I Always Knew I was an Odd Duck

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 for Saturday, June 2, 2018  11:40 AM

If you ever have the opportunity to see someone’s dream come true, you should take it. It’s an amazing experience and one I had the privilege of doing last Saturday. I’ve been meaning to blog about it sooner, but catching up on the week’s worth of chores that accumulated while we were in Las Vegas has kept me from writing.

If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll remember that I wrote about a writer’s lecture I attended in May. You can read about it here.

While at the lecture I learned of a writer (the one with the cool shaved hair style) who was having her first book published. She wrote a fantasy novel and it is being published by a small press who accepts fantasy works.

Since my novel-in-progress involves time travel, it, too, is considered in the fantasy genre. Before I even knew what her book was about, I was interested in learning more about it. Her publisher could be a resource for me if I ever finish my book. I learned she was having something called a Book Launch at a small coffee shop in Waukesha on June 2nd where she would sell paper copies of her book.

I’ve never been to a Book Launch before. I debated not going since we just got back from Las Vegas and I was tired and had tons of laundry to do. In the end, though,  I decided to ignore the mountain of laundry and go see what it was all about.

I’m so glad I did! There were probably twenty-five or so people who attended it, and I think I’m the only one the author didn’t know. She introduced herself to me and I think she was a bit surprised I was there. I was, in fact, the only person who attended the book launch alone.

This author had a good size family and there were several tables filled by them. She also had members from her writing critique group there and her employers. I’ve decided that I need to make more friends. If I ever am fortunate enough to do launch a book I think I will maybe get four people to attend. Five if my writing coach’s husband attends.

The author said a few heartfelt words about the inspiration for her book. She allowed her vulnerability to show through and I had to choke back tears. I couldn’t be the only one crying at this happy event! She read an excerpt from her novel and then signed books at the end of the event.

The energy in that room was absolutely amazing. The author was (pardon the cliché’) glowing with pride and with excitement. She was witnessing the culmination of a fifteen-year dream come true and I was there to share in her joy. It was pretty awesome.

At the risk of sounding like a new-age crazy person I have to admit that I am a big energy person. I often pick up on the energy of people and of places. I’m drawn to a few, I’m put off by more. This event and the author, drew me in the same way as the writer’s lecture drew me in last month. On the rare occasions this happens it’s truly magical.

I always thought I was an odd duck in this respect, my ability to feel the energy of people and places. Then I found a test that proved I am.

There is a personality assessment used by psychologists and counselors called the Myers Briggs test which breaks down personality types into 16 groups. I was first introduced to the Myers Briggs test by a boyfriend twenty years ago. We were having problems and his counselor suggested he ask me to take the Myers Briggs test. Which I did, but I didn’t find out the results then. My boyfriend said it gave him lots of insight into me, though. That didn’t stop us from breaking up. Twice.

I took the Myers Briggs again in a week-long seminar at my local college for people looking to change careers. This was about 10 years ago. As the instructor was handing out our test results, she told me that I was the first person she’d had in her five years of teaching who had my particular personality type. INFJ.

What is INFJ? It stands for Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging.  We make up roughly 1-2% of the population. We are called “mystics”, “empaths” and highly intuitive. In short, we’re big on picking up on the energy of the world around us. Apparently, there are a few other odd ducks like me out there after all.

INFJ types are not shy. Introversion does not equal shy. Introversion means we recharge our emotional and creative batteries by spending time alone. I will stake my small talk abilities against an extroverts any day. I’ll just need retire into my own world for a few hours to recharge when I’m done.

At the book launch on Saturday, I was invited by several ladies to share their table when I was sitting alone. Normally, I accept these invitations, however, I did not accept on Saturday. I could already feel this was a special event and I just didn’t want to be distracted by making small talk from experiencing it.

I hope the nice ladies that invited me to sit with them weren’t offended. One of them was a therapist so maybe she figured out I was an INFJ immersed in the moment. I hope so.

It’s a bit vampiric, I think, to attend another author’s book launch and feed on the positive energy her hard work produced. It was invigorating, though, and also inspiring. I went back home and made some deep cuts and revisions that needed to be made to my book. I’m going into one-on-one writing coaching this week, so moving forward with the novel has been forefront in my mind and I think attending that event helped me make the changes I needed to make in my book, but didn’t necessarily want to do.

Are you curious about your personality type? The actual Myers Briggs test is quite involved and is administered by professionals. However, here is a link to one I’ve taken several times on the internet and it always tags me as an INFJ the same as the actual test did. It takes about 10 minutes to take.

If you turn out to be a fellow INFJ message me in the comments. I’d like to meet another one of the 1-2% walking around out there.

I’m about half way through the book I bought at the book launch. It’s called Pick Your Teeth with my Bones by Carrie Newberry and it’s excellent! The writing is far better than many of the books I’ve read from the big name publishing houses. It’s about a shape-shifter girl (NOT a Werewolf — they are different!) who is forced to face the creatures who killed her mother and sisters. It’s fast-paced, funny and a great read.  You can purchase your own copy off Amazon.

book cover

12:50 pm

WWMTD? – What Would Mother Teresa Do?

11:03 pm 6/27/17

At least I’m not posting this at 2am. That’s a win for the day in and of itself.

Did you ever notice that there seems to “dark” periods in life where shit seems to be happening to many of the people you know? I’ve heard the theory about bad things happening in three’s, but that’s not what I mean.

In my 5-ish decades of living, I’ve definitely noticed periods where bad stuff happens to many people around me. There have also been “golden”periods — months or years of a Camelot sort of existence where everything is good for friends, family and acquaintances. The mid to late 90’s was that Camelot time for me, and I even got divorced during that period.

It’s almost as if the universe syncs itself to whichever energy is being given the most focus by the world. I know this sounds hokey, and New Age-ish, and maybe it is. I still wonder if there isn’t something to it.

I read somewhere that Mother Teresa was asked to participate in anti-war demonstrations against the Vietnam war, and she declined, saying (I’m paraphrasing the idea of her words here) that she was not going to make the war more powerful by focusing her energy on it. Instead, she suggested they hold a celebration of peace and that she would attend to allow her energy to strengthen that ideal.

It’s kinda like that. The world on a whole is in so much chaos and it has been for a long, long time, even before our latest Presidential election. There’s rampant misogyny throughout the world, so many innocents are killed in war zones, both foreign and domestic; living in certain parts of Milwaukee is basically like living in a war zone. We see all of this and more on the news and hear about it on the radio. We read about it on the internet, and in newspapers, if you happen to be a dinosaur like myself and still enjoy a crisp, unread front page in your hand. There’s no getting away from it. It’s terrible and we hate it and all our energy is focused on bad. On tragedy. On evil.

Maybe all the negative energy spills over in our every days lives, too. We have anxiety attacks. We can’t sleep. We can’t relax. We get sick.

In my own personal world, both my mother and my husband’s father are having health problems. Both are quite elderly, so neither is a surprise. That doesn’t mean it’s not sad. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. In addition to that, my husband is still struggling with the knee injury he got a couple of weeks ago. I also know of a fellow blogger, a writing teacher I had over 15 years ago who really inspired me, that just got a cancer diagnosis today. My heart aches for her. My girlfriend just lost a close family member last week. Even my pet sitter’s father is ill. I’m sure there are many more heartaches, I’m leaving out. It just feels like, collectively, we’re all in a rough patch right now.

At the risk of sounding like a Pollyanna, I’d like to challenge everyone to find positive  events throughout the day to focus on. It can be hard. It is hard. But I’d like to see the collective energy that we’re all connected through focus on good for a change. Even if it’s just for a moment or two. Let’s see if we can swing the tide of the Universe the other way.

Today, after being at the hospital all day, my husband and I had dinner and stopped at a carpet store. Since my mom’s house is vacant for now, we thought it would be a good time to move ourselves and the menagerie into it for a few days and replace our badly scarred kitchen vinyl.

When I say badly scarred, I’m talking Ammityville Horror level scarred. In addition to multiple cracks, gouges and seams lifting, there’s a two foot spot in front of the patio door that turns shades of red for no reason I’ve ever figured out. It can go from a lighter red speckle to deep, blood red that covers the entire pattern of the floor in that 2 foot area. I’m not going to lie, it creeps me out a bit. Especially since it’s moves into different spots within the affected area. It’s like it’s alive. It’s gotta go.

So tonight I’m in the flooring store browsing at kitchen vinyl and carpet, because we might as well do that, too, since we’re moving out for a few days. Suddenly, I got dizzy, super warm, and I started to feel nauseous. The tall stacks of carpet samples, most of which came up to my shoulders, felt like they were closing in. Kind of like being in a funhouse where the walls move in around you. I was afraid I was going to pass out, so I tossed the carpet sample to Dennis and high-tailed it out of the store. I got the A/C running in the car and took great gulps of it into my lungs.

I’m pretty sure I had my first panic attack today. I would like it to be my last, so I’m committed to focusing on good things, too. I can’t completely control not giving energy to bad things, especially with Mom in the hospital, but I will make it a point to focus on good, too.

When I got home tonight after the panic attack, I went outside with the dogs and sat on my swing in the front yard. Sammy jumped on my lap and licked my face, wiggling the whole time because he hadn’t seen me all day. Charlie laid his head on my leg and leg me pet him. It was exactly what I needed.

These past few days, I’ve been going out there after returning from the hospital to sit, and take stock. Imagine various flavors of my future and my mother’s future, or whether or not she even has much of a future.

Today I didn’t. Sure, decisions will have to be made and discussed at some point. But tonight I took a half hour to remember to live in moment. Enjoy the dogs I love. Laugh at the three cat heads peering out the screen door longing to come outside with us. Enjoying the coolness of the onset of evening, while still feeling the warming of the setting sun on my face. It was lovely and serene and my anxiety and panic slipped away. I didn’t even have a fuzzy navel wine cooler tonight.

Please, let’s all focus at least a small part of our days to good, put that good energy out in the Universe, too, so we all have a fighting chance.

11:44 pm 6/27/17

7:09 am 6/28/17 — I realized this morning that I fell asleep before I added a title.