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  1. #11
    A_priori
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    For several years in my mid-20's I was in a bit of a statis state, with deeply rooted dissatisfaction, anxiety, existential questions, some angst, some bitterness, and much of all of it centered around the fact that I wasn't happy with my job at the time, didn't know what I'd rather be doing / couldn't figure out a longterm 'path' that I'd be happy with, for sure, for the rest of my life, and etc etc. I think most of the problems were due to my thinking I needed to figure out a final path, that I'd hit some 'nirvana' state where I'd just definitively know what I wanted to do with my life. It was an achilles heel growing up, and also what I was so bothered about in my 20's... just that it *appeared* all of my peers around me were effortlessly merging into a career, or always knew 'what they wanted to be' when they grew up, or didn't struggle with what I couldn't pin down.

    Once I decided by my late 20's/around age 30 that if I kept on that track, that I'd stay on it permanently, without doing anything, all because I couldn't figure out the master plan, I realized I may as well, at the very least, move to a different location to keep on keeping on with the same thoughts. At least change one element. And, I did. I uprooted my life, hadn't cemented specifically where I would move to upon quitting my job, traveled, then several months later moved to a different state. I still faced some of the same job/life questions, but I was in new surroundings, and had begun the process of letting go of a need to figure it all out and remain in a state of predictability and 'safety', but also of unhappiness and stagnation.

    Anyhow, simultaneously I realized that for me it's quite possible I'll never have the 'ultimate career', so I decided to just give up on that notion, because I no longer believe it applies to me (or, my trying to think my way into it doesn't do me any good), so I am now at peace with just finding a job that I find palatable/ok until it ceases to be palatable, then I'll leave and figure out a new job to try out /go to a new company.

    [I'm currently a business analyst in a strategic development unit / project management part of a company]

    I also love traveling, seeing new places/experiencing new things, and if I could ever kick myself into action to start trying to more proactively/actively pursue earning some income via photography or art, I will start doing that. I am also in a current period of assessing what I want to do in my free time to stimulate me more, and to broaden my horizons; I find in my life that I periodically need to jumpstart myself out of complacency, and hone in on new goals/'purposes' that I want to strive towards. I don't currently have that direction so would like to figure out what my 'next step' will be, whether free time or something broader than that.

    I think the one element where I have often felt I'm losing time and time is quickening and I'm aging and I off and on get hopeless or mildly sad/depressed/lonely is my singleness. It certainly wasn't what I had ever envisioned, growing up, that my life would be like, as I've always wanted a partner, but as time goes on I think it's less likely that that will happen for me. And especially re. kids/a family, time is of the essence as a woman and frankly it's just not likely now. I was never strongly attached to the family vision when younger...and that lack of attachment of course would have played into how I approached relationships in my 20's and who I was drawn to, but in recent years I'm thinking a little more about it. Not actively, more just... I'm aware that in many ways most of my peers are 'passing me by' in terms of life path/kids/etc. Sometimes I don't know how I feel about that; other times, I marvel at the life I live and the freedoms/experiences I've had as a result.

    Edit: I think for myself, it's very easy to get into an analysis loop where I think I can think my way into my 'next step'. Obv. I'm still guilty of that. I think reflection is great, and as introverts I think we get a lot out of it and can often figure things out, but the lull of introversion is a trap as well. For me, sometimes the simple act of just DOING something - anything - can get me out of a rut. Just need to let go of the notion that whatever you choose to do has to be some epic final decision... maybe it doesn't. It may lead to something else or spur you in the right direction.
    I can definitely relate to your last paragraph as I find this analysis loop can really take hold in my life and is rather insidious to say the least. Just ask my blood pressure and quality of sleep. Lol, but not laughing at the same time. Grr..

  2. #12
    A_priori
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I think there was a point where I realized half of my life was probably gone, so I was kind of locked into things. I had a moment or two of anxiety and reflection. Then I was like, well, I guess that's that. Whattayagonnado?

    The big goal of my life was to make a good marriage and family. I feel pretty good about my marriage. My kids are 13, 15, 17, & 19 and none of them show signs of sociopathy or major personality disorders, so even though it's too soon to tell how they will ultimately turn out, I feel pretty positive about that.

    Essentially, my identity is very tied up with my family. Family is doing okay, so I'm doing okay. I anticipate having some kind of adjustment when (or in this economy, if) the kids move out and I have little or no control over what becomes of them. If (or more likely when) I'm widowed, I'll be permanently maimed at the very least.

    I have a pasion for fighting the establishment in an attempt to secure a better life for people, but I have a pretty good life and we're taking steps toward our security and comfort long term.

    I worry more about am I being a good wife/mother/sister/daughter/person/citizen/Christian, etc. than about whether life is passing me by or whether I've done something with my life, etc. Other than that, I'm a bit of a hedonist at heart. I like climate control, comfortable clothes and furniture, fast internet, a dependable car with good air conditioning, books, and tasty food. I like harmonious relationships. I like not having to do anything I don't want to do. I can't have all of it all the time, but if I've got most of it, I'm pretty content, at least right now.
    Thank you for sharing Cafe, I find you rather insightful. I guess it's a little different for me just because I'm a guy and I'm at a different stage with different circumstances. I find my identity is more tied into my work but maybe I should take a step back for a while and realize that who I am is far more intrinsic.. IDK, life's forever confusing on my mind and my heart.

  3. #13
    A_priori
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    Opps

  4. #14
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A_priori View Post
    Thank you for sharing Cafe, I find you rather insightful. I guess it's a little different for me just because I'm a guy and I'm at a different stage with different circumstances. I find my identity is more tied into my work but maybe I should take a step back for a while and realize that who I am is far more intrinsic.. IDK, life's forever confusing on my mind and my heart.
    Our genders are socialized differently. Guys are programed to find their identities in their work. Society cut me a little slack in the career department because I'm female and I happened to marry a guy who didn't want his kids in daycare like he was as a kid.

    Honestly, I didn't love being a stay-at-home-mom nearly as much as I thought I would. I found it exhausting, monotonous, and isolating. I was depressed a lot. I wasn't great at it, but I tried to do the basics and somehow muddled through. I have no doubt my kids will have their mommy issues, just like everybody else.

    Marriage was pretty hard for the first ten years. There were times when the scale of staying or leaving was balanced except for I couldn't think how I was going to manage to acquire sex. It tipped the balance and I stayed and it ended up getting better. Turns out when you've got little money and small children, things are just kind of sucky.

    At thirty, I would have been thrilled with the knowledge that my life was going to be this easy and chilled out at this point. It didn't look that way back then. It didn't really get easier until about six years ago. By then my youngest spawnling didn't fight me tooth and nail about going to school every day and my husband had a better job. We had a sweet few years when my husband and I got to take evening walks alone most nights. Things got harder for a couple of years because of the recession, but never as bad as when we were poor with pre-schoolers. Everything since then has seemed like cake.

    Heck, I'm probably just so tired and worn down I'm just happy I can buy food and don't have to wipe anybody's butt but my own. I seriously am really happy about that. I see a baby or little kid out in public and I think "How cute! I'm so glad it's not mine."
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  5. #15
    A_priori
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    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousFeeling View Post
    I don't think a day goes by without us INFJ folk going through some form of an existential crisis. We're idealists by nature, and it goes for not only what's going on in our lives, but how we are as a person. There's never a feeling of total satisfaction with where we are at. It's always a quest to find our perfect place. Just defining exactly what it is, and getting past fears and taking risks to get to where we need to be is the key thing here.

    Reading this "quarter-life crisis" list, it fits exactly what I'm going through at the moment. I even had a dream last night related to this.
    "Just defining exactly what it is, and getting past fears and taking risks to get to where we need to be is the key thing here"

    This is really true, at the bottom of it all really comes down to stepping out of my comfort zone and taking some risks. I feel like I don't do change well for whatever reason.

  6. #16
    From the Undertow CuriousFeeling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A_priori View Post
    "Just defining exactly what it is, and getting past fears and taking risks to get to where we need to be is the key thing here"

    This is really true, at the bottom of it all really comes down to stepping out of my comfort zone and taking some risks. I feel like I don't do change well for whatever reason.
    I think it's because as INFJs, we analyze all the possible effects that can happen as a result of our actions. Taking such risks to enhance our position in a job, and the possible drawbacks and benefits of such. Same with other things in life. It's great to invest in crafting others' dreams and helping people realize themselves, but you can't let Fe be spread out too thin. It's important to balance between looking out for others as well as yourself. If you feel unsatisfied, then change is imperative to self-actualization.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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  7. #17
    A_priori
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    I think this pressing discomfort has a lot to do with being part of the delta quadra. If you do some research this quadra suggests that we are continuously preoccupied with stability. It's really quite intrsting when you look at the socionics model as apose to the the MBTI independently. I would really like to meet some INFJs in person and see what kind of similarities we share.

    Over the last couple weeks I have been reading quite a few older threads from some of the more senior infj members. It's really interesting; getting a feeling for the other INFJs around here. I'm really interested in talking about the more taboo, even the stuff that some may find uncomfortable. I just want to dissect the hell out of everything lol

  8. #18
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    there's a difference between the path and the meaning/purpose. you have to let go of your need to trust your predictions and see them for what they are, a way of scaling your guesses to usefully assess risk/reward for yourself and others.

    nearing your age, i've been learning from others that i need to notice more and change less. noticing in a way that is not holding on to more and more guesses and getting locked into cycles of comparing and trying to reduce the difference between what is and what i want to be. because then i just ruminate. getting caught in the explanation game, answering why, rather than prompting myself to act. instead, it's more of a willingness to stay with different kinds of experience and to focus on what's true for you rather than what's true of all possibles.

    right now, i'm trying to negotiate my criteria. but i can't know, so i have to think about how to test at much smaller scales while realizing that the good/bad scoring system will change very much in some ways and in some ways won't. it too is a prediction, so focusing on more immediate positive changes helps anchor you to what you can control while helping you trust time more and allow yourself to make the changes that are truly worth it when opportunities actually arise.

    i like the saying "start where you are."

  9. #19
    Cheeseburgers freeeekyyy's Avatar
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    I often feel this way myself, and I'm not even an NF. I've made a lot of mistakes, and am in many ways inexperienced for my age. All I can do though is attempt to turn things around, which I've been at least having some success in lately.
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  10. #20
    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A_priori View Post
    but maybe I should take a step back for a while and realize that who I am is far more intrinsic.. IDK, life's forever confusing on my mind and my heart.
    This is a great point. And also, I think your question is very valid and I do indentify with it.

    I remember watching the late Joseph Campbell on TV for the first time. He was telling the story of a woman in her 90s who was confined to a nursing home and suffering from dementia. Yet, she would stand up and do ballet. He talked about how she had always wanted to be a dancer and was very good at it but had given the career up because "she fell in love" and devoted her life to her husband and to being the "good" wife that she was expected to be at that time in society. He went on to say that all of us have a bliss, a thing that ignites us with passion. I think that for an INFJ that holds deeply true.

    Each of us has a hidden passion, a thing that makes us feel we are a part of something bigger than ourselves and unless we are contributing to that we feel something is amiss. I remember so many times in my teens that I was tempermental and felt "trapped". I used to think of Michaelangelo [I was a huge fan of his, even if I was a few centuries too late] and how he was trying to free the sculpture hidden inside the block of marble. Michealangelo spoke of feeling imprisoned in his flesh, of being trapped in a physical world and when he made sculptures he felt free. I think it's like that for INFJs, maybe for other people, too. When I asked myself what I would do if money were no object, what I felt happiest doing and then I started doing it, I begin to feel a sense of fulfillment and purpose. I think INFJs desperately need that.

    I think I will always feel that yearning to see beyond the here and now but that's part of being INFJ. That's part of what makes us who we are. Edgar Cayce, an American psychic, once said the role of an intuitive artist was to be a window which allowed others to see a glimpse into a world that they might otherwise never see. I kind of think of that as the role of INFJs, too. We are windows, windows into another world, another realm, that cannot be explained via the laws of the natural universe. It's a world we are intrinsicly attuned to, yet we must walk in this world. I think that is often the source of our yearning and feeling that we don't belong....so, in my way of thinking, you're right. It isn't so simple as a quarter-life crisis. For us, it starts somewhere in childhood and it only intensifies as we enter our 20s and 30s, but somewhere along the way we begin to see how we fit into the bigger picture and it's knowing this that helps us prioritize our lives. So, I would say, find your bliss, that thing that you feel most at ease and at peace with when you are doing it. When you find it you won't be able to let it go.

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