Posted in State of Mind

Entry 70 – 15/08/2017

9:34pm. I got into my flat not too long ago. I am completely and utterly fagged out from work. I’ve just worked for twelve straight hours without break. Not even a lunch break. My brain has gone on a temporary recession. My body is crying for mercy and my knee is killing me. Yes, I know. I do need to get it checked out. I dislocated my knee bone last week and I have not been to the hospital to check it out. Every step is a struggle and guess what? I have to climb loads of steps at work. Today in particular involved running up and down those steps. And of course, the daily dose of sexual harassment was taken; promptly at that as well. So my knee is worse than it was this morning. I have made a mental note to go get it x-rayed tomorrow before it leads to something else.

Oh yes, what was I saying. Sorry I’m a bit chatty today. It’s 9:34pm. I’m tired out from work. I curse my country, my work place and the peanuts I am being paid. I curse it all. I hadn’t had a meal all day. Not even breakfast. Only a few snacks I have taken. So, I am a bit grumpy. And then this message comes into my phone; from my protégé. If you’re a good and faithful follower, you will remember her from the post of March the 8th.

“I spent most of my day today thinking about my beloved.

I looked at how I’ve managed with this trip all by myself, from the onset with little or no help from people and I owe it all to her. Some will say its common sense but I learnt to be independent from her. I learnt to rely on nobody and expect the worst from people so that every act of theirs exceeds my expectation.

And when I look at how far I’ve come, I hear you say ‘well done, my daughter, you have learnt well'”.

I think I am good for something after all. *blushes severely* I lied. I know I am good for something. This her message to me spoke to my mind differently. I am not yet where I want but I am getting there. And curse as I may my work place. Stressed as I may be everyday for peanuts pay, it is unavoidably the starting point to where I am going. So I am back to my favourite Eminem’s lyric:

Hush little baby don’t you cry, everything is gonna be alright,

Stiffen that upper lip up, little lady, I told ya

Daddy’s​ gonna hold you for tonight

I know momma’s not here, and you don’t know why

I can feel how you feel inside

It might seem a little crazy, little baby

But I promise

Everything’s gonna be alright… “

Thank you OLA, you mean a lot to me. And you made my day today.

Posted in Little Steps

Chicken Nugget

“Life is not about your perfection, it is the moments you lived being the real you without fear or favour”

I came across this quote this morning as I was going through my social media. It hit very close to home. In my previous posts, I have complained and whined about my heritage, my ancestry and all that. And how I wish I could change it so I could be born in a different family.

All my life I have done basically everything that always ends with “will my parents be happy about this?”

The reason I chose this state for my national service is to be far away from home, far from people my parents know and far away from obligations. I was so happy my request for this state was granted. A day to my travel, a shocker came up, my parents knew people where I was going to. I thought to myself “what on earth is this?”. A place so local and remote, still my parents always manage to have a control tower set up there. I officially gave up on “running away” from home.

I decided to just start being me and damn the consequences. I have pretended my whole life. Perhaps it’s time people see me for what I really am. I can’t say that I’ve totally stopped caring about their feelings, but I am getting there.

I have gained weight. I might look tired from my day’s job but at least I look healthy and I’m happy. You might not understand why I am sharing this testimony if you didn’t know me from last year. I was borderline anorexic.

The funny thing is I do not even know the real me. I have pretended so much that I have lost touch with me. I guess it is time for a joy ride to find out.

Happy Sunday folks.

This post is so named because I actually want to eat chicken nuggets from Macy’s right this moment.

Posted in Bits and Pieces

Jung, Briggs and Myers

So I was bored and decided to take the Briggs-Myers personality test. For the first time, I think the results are rather spot on so I decided to share. It is a rather long read. Goodluck.

INFJ
Introverted (34%)
iNtuitive (50%)
Feeling (16%)
Judging (41%)

INFJs are distinguished by both their complexity of character and the unusual range and depth of their talents. Strongly humanitarian in outlook, INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their J preference for closure and completion, they are generally "doers" as well as dreamers.

This rare combination of vision and practicality often results in INFJs taking a disproportionate amount of responsibility in the various causes to which so many of them seem to be drawn.

INFJs are deeply concerned about their relations with individuals as well as the state of humanity at large. They are, in fact, sometimes mistaken for extroverts because they appear so outgoing and are so genuinely interested in people — a product of the Feeling function they most readily show to the world. On the contrary, INFJs are true introverts, who can only be emotionally intimate and fulfilled with a chosen few from among their long-term friends, family, or obvious "soul mates." While instinctively courting the personal and organizational demands continually made upon them by others, at intervals INFJs will suddenly withdraw into themselves, sometimes shutting out even their intimates. This apparent paradox is a necessary escape valve for them, providing both time to rebuild their depleted resources and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent "givers." As a pattern of behavior, it is perhaps the most confusing aspect of the enigmatic INFJ character to outsiders, and hence the most often misunderstood — particularly by those who have little experience with this rare type.

Due in part to the unique perspective produced by this alternation between detachment and involvement in the lives of the people around them, INFJs may well have the clearest insights of all the types into the motivations of others, for good and for evil. The most important contributing factor to this uncanny gift, however, are the empathic abilities often found in Fs, which seem to be especially heightened in the INFJ type (possibly by the dominance of the introverted N function).

This empathy can serve as a classic example of the two-edged nature of certain INFJ talents, as it can be strong enough to cause discomfort or pain in negative or stressful situations. More explicit inner conflicts are also not uncommon in INFJs; it is possible to speculate that the causes for some of these may lie in the specific combinations of preferences which define this complex type. For instance, there can sometimes be a "tug-of-war" between NF vision and idealism and the J practicality that urges compromise for the sake of achieving the highest priority goals. And the I and J combination, while perhaps enhancing self-awareness, may make it difficult for INFJs to articulate their deepest and most convoluted feelings.

Usually self-expression comes more easily to INFJs on paper, as they tend to have strong writing skills. Since in addition they often possess a strong personal charisma, INFJs are generally well-suited to the "inspirational" professions such as teaching (especially in higher education) and religious leadership. Psychology and counseling are other obvious choices, but overall, INFJs can be exceptionally difficult to pigeonhole by their career paths. Perhaps the best example of this occurs in the technical fields. Many INFJs perceive themselves at a disadvantage when dealing with the mystique and formality of "hard logic", and in academic terms this may cause a tendency to gravitate towards the liberal arts rather than the sciences. However, the significant minority of INFJs who do pursue studies and careers in the latter areas tend to be as successful as their T counterparts, as it is *iNtuition* — the dominant function for the INFJ type — which governs the ability to understand abstract theory and implement it creatively.

In their own way, INFJs are just as much "systems builders" as are INTJs; the difference lies in that most INFJ "systems" are founded on human beings and human values, rather than information and technology. Their systems may for these reasons be conceptually "blurrier" than analogous NT ones, harder to measure in strict numerical terms, and easier to take for granted — yet it is these same underlying reasons which make the resulting contributions to society so vital and profound.

Beneath the quiet exterior, INFJs hold deep convictions about the weightier matters of life.Those who are activists – INFJs gravitate toward such a role – are there for the cause, not for personal glory or political power.
INFJs are champions of the oppressed and downtrodden.They often are found in the wake of an emergency, rescuing those who are in acute distress.INFJs may fantasize about getting revenge on those who victimize the defenseless.The concept of 'poetic justice' is appealing to the INFJ.

Accurately suspicious about others' motives, INFJs are not easily led.These are the people that you can rarely fool any of the time.Though affable and sympathetic to most, INFJs are selective about their friends. Such a friendship is a symbiotic bond that transcends mere words.
INFJs have a knack for fluency in language and facility in communication. In addition, nonverbal sensitivity enables the INFJ to know and be known by others intimately.

Writing, counseling, public service and even politics are areas where INFJs frequently find their niche.

Functional Analysis Of The INFJ
Based on Jung’s framework of cognitive functions;

Introverted iNtuition
Introverted intuitives, INFJs enjoy a greater clarity of perception of inner, unconscious processes than all but their INTJ cousins. Just as SP types commune with the object and "live in the here and now" of the physical world, INFJs readily grasp the hidden psychological stimuli behind the more observable dynamics of behavior and affect. Their amazing ability to deduce the inner workings of the mind, will and emotions of others gives INFJs their reputation as prophets and seers. Unlike the confining, routinizing nature of introverted sensing, introverted intuition frees this type to act insightfully and spontaneously as unique solutions arise on an event by event basis.

Extraverted Feeling
Extraverted feeling, the auxiliary deciding function, expresses a range of emotion and opinions of, for and about people. INFJs, like many other FJ types, find themselves caught between the desire to express their wealth of feelings and moral conclusions about the actions and attitudes of others, and the awareness of the consequences of unbridled candor. Some vent the attending emotions in private, to trusted allies. Such confidants are chosen with care, for INFJs are well aware of the treachery that can reside in the hearts of mortals. This particular combination of introverted intuition and extraverted feeling provides INFJs with the raw material from which perceptive counselors are shaped.

Introverted Thinking
The INFJ's thinking is introverted, turned toward the subject. Perhaps it is when the INFJ's thinking function is operative that they are most aloof. A comrade might surmise that such detachment signals a disillusionment, that she has also been found lacking by the sardonic eye of this one who plumbs the depths of the human spirit. Experience suggests that such distancing is merely an indication that the seer is hard at work and focusing energy into this less efficient tertiary function.

Extraverted Sensing
INFJs are twice blessed with clarity of vision, both internal and external. Just as they possess inner vision which is drawn to the forms of the unconscious, they also have external sensing perception which readily takes hold of worldly objects. Sensing, however, is the weakest of the INFJ's arsenal and the most vulnerable. INFJs, like their fellow intuitives, may be so absorbed in intuitive perceiving that they become oblivious to physical reality. The INFJ under stress may fall prey to various forms of immediate gratification. Awareness of extraverted sensing is probably the source of the "SP wannabe" side of INFJs. Many yearn to live spontaneously; it's not uncommon for INFJ actors to take on an SP (often ESTP) role."

(by Joe Butt and Marina Margaret Heiss – published under licensing)

Acronyms

*SP – Sensing/Perceiving
*ST – Sensing/Thinking
*SF – Sensing/Feeling

Posted in Pinches of Salt

The Himalayan Lily

Slowly, slowly, do not rush the unfolding of your soul. Everything takes time to bloom.

Around this time last year, I was a major actress at the dysthymia stage. I had almost every symptom dysthymia wanted from its slaves. I had a loss of enjoyment in things I once found pleasurable, major change in weight( in my case, a loss of more than 5% of weight within a month), insomnia at least for 345 of 365 days in a year, physically restless and rundown, excessively fatigued almost every day and the one that got me a job at that large theatrical stage was the feeling of hopelessness and worthlessness.

For you folks wondering what dysthmia is. In simple terms, it is chronic depression. I am not exactly sure how it started. But as the days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, I noticed that I had started drifting from people. The once fun and expressive girl had turned withdrawn and desolate. I had a very select few I kept contact with and if you weren't on that list, I either rejected your calls or blocked your number depending on how willing you were to contact me.

I was obligated to go to a social night out at least once in a week so that my friends wouldn't suspect anything. Even during those social nights, I hardly communicated or socialised except when I had a direct question thrown to me. I just smiled and drank my way through the night. Yeah, I sipped my drink quicker than my friends could blink. I focused on my alcohol glass in front of me almost always. The only thing that usually could draw me away from my drink was dance and music. I could dance for hours without stopping. I would literally be pouring out sweat and have body pains but I still pushed myself and danced harder. Most of the time, it took the fact that my friends wanted to have a breath of fresh air to get me to go out and take a break. Seeing as I didn't want them to get hurt/lost/assaulted as usually I was always the sober one. I drank more percentage in alcohol than they took but I always sober. Actually there's a medical explanation for that. And I believe it has to do with the fact that since I was always exhausting energy and simultaneously drinking water because of thirst on the dance floor, I was inevitably sweating out the alcohol fluids and also got to weaken the alcohol mix by drinking water.

So how did it get this way? How did I let that cankerworm eat so deeply into me that nothing else was left except my motionless eyes and tortured soul? Why didn't I stop it before it was too late?

I have no answer for that. I guess it was just a build-up of so many things. Few years prior, I was experiencing academic setbacks, emotional abuse, professional setbacks, body shaming etc. So it kind of built up into one great portfolio of madness that my only escape became solitude. My life was lectures, library, home.

The last straw that broke the camel's back was my inability to get a first class in my degree. It ruined me. My friends all had first class. My classmates also had first class. Some important players in my life who said they loved me had great expectations for me and I let them down. To them it was, "you did a simple degree so why can't you pass in it." Well, I thought what they had for me was love. That was my first mistake I guess.
Fast forward, one month later, I had lost my job. I was on the verge of being thrown out of the home I had come to love. I was about to be separated from those who brought some semblance of meaning to my life.

I lost appetite gradually and with time I started forgetting to eat. I remember having my first meal of the day often when I am out for dinner at 7pm with my friends. I lost more weight then. From a size 10 (UK) to a size 6. Subsequent to the weight loss, came the hatred for my body. I hated my body. I liked the way skirts fit so snugly on other girls. I like the way their shape was pronounced when they wore a dress. I like the way their legs were smooth and not scarred like mine. I hated to dress up in front of other people, especially Africans because all I would hear is; "you're so flat", "you have no bum at all", "you're like a ruler".

I wished for a partner then. Someone I could just talk to. Someone I thought that could just love me for the way I am. Someone who wouldn't care about my lack of body fat. Maybe having someone who loved me the way I wanted to be loved would have made everything better. I wondered if something perhaps was wrong with me. Why don't I have anyone whom I could share my heart with? Why is no one writing sweet notes for me like Jean Pierre Jeanty (my romance idol) does for his lover?

So, have you changed? Do you think it's any different? Are you comfortable with your body now? Are you eating well?

Well, I think so. No. I know so. My appetite can be described these days as voracious. And as for my body and relationships, I realised something. I cannot expect somebody to love me if I cannot love myself first. I am slowly learning to love my body; scars and all. Infact, I acquired a newer scar on my leg recently. I still wear my short dresses and flaunt them perfectly shaped slim long legs proudly.

Interlude

Now to the point of this story, I am guessing by now you're wondering how the title of the story correlates with the writing thus far.

The Cardiocrinum giganteum, also called Himalayan Lily, is a plant that I will compare myself to. For most of its life, it exists as an unassuming clump of glossy leaves, but after five to seven years, it mysteriously sprouts up to three meters (9.8 feet) and produces a gift of delicate, trumpet-shaped flowers. It is the largest of all types of lilies.

Why am I saying this? All the people around me found their purpose in life early on. Everyone was moving quickly in the professional scene. My friends and family got well paying jobs and will be discussing their jobs with passion and keeping their listeners intrigued. And I was always behind the scenes wondering why I couldn't get anything right. Wondering why I flopped at everything; job interviews, work related to my academics. I considered myself useless. I wasn't sure of what I wanted. I wasn't even sure if I could do any work at all without messing it up.

Now, in the month of August 2017, just like the Himalayas, I have mysteriously sprouted my gifts and I am sharing it to the world. I have finally discovered my purpose in life. I have finally found something that I do not fumble at. Something that makes me very happy. Something that took my other colleagues at work, months to learn. Something I am sure those I have always compared myself to will have a had time learning. I have never felt more accomplished than I feel now.
And to think I found it in the strangest of places and in the weirdest of situations is simply amazing.

I am working now. Somewhere nice and fancy. As a waitress. With no form of experience whatsoever, I have mastered the art of balancing dishes, tray of glasses with one hand. In addition, I have learned some secrets of restaurants that I will use to develop my own soon. And I am happy. I am blooming. I smile easily, I feel proud when I look at my handiwork at work, I can easily engage in beautiful discussions about food and table setting. I am not yet earning up to those around me and really I don't compare myself to them anymore or regret my situation. Because out of my meagre pay and stressful shifts, I finally was able to realise how my future is going to look like. I don't know how it's going to end but surely now, I can see the beginning.

It is in the quiet crucible, of your personal, private sufferings that your noblest dreams are born ~ Wintley Phipps

While many plants generously display their flowers every year and throughout entire seasons, others take their sweet time in showing off their blooms. And with time, I am positive that I will be the largest of all lilies.