sometimes my arm goes through gets caught.

I have had this quilt for as long as I can remember, and it’s just as comfy as it’s always been. It keeps me warm, or cool, and it’s just perfect. But apparently it looks terrible now.

And I have a “pillow” that has had such a life, that it by all rights should be retired. It traveled internationally, then half way across the country, got chewed on by Rimfire as a pup, causing the outer case to shred. Now it has no outer case and I contain the matted, permanently fused, hardened, foam stuffing in a sham.

Mom and BT and me just shake our heads when we see it. But it still serves it’s purpose. It gives just a little bit more of height than one pillow, which is all I need.

But by all intents it could definitely just be retired.

Why don’t I? Why don’t I just say, “No I won’t use you any more?” Why am I so glad I have places and things and put them back where they came from? It’s like I need some sort of continuity in my life, and I wonder how much that is true for humans.

I bet my friend is tired of me telling her, but I still haven’t yet reconciled my life with other people’s so it still comes up. My “family” contains a grand total of three people. I have virtually no past, and no future. I’ve lived nowhere long, and have no roots. Is this weird? Is this normal? Is my psyche different than others and if so in what way? I would love to know this. It would be so cool to know.


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Commitment Issues

There is a lot of talk about “sticking with it” “trying harder” “if only”.

I also have an annoying custom to take a concept, or truths and apply them from there on out.

Good in theory, but it raises issues down the line. It’s probably most irritating, because it’s below the surface, and so I’ll be acting on guidelines, hints and principles that my friends and family aren’t even aware of, yet I’m doing so because it has been bounced around in enough sources to be shown as true.

And for whatever reason I seek for “universal truth” – rules and ideas that can stay consistent from the first Mesopotamian to the future latex-wearing, space-ship flying generations. I look for truths that apply to people with all religions, and from all countries.  I test veracity by seeing where it springs holes, and how narrowly it has to apply to work.

While this does narrow down the things in which I will put confidence in, it also means that once I find a principle that seems to work over all of these variables, I also apply it to everything – a bit like some with ketchup.

So when people say “if only they’d tried harder” and chorus of nods follows, and then I see this hold up time and again – people who succeed and do great things have indeed ‘tried harder’ in the past and that’s why they’re at where they’re at and happy, successful, world-changing, etc.

Not that I actually want any of those things, but people who have gotten to that point positively influence other people’s lives; I want to positively influence people’s lives; I must try harder.

At what??

Well… here’s where it gets silly.

Free time – what do you think it’s for? You’re probably correct. *ding*

In my head it was a time to practice, try and perfect any and all hobbies I might get or set my hands on, in order to never have “not tried hard enough”.

I’ve also talked over some broad money-concepts now that I’m getting some extra spending money and what am I free to make silly mistakes on and what should really be set aside for necessary purchases? I was advised on what could really be just freely-spent money, and this was the allusion Mom referred to when she discussed this with me.

“That time is your free time! Your “mad-time” like “mad-money” as some people call it. You are not responsible for anything in it. You’ve already taken care of your responsibilities, and you can just do whatever in that time.”

Sillily, I started tearing up. It was too good to be true!

“And if you never touch those paints you bought… or if you want to stop piano tomorrow! Hey, that’s fine.”

Now I was really starting to get it. BT had alluded to this before – how he wished he’d known earlier that starting and not continuing with projects and interests was okay not only okay, but encouraged.

Now, Mom was saying it. And it’s not like they don’t have any experience in these things, both have had regrets that they didn’t stick with or finish one thing or another. Yet despite all of this, and all of their admirable work ethic, they were telling me this.

This made a lot of sense and was freeing! I don’t have to produce something awesome from my free time; I don’t even have to continue with hobbies I’ve started.

The concept of “keep going” “don’t give up” and other such well-intended missives were apparently not always true. Apparently it was okay to chill every once in a while and just make something because I wanted to! or to explore a new hobby with no strings attached, and to be told that I wouldn’t be letting anyone down, or failing someone in someway – the freedom in that was astounding! 🙂

That was pretty cool.

Scan 4.jpeg

This is the painting I made 2 weeks ago with new paints I bought (they came in a wooden box!!), and painted on my free time! XD It’s not awesome, to be sure, but for my first time painting (basically), and with those paints I was moderately happy with how it turned out. 🙂 (P.S. – mountains in foreground, sand, then sea  – and the white line is the horizon, lol) (Acrylic paints on copy paper.)

 


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Chatting – No seriously, this is just me rambling

I wrote such a heartfelt post yesterday.

But then I hit control ‘w’ and whatever that does, it does not save your work.

But, I’m feeling talkative.

Anyone interested in listening into my rambles?

I’ve got extra energy – which is weird because I’ve had 2 or 3 rather long workdays, just “worked out” while watching a YouTube video and also finished baking and washing dishes (a miniscule amount of both).

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