Tag Archives: adventure

INFJ and the Feeling of a Calling

Passenger airplane with a boarding steps in the morning sun

So, the INFJ is often referred to as the “advocate” or “counselor.” We’re also known for having “callings” or “vocations” rather than just believing that one day we will get a job.

And I have to say, this is so true for me. And I’m wondering if this is true for any other INFJs out there?

If anyone has read this blog for a while, you probably know the story of my journey. I ran away to LA because I really wanted to make movies that would inspire people, that would change world, and that would help the underdog. Growing up, all I heard was “You’ll fail.” and “Do you know many people actually success in that industry? Get your head out of the clouds.” and “One day you’re going to have grow up and get a real job.”

But I never did. I never did grow up. I never did “grow out of it.” The concept of working a 9-5 job that I hated simply for a paycheck was just never enough for me. The thought of spending a life working at H&R Block or something, feeling unfulfilled every single day, left me feeling nauseous, depressed, anxious, and upset.

ice cream
Actual photo of my facial expression working in retail…

I then spent a bunch of years running around, trying to find myself, “trying to grow up” and be what everyone thought an adult should be, and it all went horribly! I wound up working in retail, hating my life every single day. Wishing I had a life with meaning, with purpose, and with excitement. I got working holiday visas to Australia and New Zealand. Hoping that, if I had to work boring jobs…at least I could do it in a foreign country. But of course, just when you think you’re safe….

park

 

My misery got so bad that I broke down and my years of depression and fear for the future exploded into an uncomfortable wave of anxiety and panic disorder that lead to me becoming agoraphobic while working in a foreign country. 

Long story short… It’s taken many, many, many years for me to ACTUALLY grow up, and do the most adult thing possible – Find myself. Know myself. And know what it is I’m meant to do in this world.

And that’s THE EXACT SAME THING I’VE WANTED TO DO SINCE I WAS A KID.

I want to tell stories. These days, the stories are a bit different from when I was a kid. After the years I spent collapsing from panic attacks, killing myself slowly with depression, and the period where I was even too afraid to leave my apartment… my stories obviously now tackle issues like mental illness.

And I’m not in film. I’m a writer now. But I love it. And I love being able to reach out to people. I love being able to inspire people. I love that my voice is being heard. I love everything about it!!!!!!!

So, I guess , here’s my thing – Yes. I’ve always felt like the advocate. And I’ve always felt like I’ve had a calling. And I was told for years that that was a sign of immaturity.

AND IM ASKING WHY?????  When someone wants the world (and to help the world) Why is that met with hatred? With disgust? With the idea of “Oh, that’s childish.”

And the other thing I’m asking is, do any of there INFJs out there feel this way? Does anyone else ever read the personality traits of INFJ and just be like… Holy Fuckballs That Is Me To The Core!

yasss

 

And I guess that finally, the other thing I’m saying is this: People suck. And I honesty (and unfortunately) believe that most people don’t live the lives they want. They settle because it’s easy. Because it’s less scary. Because it’s what those around them are telling them to do. So when they see someone who really goes for it – who grabs life by the horns – I think it makes them jealous, and angry, and probably even a bit insecure about their own life, which then makes them (and perhaps even subconsciously) try to put people down in order to not feel so bad about themselves.

So, what that longwinded paragraph is trying to say is –

IF YOU FEEL YOU HAVE A PASSION,

GO FOR IT!

world

 

The world is yours, take it and blow it up! (metaphorically of course)

 

~ The Dark Horse

(Was the proofread? I mean… I suppose you could say that)

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Embracing The Evil Within

joker

So, I have a confession for everyone, and, judge me if you must... But, during hard times, one of the things that really helps me get by is embracing my inner super villain.

That’s right. Sometimes just being straight up evil helps make me feel better.

When I get lonely, or when I see everyone else having fun without me, I sit there and go… What if a giant meteor came and slammed into Central Park right now, obliterating all these people into dust. 

dead like me

And then a smile comes across my face. And I get a little less lonely. (Also, easter egg for any fellow Dead Like Me fans out there!)

 

Oh, oh oh!!!!!!! AND MY ULTIMATE FANTASY, I want to be like Aquaman (hot blonde Aquaman, not overly buff drag queen Aquaman)

 

                                       No thanks.                                   Yes please. 

 

Anyways, so I’d be like Aquaman….but as a villain!

OH, THINK OF THE FUN I COULD HAVE! 

Ok, imagine this…. It’s spring break,

spring

Slutty hos, and douchey bros line the beaches, having their pathetic fun…

 

But…do they know that I’ve summoned a giant swarm of sharks? 

meg

Sure, they can try to swim away…but really, with 500 great white sharks surrounding you, where exactly do you think you’re going to go? 

jaw

Suddenly, the attacks begin. And once everyone knows what’s going on…

It’s already too late! 

MWUAHAHAHA!

jaws

Oh, it’s so sadistic, it’s simply perfect! 

 

Think of it – First, people become afraid of the oceans. Giant swarms of shark attacks have become normal. But everyone thinks rivers and lakes are still safe, but bull sharks can live in freshwater! Suddenly, in places like the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes, giant shark attacks begin to take place. The entire human population won’t go anywhere near water. The pumps that suck in water begin to clog with algae because nobody is cleaning them… the human race begins to suffer from dehydration and famine.

Then, I come forward, revealing that I control the oceans. And I demand 5 things to make the attacks stop:

1.) I want a roller coaster built. The longest roller coaster in the world. It will span across state lines, it will be an incredible 5 hours of ride time, and it can’t be wooden, because that will hurt.

2.) Obviously, I’m now emperor of the entire world and Zac Efron has to quit acting and become my personal sex slave.

3.) US airlines must remove economy seating, because it’s just fucking miserable. Business class for all!

4.) Every Friday at 9pm the entire world must shut down, and the entire population must go to the local movie theater to view classic horror films – Scream, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw, Creepshow, House of 1000 Corpses, all of them. Every Friday until the end of time. This will surely make the human race a better one.

5.) The TV show Strangers With Candy will be renewed for another 5 seasons. The Avengers will be remade, in which every character dies 5 minutes into the first film, thus sparing us from a series of atrociously boring movies. And lastly, anyone who watched Game of Thrones must personally submit a 500 page to me, declaring that the show was stupid and waste of their time and that they’re sorry to everyone for making us have to listen to them go on and on about it for almost a decade.

 

You have my demands…. the choice is yours.

~ The Dark Horse

(No, this wasn’t proofread. Emperors of the world don’t need to proofread. Oh! That’s another one of my rules. I no longer have to proofread anything ,ever!)

London Bound (Or, The Excitement of Something Big Ahead)

london

So, in 2 days I’m being flown to London for my next trip as a travel writer. I’m so excited and curious about this diverse and sprawling metropolis. London rivals New York City on the global cities index, being the only two Alpha ++ cities on the planet. A mixture of international traffic, economic fervor, and arts & culture keep these cities on top of the world.

But London will be different than New York…

New York streets look like this:

new york 1

 

Whereas London looks like this:

london12

 

Two cities, built very differently. One built up, the other built out.

 

BUT ASIDE FROM ALL THAT…

The main reason for this post is the feeling I have right now. I fully believe that travel has an incredible healing power. Travel can reset your mind, restart your body, and reenergize what’s been lost.

Isn’t it Elsa herself who says, “It’s funny how some distance, makes every thing seem small…” 

Travel is the ultimate cure for whatever ails you… although, perhaps it’s always advisable to see a doctor if something is seriously wrong.

takeoff

 

But does anything compare to the takeoff of an airplane?  Or the anticipation before a trip?

Even if there’s no ocean where I’m going to, before I travel I can always seem to smell the saltwater. Sun seems to radiate from somewhere. Everything shimmers with starbursts and sunbeams. I absolutely love the feeling I get before a trip!

It’s a depression smashing, anxiety exploding, shot of pure positivity.

 

Also… as is tradition on this blog, if there’s ever a city that gets destroyed in a movie, I have to show it.

londonlondon2

 

Does that not inspire you to hop on a plane?????

Come on people, Adventure awaits! 

 

~ The Dark Horse

Never give up, and never proofread! Unless you’re getting paid…. then proofread, proofread, proofread!)

TRAVEL>>> There Really is Nothing Better

mig

Next month I’m being flown to Mexico to write an article.  This is going to be the first time I’ve been paid to do travel writing. It feels like a complete dream come true!

I honestly don’t have words – what is there to stay that could possibly capture how accomplished I feel?  Growing up, watching the Travel Channel, dreaming of escaping my hometown in Ohio… and now, I somehow have one of those jobs that everyone going up told me wasn’t real.

I’m from trash-bucket Ohio. Once manufacturing died, so did my hometown. The mentality of my hometown isn’t “Work hard, you’ll go places!” Instead it’s, “The world will eat you alive! Ohio isn’t that bad! Do you know what your chances are of actually being successful? You’re just going to wind up back here with your tail between your legs!”

Like they say, misery loves company. 

mex1

 

And let me make this very clear —–> If you’re the kind of person who enjoys coming home from work everyday and sitting in your Lay-Z-Boy to watch Real Housewives….THAT IS TOTALLY OK! I have nothing against you! The problems arise because most people who live their lives like are also the types to who hate the idea of others doing something else. That hatred is the problem. 

help

It almost seems like they are trying to keep others down. Like they don’t want to watch others do more with their life. That is what I hate. You should never have to be surrounded by people who clearly don’t want to see you succeed.

Mex2

 

Ah, but bitches, let me tell you….

Once you escape that cycle, life can get good. It can take a while, and it can be hard (well, it will be hard, unfortunately) After years upon years of having people shit on you, change doesn’t come overnight. The journey to happiness is surely an uphill battle.

 

But it’s totally worth it.

Trust me.

IT IS TOTALLY WORTH IT.

 

mex4

 

Ah Mexico… on someone else’s dime.  Me, writing the night away.

Oh , god it’s almost orgasmic…

mex5

 

 

I may be pushing 30…but I’m finally starting to feel like my life is starting. My life is 1/3 over…and just beginning. But, better late than never, right?

Plus, I remember Steve Carell has that line in Little Miss Sunshine, where he says something like, “Your struggles are what end up making you good writer.”

So hopefully I have lucrative writing career ahead!

Hi ho!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ho

 

 

What Is It That We Want?

face

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

I want to find true happiness in life, but what is true happiness?

For me, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the combination of 2 things:

The Personal Life

and

The Meaningful Life

 

 

First off, we have the personal life. This is you and your family, friends, loved ones, romantic interests, and so on. It’s the social connections that keep us as humans from losing our fucking minds. Think this isn’t true?

Well, here’s some news articles for you on the topic:

BBC

New Republic

Science

I learned that social isolation destroys you the hard way… I was socially isolated.

Growing up gay in Ohio, with parents who were homophobic (and trust me, I love my parents, I understand they were just a product of their time. I hold no resentment towards them). Anyways, with everyone avoiding you like some kind of untouchable, and then not even being able to tell your own family about how wrong everything is, you go a little insane.

You go inwards. You start to live in your own world because the one around you doesn’t want you in it. For me, I had a savior. I had what I thought would fix everything. I had the dream of…

LA

LOS ANGELES

 

I told myself that LA would change everything. There, I’d find where I belonged. The people in California would be different. They would love me. And I’d go into the film industry because what’s more accepting of differences than Hollywood? (Rimshot please!)

But again, I was alone. I had nobody to tell me otherwise. I had nobody to guide me. I had nobody to make see how shallow and horrible LA is, especially for someone as socially retarded as me.

So, from the very first day I arrived in LA after high school, everything collapsed. I didn’t know how to connect with anyone. I had never drank, or smoked, or been to a party, or a concert, or stayed over at a friends house, or anything.

I’d try to connect and make friends, and it would instantly fall apart. Actually, it wouldn’t fall apart because it never got to the point where there was anything to fall apart. People just looked at me like I was this strange mutant from bumfuck nowhere…which, let’s be honest, I kind of was, and then they’d keep walking, making sure to keep their distance.

And thus, depression and anxiety crept into my life. My dream. My salvation. The cure-all that I always thought LA would be for my life…wasn’t. My only bit of hope was crushed and gone, and there was no longer anything to hold me together.

LA1

I remember Bruce Vilanch once said something like, “Ah yes! LA, where the palm trees are filled with crows.”

Well, I had started to see the crows.

 

 

But on the flip side, focusing simply on your social life also kills you. I learned this in Melbourne.

mel

 

I somehow managed to finish college in LA. And sure, there was that whole part where I dropped out because I lost my mind and wound up on the streets having sex for rent money, and there was that last year in LA where the depression was so bad that I’d collapse everywhere I went, but ya know, how time flies….

And so, I found myself with a Work and Holiday visa in Melbourne, Australia. SURELY GOOD PEOPLE EXISTED DOWN UNDER RIGHT? 

I went to Melbourne with one goal: It was time for me to be the dumb kid I wasn’t able to be in high school. My goals were to make good friends, fuck hot Aussie boys, get a boyfriend, and live it up!

And soon after I arrived I did find a friend group, and got a job at LUSH. But nothing seemed to get better… I was going out to bars with my friends (even though I don’t drink). I was going to food festivals with them. I was going to comedy shows. More bars. Clubs… bars… and more clubs and bars… OMG normal humans are so obsessed with bars and clubs, what the fuck is with that?????

And I just found myself bored. They would talk about their day, and the friends they knew, and gossip about others, and share memories of their past, and I would sit there, staring off into space, realizing something was wrong; I NEEDED A PURPOSE. I would go to work at LUSH, and be bored, because it’s retail and retail isn’t mentally stimulating. Then, I’d go to some bar and listen to these shallow people talk about shallow things, and I’d still be bored…even though I thought I had what I wanted.

I WAS SITTING WITH A GROUP OF FRIENDS!!!! It was everything I would have dreamed to have when I was 15. But now that I had it, I realized life isn’t just about sitting in a bar with friends. If that was enough for me then I should have just stayed in Ohio like everyone else… But life needs to have meaning. I wanted a career. Something I could be furiously happy about. Something I could invest myself in that would change the damn world! I didn’t care that Leon got a hot girl’s number, or that his ex-girlfriend wanted to get back with him, or about how excited he was to try shrooms for the first time.  I wanted to bash my head into the wall.

mel1

So, despite my naive intentions, Melbourne was a bust. (Oh, and also, I go so miserable and destitute that my depression and anxiety burst into agoraphobia… what fun…)

 

 

And, just to really make sure that I knew what I was talking about, I made the mistake again! I went home broke, because I lost all my money paying for therapy, had to get a job in retail in my hometown to re-save up money, then I ran away again to Auckland…JUST TO WORK IN RETAIL! What the fuck was I thinking?????? 

auk

 

And so that was two more wasted years of my life….

But Auckland is where the change happened. I was in therapy one day, and I was just like, “JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!!!! WHAT AM I DOING?” I had a midlife crisis at the age of 25. I was like, “HOLY FUCKBALLS! IM GOING TO BE STUCK IN THIS CYCLE FOREVER UNLESS I CHANGE IT RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!!!!!”

And thus, the plan was formed. I decided to apply for grad school. There, I could gain more experience, find mentors, meet other determined people, and reboot my life.

And that’s when I got into a program at Harvard, and the rest is history… Now, I’m getting ready to make the move to New York City with a great job offer that I’m so excited and proud to have.

 

And that’s why I think that life needs both. You need your social half, but you also need your meaningful half. It’s a tough tightrope to walk, finding both. And lord knows I’ve fallen off that rope many a time… But, I think for lasting joy, and true fulfillment, that’s how it’s done.

 

Keep up the dream!

~ The Dark Horse

NEW YORK, HERE I COME!

nyc

 

So, as I mentioned last time, I had an interview in New York last Monday for a television company. Not even joking, on Friday, just FOUR DAYS after the interview, I received a phone call.

Ladies and gentlemen, it appears the Dark Horse has had a victory. I will be going to New York in January!!!!! WOOOOOHOOOO!!!!!

And this got me thinking about my journey here in grad school. When I first arrived at Harvard, I had nothing. I didn’t know a single person in Boston. I had no internships or connections to professors.

river

I picked up a job at Whole Foods to pay for rent (and luckily I have federal grants for tuition). I had no real skills that I knew of, although I knew I was smart, and I knew that I knew how to survive. But nobody had every cared about me, or had ever given me a chance in life. Mostly, I just felt alone and stupid.

Essentially, I had no real skills to speak of that would make an employer outside of the food industry think I’m worth investing in. I had always taken the first job I could find somewhere, completely terrified of the idea of being unemployed and homeless. This means I’ve lived an entire life slogging through whatever restaurant or retail chain would give me a job. And thus was the cycle. Restaurants lead to restaurants. Retail leads to retail. My brain slowly rotting away with boredom in the process.

I always knew I wanted more. I was never one of those people who could work their 9-5, bored out of their fucking minds, and then justify their horrible life by going to bars and drinking it all away every Friday and Saturday….just to then have to repeat the cycle the next Monday.

 

But, growing up in Ohio during recession made me afraid.

g

I watched as adults with college degrees applied to work in the diner I worked in. I thought it was so strange and scary that I, a high school student, was working the same position as someone with a college degree.

I watched my mom lose her job due to a merger, then lose her next job due to a merger, then the next due to the company going bankrupt. By the time America had finally climbed out of the hole, she had been through 5 jobs.

 

But the whole time…I knew something was wrong.

Everyone kept telling me to be thankful for what I had. They kept telling me to get my head out of the clouds. They kept telling me about the dangers of big cities (which actually, is hilarious, because my hometown has a worse crime rate than cities like New York, Los Angeles, and San Fransisco). But, when you’re 16, and everyone around you keeps telling you that being a waiter is better than being homeless, it’s hard not to let it get to you.

 

And so, I worked and worked, and the depression, the misery, and the boredom grew until it was intolerable and I lost my mind.

Flash-forward to being in grad school. I knew I needed to make a change in my life. I knew I had what it took to achieve my goals. I knew that if I could just have some way to prove myself, I could show the world that I was a force to be reckoned with.

har

 

And what better place to do it right?

And so, the job at Whole Foods turned into a job on campus, giving me more flexibility to get involved in school,

which led to me joining clubs,

And then I picked up an internship with a nonprofit where I created Facebook posts to help inspire students,

Which then led to another internship managing social media for a literary magazine,

which led to editing for that literary magazine,

which led to me getting an internship at a second literary magazine,

which led to me getting an internship with a podcast,

and then my internship with the literary magazine started paying (woohoo!),

and then I created and hosted a huge event at school,

and there was that paid job I had in Shanghai over the summer that I never would have gotten without all the other experience from being back in school,

and now, the real fuckin’ deal. Working for a big TV channel in New York City.

Is this the fabled American Dream ? 

Have I just made something of myself ? 

 

giff

 

Am I about to be a writer living in New York City? Just a small-town boy tryin to make it in the big city?

(Also, (Groans) Im sorry for using yet another Sex and the City GIF… God, Im such trash…)

 

 

Anyways, I’m excited for my future.

I’m excited and I think my writing talents have grown. I believe in my writing now. I believe that I can get published.

I also believe that my life can be filled with adventure.

and most importantly, meaning and happiness. 

 

Are there people out there who are happy living in Ohio or Iowa or Indiana? YES.

AND GOOD FOR THEM! THEY CAN DO WHATEVER THE FUCK THEY WANT.

But just like they’re allowed to work at H&R Block in some city like Dayton, you’re also allowed to go big, and want to work a big city, doing whatever the hell you want. Never let the people from where you’re from try and tell you you’re not allowed to dream big. Because changes in this world only happen when people dream big.

dream

 

~ The Dark Horse

(#NotProofRead. Proofreading is for your grandma! Live on the dangerous side!)