Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Dirt, The Grime, The Diamond Within

Just wanna write about me. Ever since the "incident" with my group of closest friends, I'm still trying to find ways to balance my life. Right after I wrote "Rest in Peace", thoughts and emotions barraged me.

I'm a melancholic and phlegmatic. The last test I took (based on Personality Tree by Florence Littauer) told me that I'm 80% melancholic and 20% phlegmatic. Maybe the percentage's changed now, but my core is still melancholic. My primary love language is quality time (The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman). So, what does that make me? An intense person. In my group of closest friends, I think I'm the only one who has the biggest percentage of melancholicness. The rest of them are mostly Sanguine/Choleric or Phlegmatic. Thus, I think compared to them, I'm still the most intense person.

Here's an excerpt from Florence Littauer:

God could have made us all Sanguines.
We could have lots of fun but accomplish little.
He could have made us all Melancholies.
We would have been organized and charted but not very cheerful.
He could have made us all Cholerics.
We would have been set to lead, but impatient that no one would follow!
He could have made us all Phlegmatics.
We would have had a peaceful world but not much enthusiasm for life.
We need each temperament for the total function of the body.
Each part should do its work to unify the action and produce harmonious results.
-Florence Littauer in The Gift of Encouraging Words

I've had a few issues in the past with some of the girls in my group of closest friends, mainly because I over-analyze and over-assuming. But hey, the bottom line is that you can't have a close-knit group of GIRLS without expecting trouble every now and then, right? Basically GLADLY we've always been able to sort them out. I think one of them once said that I was an extreme person. If I think of something, I have to think of the worst case scenario, as well. And I have to think of it from as many angles as I can possibly think about.

Maybe you can also say that I'm mentally masochistic. Even though the "incident" made me experience the most intense battles in my brain, I kinda enjoy it. One of the reasons why I enjoy it is because it's all about me. I'm the one who has to rediscover me and it doesn't involve anyone else (for example the problem is not about our dying parents or such things where we're helpless). The problem is me and thus I can do something about it. Other than that, obviously I KNOW I'd reach another level when I've conquered this problem later (just like playing computer games, you have to beat the "enemies" in level 1 before you can go to level 2, and you'll gain more strength from beating all the enemies, and so on...).

I've known since I was young that I could possibly keep score cards due to my nature. Why? Simply because I can remember things chronologically better than Sanguines, for example, especially when it comes to things I consider important. And since my primary love language is quality time, I got hurt when I realized that I couldn't get enough quality time with them as they were far busier than me (my love tank kept on running low, thus it got easier and easier for me to keep the score cards and thus it made me feel bitchy and needy). I know it's unfair to keep score cards, but now I just want to talk about facts about myself from my own point of view. I wish I could remember less, but that's not possible. But I am trying to throw away the score cards and I'm trying to revise my expectations. As one friend keeps on telling me, there're always two sides of the coin. Your strength can be your weakness and vice versa.

I used to be so cynical. In fact, one friend once wrote me, "Keep sharing your funny cynical side!" on a card. I think I've grown out of the cynicism, yet it's still my latent enemy. When things go rough, cynicism will show its ugly head, body, and tail and mock me full force and try to merge with me again. But I will NEVER let it win. :-)))

I don't know yet the answers that I'm trying to find. I don't know yet how my friendship with them would be like later and how I'm going to find the balance. Right now I've told them that I'm taking a break to meditate, to find my way back to me. Flexibility has never been my forte. I thrive on stability (the very thing that people might consider boring). I dislike changes, even though I know changes are inevitable. I don't try to stop changes to come, but I know it's going to take time for me to adjust myself.

I guess what hurt me about the fact that my friends now prefer verbal exchange rather than written exchange is the fact that I'm not financially able to call them or meet them face-to-face as often as I want to. I thrive on knowing people intimately. I've always yearned to be able to read people's minds (not all the time, just when I think it'd be beneficial for us both - either to help me understand them better or respond to them better). But what I didn't count was that people change. Situations change. What hurt me the most was probably the fact that I needed my friends more than they needed me now. Now I have to learn to be content with my being. After all, my Mom keeps on saying, "We all start the journey alone, then we meet a companion, then the companion dies or we die first, thus we end the journey alone as well." Of course friends come and go in between the phases of life, but basically I just need to learn to be content BEING, without attaching my identity to anyone or anything else.

At first I wasn't planning on telling my husband about the "incident" as I knew I'd cry in front of him. But anyway, two nights ago he knew there was something on my mind, so finally I told him what had happened. He then checked up on me the next day by dropping by (even though he had said earlier that he wouldn't come home for lunch). Bless his heart!!!

Still a LONG way to go to climb this mountain...but I know I'm not alone. :-)))) And as a wise friend once said, "You might feel like a coal now because you're covered by dirt and grime, but you're still a diamond within."

I'm welcoming this journey to wipe away the dirt and grime once more.

P.S. Funny thing just happened. I had this image of my husband coming home during lunch break, bringing me a package from a Finnish online store (I bought a summer jacket and a bigger bag). And guess what? He did come home earlier just to drop it by and he said he just wanted to check up on me again. I told him that I KNEW somehow that he'd be bringing me that package today. He just smiled and said, "Really?" :-))))


  1. It's a day for self-criticism it seems - I did something similar on my blog!

    change is a weird thing. No change and you get bored, too much and the stress makes your head explode. I'm not great with change either. If it comes in little dribble.. okay. But in my life I seem to go through droughts and floods. :-\

    I like the idea of seeking the diamond within. I had this little pice of paper I used to carry about that I'd written on - "You don't prune weeds"

    I think sometimes God "prunes" us. It's good for shaping us, but it hurts.

    Wow, I cried buckets when I first arrived in Scotland. I thought I'd be so "up" and excited, but all that newness and change can really hit you. Take it slowly, be kind to yourself. Hug your inner child. :-D

    And don't expect too much. Just let life flow and carry you as you adjust to your new life. Sometimes we think we're struggling to stay afloat when we're really just tiring ourselves out paddling madly against the current.

    Wow, I'm poetic this morning! Must be the coffee :-D

  2. THX for your support, M!!!

    Yeah, indeed God sometimes lets us be pruned. :-)))

    THX for sharing your soul again. I know that it's not easy to move to a new country. On the plane, I had thought about the worst case scenarios, but I had always thought that my group of close-knit friends would always be my anchor. My anchor should be God, not people he he he...

    Well, actually so far it hasn't been as bad as I thought it'd be he he he...

    Yeah, I'll try not to expect too much and let life surprise me. :-))) And yes, my resolution this year is to be kind to myself and to cut myself some slack. I won't make excuses for myself, either, but I won't let ANYONE, including MYSELF to reduce my self-worth. :-))))

  3. PS.. forgot to say. THat was pretty cool about you knowing your husband was going to bring the parcel.

    My parents do that - and now me and my husband too. A friend (who has similar things happen between her and her husband) thinks it is a mixture of ESP and synchronised thinking that happens when two married people really "connect" to each other.


  4. He he he...:-))) Yeah, I also think it's a bit about that way: the connection between two people. :-)))

    Arttu's Mom can tell when people are coming to visit her house (dunno if it happens all the time or not).

    It has happened with my Mom, too. Back in Indo Mom did the cooking for us. I often craved for something without telling her, and that very same day she cooked the same thing I was craving for. She called me LUCKY he he he...

    Nice to know it's happening everywhere he he he...

  5. If you crave verbal contact with the friends you left behind, you might consider getting a headset and trying using Skype, Google Talk or other talk-enabling tools. That's for free! Of course it requires that the person in the other end has a connection and a headset, but I've talked over quite a distance (Finland-USA) and it doesn't sound any worse than if you're talking to the next town over.

    As for your adjustment to Finland, I wholeheartedly agree with Michelle: take it slowly. Finns have probably told you this already, but in general we suck at making contact to new people and making friends. So that's another thing that will require time, and probably initiation on your side!

    : fanye (who commented here once earlier too. :))