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A Change is Gonna Come: INFJs and Change

Change. It’s a hard concept, a difficult thing to talk about. Most people don’t really handle it very well. But it’s a good thing. From time to time it can be the best thing. I’ve had a lot of change in my life. I have moved halfway across the country a few times. I have worked in several different careers. Some of the change has been so good and some of it has been so hard. But it’s very much a part of life that we have to deal with.

For me as an INFJ, it’s a necessary evil. It’s something that I need from time to time, even if it’s just changing my hair color. I get restless after a while. I need something to look forward to, something to plot and plan. I’m always looking for something to make better in my life, always.

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Mentally Tough

Every night when I go to bed I make plans for the next day and set my alarm clock. I fancy myself a morning person, so I plug in an ambitious time, like 5am, and snuggle into my blankets. But the truth is.. I’m NOT a morning person. So, invariably, what happens is I stare at the ceiling for 4 or 5 hours, worrying about the workout in the morning. There is this argument back and forth about whether I am actually going to get up and go.

“You should do it. You will get the workout out of the way and it’s good for you.”

“But it’s early and I’m tired and I won’t be able to run very far or fast being this tired.”

“But you said you were going to. You told your coach you were going to be there and you don’t want to disappoint him.”

“He’ll understand. I’m the one paying him.”

“He won’t even notice I’m not there.”

“My leg, knee, arm, etc hurts. I think I’m sick. I shouldn’t go. It could do more damage.”

“I’m not hurt. I just don’t want to go.”

4 to 5 HOURS of this. It’s exhausting. By the time 3 or 4am comes around, I just want to sleep. The minute that I change my alarm to a later time, I fall asleep.

Then I wake up in the morning disappointed that I made that decision. And the process starts all over again. I swear that I will get up the next morning and go. I even lay out my clothes and fix my water bottle. I make sure that my headphones are ready and my shoes are in place. But, more times than not, I decide to sleep.

One of the popular arguments in my head is about what people think. This is especially vicious when I am supposed to go swimming. Swimming has always been torture for me. I’ve never been what anyone would call skinny. I like the winter time where I can wear sweaters and jackets and pretend that people don’t see all of the extra that is underneath them. Those layers of clothes are like my layers of protection from the outside world. So taking them all off and putting on the least amount of clothes EVER, that are all tight fitting and unflattering… well, the thought of that is enough to induce a panic attack. It’s not fun. And we haven’t even gotten to the pool yet.

When I get to the pool and under the water, it’s a little bit better, though there is still plenty to worry about. I just, in the last 6 months, learned how to swim with my head in the water. It’s a frightening scene. While I get the theory of what is supposed to happen, I can’t convince my head AND arms AND legs to all work together. It’s terribly complicated and overwhelming. So I end up in the middle of the pool coughing and flailing and positive that I am going to die. People stare. I try not to look at them. But I’m positive that they are looking at me, wondering if I need to be rescued. I just catch my breath, try to swallow the burning in my throat and lungs from all of the water inhaled and start again.

An hour of this is about all I can take before the negativity in my head gets the best of me and I retreat to the safety of the locker room, with the towels and clothes. I try to be positive and congratulate myself for making it that far. It’s farther than I make it some days.

Running is hard too. It’s long and painful. it’s makes it hard for me to breathe. I have problems with asthma to begin with. So things like allergies and stress trigger breathing problems for me. Running just makes it worse. It is supposed to get easier or at least even out over time. I haven’t noticed that it does. It’s painful every time.

What’s even more painful are the thoughts that run through my head while I’m trying to run. My legs can handle a lot. But there is a limit to the negative thoughts that I can combat. And the more tired that I get physically, the less I can combat mentally. It usually falls apart around 3 to 4 miles.

Cycling is the easiest, but still hard. I’m going to compu trainer classes since it is winter and cold outside. It wouldn’t be bad at all, except that they have these mirrors in front of the bikes. Clearly it was NOT a girl who designed this place. Who wants to watch themselves push through a hour long cycling class, with simulated hills and long minutes above threshold? (I’m still a bit uncertain what the whole “threshold” thing is, but I do know that it’s hard, like really hard)

The one thing that I have learned about all of this is that it’s hard. It’s physically hard and mentally hard. If you can get past the mental part, if you can get out of bed and make it to the park/gym/pool/compu trainer class, you usually enjoy the workout. It’s the BEST THING EVER when it’s over. It’s SO much fun to savor the moment and brag about it on social media. I don’t have kids or a hot boyfriend. I have nothing else to talk about.

It’s just getting to that part that is tough.

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I was reading a story a few weeks ago about a guy who was on his bike and he got hit by a car. He said that the moments right after impact, with the car and the ground, felt like hours. That time got all messed up. He thought that he was only on the ground for a few seconds, but he was actually there for over 10 minutes.

I was thinking about this last night as I was running. Thankfully this group was a lot smaller than the one last Wednesday, but they were still a lot faster than me. They took off and I was left to my thoughts, a very dangerous thing sometimes!

So, I was thinking about crashing. Probably because I hadn’t eaten enough throughout the day. I was dizzy and felt weak. That’s not a good feeling when you are running and pushing harder than usual. I don’t recall ever falling while I have been running. Never, until last night. And, of course, it happened right in front of everyone. Ugh!

My little bitty fall was nothing compared to the bike crash I read about, but it still hurt, physically and emotionally. It was dark and I tripped on some uneven ground. I had that feeling of, “Oh crap. I’m gonna fall. Nothing I can do.” And then I felt myself slide on the gravel. I just sat there for what seemed like a long time. It really wasn’t. I probably would have stayed on the ground longer if everyone wasn’t freaking out. No blood, no problem. So, I got back up and kept digging.

It seems like I have a lot of these moments these days, not the crashing ones, but the ones where a minute feels like an hour and an hour feels like a minute. Running will make any amount of time seem horrendously long. Compu trainer classes will do that too. Power test? 15 minutes at threshold? 30 seconds at 150% of threshold? “You can do ANYTHING for 30 seconds!” That’s what I heard at 5:30am this morning. It was short, but horrible. It seems shorter now than it did before we did it. But that’s how most things in life are, right?

I was cleaning out my closet this past weekend. I own a skirt that I have had for 10 years. Maybe it seems worse to me because I haven’t wore it in 8 years. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long since I wore it. But it hasn’t fit in 8 years either. I can’t throw it away though. Because there will be a day that I will wear it again… hopefully. Even though it is completely out of style and everyone will stare. It will/has taken a lot of hard work to get there. But when I put that thing on and it zips and I CAN BREATHE it won’t seem like that much at all.

I know this for a fact. I had a dream about going racing when I was in high school. I knew that if it was going to be a reality that I would have to move 1,000 miles from home. I would have to do A LOT of things that I had never done like business networking (words that I loathe). I’m not good at talking to people and making friends. I knew that it would take time. But, 15 years later, it doesn’t seem like it took that long. Because of this, I know that everything in front of me, all of those things that I am wishing for and hoping for and thinking are taking FOREVER, will get here soon enough. And once they are here I will enjoy them more because of the wait.

Just like the 30 seconds at 150% this morning. This too shall pass.

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass away.”

Earl Nightingale

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I HATE change. I think that everything should stay the same, ALWAYS. I think nothing should ever be allowed to change. People shouldn’t change, places shouldn’t change, things SHOULDN’T change… EVER.

But, of course, at the same time…

I want everything to change. I HATE the way that it is and it SHOULDN’T be that way. It’s wrong and it’s unacceptable and it needs to be different.

I just don’t know how to reconcile these two things.

I have these moments in my life, that rock my whole existence. And not in a good way. They change everything I think about life. They make it hard to breathe. They feel like everything that is horrible and awful and terrible about the world is all wrapped up in this one thing, one story, one picture, one experience.

I had one yesterday. Something happened, something that I knew was going to happen, someday, but yesterday, someday became today and the terrible thing that I dreaded, happened. It changed the whole way that I think about the world. It changed my whole experience with life, my hopes and dreams, my reasons for being.

The thing is… what happened… it had nothing to do with me. It was someone that I don’t know making a big life decision, but it affected me. And it almost feels like I knew something was going to happen…

I woke up in the morning and didn’t want to go swimming, so I shut the alarm off and stayed in bed, hoping for some more sleep. When that didn’t happen, I got up and took a shower. I’m not a morning person. I’m trying to be… well, pretending to be, because my running and cycling classes are at 5:30am and I find it easier to exercise in the morning. So for me to get out of bed without any reason, that’s a big deal.

But, I wanted to write before I had to work. I ended up working first. My boss’ vacation is wreaking havoc on my “free” time at work. And it is giving me a whole lot of extra work and migraine headaches everyday. I don’t want to be an Air Traffic Controller. That’s pretty much what he does… for a marketing company. It’s not for me.

It’s hard for me to deal with the temporary change of me doing his job while he’s gone. It’s only two weeks, right? How long could that be? How much can happen in two weeks?

So how to adjust to this new reality? The temporary one and the permanent one too. How do you go about simple things when your chest is tight and your throat is scratchy and you’re already stressed out and trying to deal with a migraine?

Cookies for dinner. And tater tots.

I’m not suggesting it. I’m just telling you what I did.

I woke up this morning to a new set of horrors. The ones from yesterday are still there and still hard to think about and accept. But there are new things to think about and new projects to conquer. And as the days go by, the things that changed don’t seem so foreign anymore. They become reality… if you wait long enough.