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U is for Ubiquity

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Let me begin by saying that U is for a lot of hideous words.

Udder. Ulcer. Urethra. Uvula. Upchuck.

U might be turning into my least favorite letter.

However, U is also for Ubiquitous, which is what I was this weekend – seemingly present everywhere at once. Becca and I did a lot. And friends, let me take the opportunity to make this announcement: anything I said before about possibly turning into an extrovert is being utterly revoked.

I am an introvert, through and through.

Weekends like this – where I am presented with many very, very good options of how to spend my time, and thus feel the need to make them ALL happen – leave me feeling exhausted and peopled-out. So much so that at the Tacky Christmas Sweater Party on Saturday night, I found myself attempting solitude the only way I could figure: by sinking onto the kitchen floor in the corner. It was quieter down there.

Becca and I took part in two Christmas parties, a Josh & Meg show, running club, Whole Foods lunching, Anthropologie browsing, the Frist, a Dickens of a Christmas festival down in Franklin, Rosepepper Mexican food, and of course, plenty of photo ops.

Now she’s gone back to Kansas, where it was 4 degrees this morning.

Now I’m back at my desk, where my mind is elsewhere and everywhere*.

Ubiquity, indeed.

* = the fact that I’m living on my credit card, and I don’t know when/where I’m going to do laundry next, and I’m moving a week from tonight, and how am I going to buy Christmas presents for anyone, and holy cow I’m really training for this half-marathon and that scares the bajeebis out of me because oh man it’s going to be hard, and I need a haircut, and I wonder which of my friends will get engaged THIS Christmas, and is Nashville really going to be covered in ice tomorrow, and I’m still a temp receptionist, and I miss my Seattle friends, and I wish I could go hang out with my friend Christina in Boston, and I’m sorry but I just couldn’t get a video together today.

Winds of change

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

As a very strong introvert – one who needs my alone time like I need oxygen, like I need chocolate – I must say that I am blown away by my life here in Nashville. The fact that on a Tuesday night, I would gladly choose to go to a show with a friend, and talk the whole time, and then swing by another friend’s house on the way home from the grocery store, just to say hi and hang out for a half an hour even when I could have been at home alone, is beyond me.

The fact that I will be living with not just one, but TWO other girls, come January, is astounding. The fact that I will be living in a bedroom that, as of right now, has no door (no door!), is flabbergasting.

The fact that every Wednesday night I choose to go running with a group of athletes far more capable than I, and then choose to hang out afterwards and talk to people, and choose to not hole myself up in my apartment, is bizarre.

The fact that I am signing a lease for another year in Nashville, rather than returning to my beloved Seattle after Christmas (like I had secretly been planning for months), is a huge surprise to me.

The fact that I have met amazing girlfriends is unexpected, but delightful. The fact that I have met amazing guy friends is utterly shocking, but oh-so-welcome.

The fact that I am feeling happy leaves me feeling flummoxed. (Now THERE’S a telling statement.)

I think it’s too early to say – and I’ll probably trip over my words. But here goes nothing: this INFJ might be becoming an ENFJ.

INFJ joy (or: "No Apologies")

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

It’s Wednesday, which some abominable person decided to dub “hump day.” For some unfathomable reason, this phrase caught on. This expression horrifies me to my core, and makes me throw up a little bit in my mouth.

Well then. Carry on.

I am an INFJ. Again, if you do not know what that means, go here and take the test. I’m just going to go ahead and get it out there: I love being a J. And when I am perfectly honest… honestly honest… there’s a tiny part of me that is convinced that J’s are superior to P’s. Sorry. I just know that we get more done. We have the follow-through that P’s lack. We are reliable and responsible. Which obviously equates to “better.” :)

My favorite people are ENFP’s. I don’t know why, because ENFP’s drive me nuts – but I can’t help but be drawn toward them like a moth to the flame. I admire a lot of things about ENFP’s: their spontaneity, their ability to develop an instant rapport with whoever they come into contact with, their enthusiasm and optimism and exuberance – generally, their passion for life. All things that I struggle at. But could an ENFP create a food system like the one I have created? I think not.

I work at a church, and therefore, I pinch my pennies. Life is hand-to-mouth… literally. I usually have just enough money to get me from paycheck to paycheck. But one huge perk to the job is the free food. Tons of free food. So much free food that there is no way that I could eat it all before it goes bad. Church people love to eat, man. I take home left-over chicken, left-over soup, left-over muffins, left-over lunch meat, left-over cheese… One night, I trudged up the 3 flights of stairs to my apartment lugging a HUGE GARBAGE BAG of grapes. And if you are picturing me Santa-style, with the enormous sack slung over my shoulder, then oh yes, you’ve got the picture.

I hate letting things go to waste – it makes me feel like a lousy excuse of a human. So the J in me has figured out exactly what I can and cannot freeze (basically… you can freeze anything – even cheese!), and I have created all sorts of uses for every ingredient that I bring home. I am innovative and creative, and draw from all sorts of recipes to create new recipes using the food that I have in my freezer. Every single night, I stand in front of my freezer and carefully choose just enough for what I will eat the next day. I love being organized!

I make no apologies for being a J. It’s just easier to color-code your closet… and your sock drawer… and your washcloths. I am not ashamed of the fact that I rejoiced over the purchase of a new shoe organizer rack. I make my to-do list on my monthly magnetic notepad (yes, I have one for each month), and then number it, and then execute it in order, and then destroy it. I label my freezer bags, file my bank statements, and flip my mattress every 6 months.

And in case you were wondering, yes, it’s so awesome to be so awesome.

Holiday primping

Saturday, April 7th, 2007

Here I sit, my fingernails still drying, my teeth whitened, my legs shaved, my hair clean. It’s amazing the lengths of quality control women will go to, simply in order to feel presentable! Me – I go through phases. I’ll have a week where I wear heels every day, accessorize myself, curl my hair. Other times, I will go 4 days without a shower, simply because I grow weary of showering. Sometimes I feel a wee bit depressed when I think about the seeming eternity of years left to live, and the fact that showering is something that I will have to do over, and over, and over…

I am a J. If you don’t know what that is, go here and take the test. J’s like to cross things off their to-do lists, and then when the list is completely fulfilled, shred the paper, gather it back up, and make a papier mache tray for organizing future to-do lists. Incredibly functional and productive, I sometimes border on the verge of being anal retentive; it’s a wonder that I’ve kept any friends at all. This longing for order and closure makes certain every-day repetitive things, like showering, often seem like a nuisance (i.e. But I already did that this week!). I wish that I could just take one mega day-long shower and cross it off my list for all time.

As my toenail polish dries, I think ahead to the reason that I have done all of this work on myself tonight. I’ll stand in front of hundreds and hundreds of people tomorrow morning, but chances are that very, very few of them will notice what I am wearing or that my teeth are a bit less dingy than usual. No. The reason that I feel like tomorrow morning warrants some extra primping dates back to when I was a little girl, and Easter was a very special holiday. Easter was so important that I got to wear an EASTER DRESS, and maybe, if I was lucky, an EASTER BONNET. Easter is the main event, the biggest church holiday of them all, and you’d better put on your Sunday best for the raisin’ of the Lord.

I’m not betting on anyone noticing my clean, polished fingernails. But I bet that Jesus does.

This week was a stressful, busy, long week for me. A few days ago, I walked into the bathroom at church and was surprised at the image of myself in the mirror. I was SCOWLING. Not just a simple frown, but full-out glowering. I had to talk myself down from my grimacey ledge, and I could actually feel my face slowly sliding from a frown back to being relaxed. It’s as if I had to tell myself to press the “reset” button.

Today, I caught myself smiling three times. This is significant because usually, we don’t notice when we smile – it happens throughout the day as a response to conversation or humor or something pleasing, and it’s as natural as breathing. But today, there were three times where my smile was so uncontrolled and unadulterated that it caught me off guard, and each of these times was in response to a baby.

First, there was little Ellie, in candy-striped leggings and a denim jumper, a little Alfalfa spray of hair shooting out of the top of her head, with the most delicious cheeks and dimples. I saw her and before I could stop it, a smile burst out of me.

Next, while walking around Green Lake, a toddler in a stegasaurus shirt came barreling down the path toward me, his mom following close behind. I went right – he went right. I veered left – he went left. And I found myself in a pickle, not sure how to get around this kid who anticipated my every move with a counter-move. It was just so funny and delightful – I even giggled out loud.

Finally, I was stopped at a cross-walk next to a couple, the man holding their baby in a snuggle pouch. The new parents were deep in conversation, but the baby tilted her head back, looked up at me, and smiled a wide, gummy, toothless grin. Her parents oblivious to the moment that I was having with their child, I smiled back – and her eyes sparkled. I am convinced that babies know things that we don’t know.

I’ve been convicted that my countenance needs to be lifted more often than it is fallen. After all, how else is anyone going to see my white teeth?