Saturday, March 12, 2016

Reflections: Home Soul Friends. Youth.

Adele's song "When We Were Young" had me a tad nostalgic. 'Nostalgic me' is pretty predictable. I checked in with two of the five friends who were my core group in teenage hood who were also the some of the very few who happened to be girls. Only two of which were in my class. I found Facebook annoying and I don't actually follow any former friends on any other social media...if someone is in my life, however, I do add them to my offline contact information or emails (yup old skool even though I am proficient with technology.) I am a private person so checking in with old friends over text is my one way of communication. One of the gals I checked in on was deemed my best friend from grade five on and she was the maid of honour in my wedding. We do not see each other too much even though we live in the same town, but when we do get together it's usually magical or ordinarily beautiful. There are factors that have changed as adults. We simply live differently at times, but there are also ways we still grow together and are able to not only be friends from a past life but make it work in the NOW. Because of Adele's song, I texted her to see if she wanted to watch a last minute Friday night movie. I felt like I needed that rooted BEING from youth. Sometimes you need to go back to go forward. There is comfort in the foundations of youth. We ended up watching Mission Impossible 5. The first Mission Impossible we watched in Junior High while we gushed over Tom Cruise (he was big in the nineties.)

She arrived an hour early when I was lying down from being exhausted. I tend to regroup before people show up at my door because I only have so much oxygen. When I am caught off guard I act chaotic and ditsy. In adulthood I am used to putting a cap on this behaviour fairly fast. But with her, since she grew up with me, I tend to forget that she's seen me be WAY more trivial or odd. I also think I fall back on to autopilot behaviours from childhood. Since I was caught off guard I didn't hide my normal neurotic behaviours.

My husband brought me take out that I was supposed to have eaten before she arrived. I apologized to her while I started cutting into my burger. A gluten free burger is a treat and I was so hungry I forgot myself. Just as I was flipping on the flashlight of my phone she gave a little chuckle and remarked, "I was wondering where your flashlight was and when you would inspect it." I think I looked a little shocked as I am not used to most people knowing my odd behaviours. She laughed again and responded, "You have been inspecting your meat with flashlights since we were teens. I would have been shocked if you didn't do it." I cracked up. I laugh at myself a lot with friends because what else can one do when they clearly stand out? I still laugh at myself all the time with my husband and family but it was refreshing to have a moment with someone who knew me as a child.

This gal and I have always been open with each other about bodily functions, menstrual cycles, and pretty much any topic other people think is uncomfortable. We had a blast discussing the unspokens and by the time we started our movie we had chatted non stop for almost two hours. She remembered some of my behaviours and thought nothing of it. It really threw me off. I don't really get thrown off easily. I am an INFJ so I predict patterns of behaviour in people and am not surprised by much. If I am, it's fairly easy for me to smooth it over and move on. What I am not used to is people figuring ME out. Usually I don't like it, but with a select few I let in, I find it endearing. I still shock people I have known for years, but for those who accept my neuroticism or Maddy Hatter type of behaviour without a second thought...that is a rare magic in my world.

Plus, I don't remember much. It's nice to have had people who have been witnesses to my journey remind me of the girl I was, where I came from, and how I have changed or haven't. I wish I could remember more. These friends can be like walking journals.

Happily, later that night, I chatted to my hubby about the earlier night's discussions. When I was finished and I thought he was nodding off, he suddenly gushed, "I really love you" as he tucked his arm around me and pulled me close.  Even after 14 years of marriage I always follow the emphatic 'I love you' statement up with, "Why? I love you too but that's easy to explain- you are loveable...but why do you love me? I mean seriously, WHY?"

I can't help asking him why every time. I don't get it. Why does he love me so much? It baffles me. I am good at seeing other people but I think I lack a little perspective when it comes to myself at times. I do not suffer from low self esteem on most days, I have worked hard to love myself in a healthy way in therapy, but there is that part of me that can't see myself completely. My theory is it stems from being an INFJ coupled with Autism. I literally can not wrap my brain around the fact that someone loves me out of choice as deeply as he does. His response was to chuckle, pull me closer and whisper, "Because you are beautiful, funny, and smart..." Then there was a quiet pause and I thought he was done explaining but he warmly added, "...and you inspected your burgers with a flashlight even when you were a child." I turned around to frown at him, "That is a really strange reason to love me." He replied, "It just makes you vulnerable and endearing. I can totally picture you doing that." And then he kissed my confusion away.

(The caption is wrong- it's 2001 and I am in the black dress.)

In adulthood, finding out who I am and why I am the way I am, has been life changing. I don't feel the need to explain to many others my process in the moment. I save that for writing. I mostly love flying under the radar. Yet, to not have to explain at all EVER or to be able to have a full blown panic, if I needed to with someone, without any regard to what they think of me, is a big deal. I even tone it down for my mother in those moments to what I COULD do. It's very rare I can not control myself. The only people I show most of my stringent or overwhelmed side to are my hubby and children, but I forgot that my high school gal friend witnessed some pretty intense moments. And this was pre diagnosis! She doesn't bat an eye. I know I could meltdown in front of her and she would still regard me with love, think I am smart and probably share a giggle with me later, once I can laugh at myself, but in a sort of endearing "you're still awesome" kind of way.

The day I told her I had Asperger's Syndrome she simply nodded and casually said,"That makes sense." That was it. I knew she knew what Asperger's Syndrome was because we had both gone to college to study Early Childhood Development together and the topic was covered. I smiled at her, "It does fit doesn't it?" She added,"Well, it doesn't change how I think about you at all but maybe it will explain to others or help you put more words into some of your sensory feelings but you have never been comfortable in large social settings, you have had different reactions to certain environments, you are quite intelligent but also can come across as struggling...I guess I never put it together when we were studying the unit but now that you say it out loud...yup Asperger's syndrome is definitely you." And then we moved on.

Some people would maybe find that conversation insulting or need to know more. I felt it was the perfect summation of everything Rachael and I are. We give and we take. We will ALWAYS be friends until we die...our bond is just there. Yet we both have new separate best friends now and probably only see each other a few times a year. We parent differently and believe differently then we did in youth...yet, there is a tie that fits loosely but loyally. Rachael's laugh is still one of my favourite sounds in the world. Especially when it bubbles up from her belly in a gusty, throaty babble of joy. When she laughs that hard it's contagious and I usually have a tough time stopping my own giggles. At times I am still clearing my throat hours after she has left.
(I am with the glasses and my Rachael is in red)

When we were young we weren't perfect, but the deep acceptance of each other's struggles and strengths were built as foundation for our current lives. She feels a little bit like HOME sometimes. I love to be home. I love people who are home to me. The number of people who feel completely like home are rare. Some of them aren't in my life at all anymore but yet they are, carried with me in a part of my heart that just won't shut off. I am a sentimental soul when it comes to these few and I keep holding on. Luckily, the majority of them are still in my life.

"It was just like a movie, it was just like a song, my god this reminds me, of when we were young. Let me photograph you in this light, in case it is the last time that we might be exactly like we were before we realized we were sad of getting old, it made us restless, I'm so mad I'm getting old it makes me reckless, it was just like a movie, it was just like a song, when we were young."- Adele*

Do you have people in your life that are home to you? What songs stir the nostalgia?
Song Choice: *When we were Young- Adele (start at the 50 second mark for the song.) I have many other songs that stir up nostalgia for me but this one is the newest which is why I chose it.

And because I was going down memory lane- my husband and I dating. ahhhh when we were young:


FlutistPride said...

You seem to have a good relationship with your friend. Please give Mr. ENFP a hug from me. You are beautiful, funny, smart and visionary. I love reading your blog because I seem to resonate with you on some wavelength (despite the fact that we are near temperamental opposites).

I test as highly empathic on empath tests. (I've taken 5 so far.) It seems odd because ESTPs aren't really the empathic type.

Kmarie A. said...

I have always wondered what your user name actually means? We are quite the temperamental opposites yes- I have read a couple of your blogs (happy belated birthday bTW!!!:) And while we share the same love of rainbows and pink! I don't really know what to say at times in regards to the references to music or characters (I think they are characters you write about and instruments?...I'm not sure because Out of all the temperamental types I have the toughest time reading ESTPs...Which is NEW for me:) I have another ESTP in my life here and we both tend to baffle each other because we have similar workings in some ways but work them out in completely opposite ways- we both notice even the slightest change in another but our interpretations are quite different. You and I both LIVE in music but in very different ways! Also in characters and studying temperaments. IT's really neat- I appreciate reading your perspectives. I always appreciate your comments and I do agree that you also resonate with me on some wavelength too!:) You are a neat person and i very much admire your life and choices:)

I loved this comment. It made me giddily happy and it came just when I needed it!:) I do have a good relationship with my friend and I did give mr ENFP a hug from you- you always make me love him more with your little appreciations- he is pretty awesome- everyone seems to love an ENFP in one way or another:)

And thank you for your beautiful words to me. I am glad you love reading my blog. I could see you as a high empath. I learned about being a high empath first in counselling when my therapist said I was a highly sensitive was my first dive into psychotherapy and then after that multiple diagnosis followed:) Ha!:) But empath was first and it explained so much of how I feel. Well, a personality is only a working part of understanding cognitive functions...there is so much more to a person so it makes sense that you could still be an empath and an ESTP...just like I can be very rational and logical due to my aspie side even though I am a hugely feeling, mystical INFJ too. Lol...the paradoxes. Spicing up life and individuality!

FlutistPride said...

Some people think ESTPs are just "1v1 ME M8!!!1!11!one!1" but there's more underneath. There are no articles about empathic ESTPs, highly sensitive ESTPs, or about the ESTP's INFJ shadow, yet information of this nature is plentifully available for INFJs.

I'm glad that my "Hug Mr. ENFP!!1!!1" comments have helped you to appreciate him more. Who doesn't love ENFPs? Two of my characters (Kyle Escalona, a high school band percussionist and Betty Chen, a neurologist) are ENFPs.

I don't know any empathic ESTPs. -_-

FlutistPride said...

It is not common for empaths to be ESTP, which is why it gets pretty confusing. There are no helpful articles on empathic ESTPs or the ESTP's INFJ shadow like there are for INFJs. On the Loner Wolf test, I got 76 out of 100 possible points.

Kmarie A. said...

@flutistPride: Lol - I don't think that about ESTPs at all. Every personality base has something to give:) What do you mean for the shadow side? It's plenty for the INFJs because they are the ones who tend to love exploring personality the most ( other than some INTJs and ENFPs and INFPs - that tends to be the trend) also INFJs are the rarest type but on the net they seem prominent because we are hermit souls most of the time who value our alone times and writing...and thus it seems like the information on personality is plentiful because we write Carl Jung who was the founder was an INFJ...that may be why you feel that way - but I highly suggest you write about being an ESTP and empath...get that voice out there and maybe it will resonate with other people.

YEs it has made me appreciate him more - he is pretty amazing...Im sorry you feel isolated and like a lone wolf...I used to feel that way too...and so alien...the difference is now I LOVE being the lone wolf with a bit of a supportive pack...but that takes growth and time...and finding your tribe. I promise you will find them. I know you are half my age- but I promise when you get to your thirties you are going to be so beyond your peers ( you already are) but in the satisfied with your life sort of way. You will LOVE it. But it is a struggle...and the teens and the twenties were the toughest in that regard. I loved aspects of them but some were SOOOOO stretching...and it was tougher I think being an old soul with people who just wanted to kick back and party or not think introspectively....which you do even though you are an introvert- I could see an old soul in you too...even if its manifestation is different. :) If you write a post about the ESTP shadow please let me know as I would not want to miss that one:)

FlutistPride said...

The "shadow self" is a description of what it's like to be "in the grip" of one's inferior function. The shadow self mirrors negative traits of the opposite type. For example, the ESTP in their INFJ shadow imagines worst case scenarios, starts depriving themselves of sensory stuff for no reason, and becomes uncharacteristically contemplative and withdrawn.

Kmarie A. said...

Oh gotchya...I go on personality hacker the most so that would be your three year old function? That makes sense though...

FlutistPride said...

By the way, this is the post I wrote about the ESTP's INFJ shadow.

I notice that when you respond to comments, you try to reflect the reader's expressed thought and then proceed to build upon it in order to extract their essence, so to speak.

I could imagine us singing the Clarity and Wildfire mashup with you on Clarity and me on Wildfire.