Tag Archives: hope

NEW YORK, HERE I COME!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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~ The Dark Horse

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

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The Highs and the Lows: Riding The Emotional Wave

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So, I just got back last night from New York City. I was there for an interview.

Yes. Someone actually thought I was good enough to be interviewed in New York City. (I can’t believe it either, trust me)

So, anyways, it goes like this. I was here alone for Thanksgiving break. The entire city clears out because Boston is one of those places where people move to, not someplace where they’re from. So the city is empty. It’s 10 degrees F, everything is closed. And I’m alone.

I feel like shit.

Until….

I get an email. 

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This email is to inform me that I have an interview, for a very large company. A media company. A media company whose offices are in a very trendy building with other very trendy companies in a very trendy part of town.

So, my dread turns to intense anxiety and joy, and I head to NYC as fast as I can…

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So,  wind up in a hotel, next to Bryant Park,

during the holiday season

in New York City.

It was like a movie.

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I ate sweets as I watched ice skaters while Christmas jazz played, with the Empire State Building in the background.

I got donuts, I went to New York delis, I got amazing Chinese food. I walked fifth Ave. and Central Park.

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It was like life had gone from zero to hero. Finally, I had a real tangible piece of evidence to prove that I was making something of myself. An interview. (This was actually my second interview…the first was via phone). So, it was like a MEGA self-esteem boost to see that someone thought I was good enough. And not just someone, but a fuckin huge awesome company.

 

So then the day came. The interview. OMG people it was amazing. The office was amazing. And it was located in an awesome building. As someone who had grown up working retail and restaurants, and being told constantly that I’ll never get anywhere… THIS WAS FUCKING HUGE!!!!!

I hope the interview went well. I would love the job. I would love to live in New York. I would love to have a chance to show the world my skills. To show the world that I do mean something.

So, I walked out of my interview, and got myself a tea at a trendy little cafe.

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(I couldn’t write a post about NYC and not reference Sex and the City….cmon people!)

 

 

But now, Im back in Boston. The interview is over. The whirlwind is over. And It’s like someone has slammed on the brakes again.

And I have this feeling in my throat. Like a weight, pulling me down. A weight saying YOU KNOW YOU’RE MEANT FOR THAT LIFE. YOU KNOW YOU’RE MEANT TO TAKE ON THE WORLD. YOU DON’T LIKE YOUR LIFE BEING SLOW BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT A SLOW PERSON! YOU WANT TO LIVE IN THE FAST LANE AND THAT’S OK! YOU SHOULD! 

I’ve spent too long listening to people. Too long listening to anyone and everyone who’s willing to spend their time putting me down. Telling me I can’t. Telling me I have no talent. Telling me I’m worth nothing.

But GOD FUCKING DAMN I CAN’T ANYMORE.

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Every time I get these little tastes of a life I like, the voice in my head gets louder and louder. It keeps telling me this is where I belong.

It keeps telling me that I AM ALLOWED TO DREAM. That I am allowed to fight for a good life.

I’m allowed to have friends

I’m allowed to fall in love

I’m allowed to have a career I love

If I feel like I want a high profile job then listen up MOTHERFUCKERS… I CAN!

AND WE ALL CAN. FUCK ANYONE WHO TRIES TO KEEP YOU DOWN.

I read a great quote the other day that said something like, “The only people who try to put you down are those who are already beneath you.”

So boys and girls, let’s find out nicest clothes, polish up our self-esteem, brew a little confidence and rock out our best Carrie Bradshaw

carrie

 

PS – Ive never actually watched Sex and the City…is it even good?

 

~ The Dark Horse 

 

Another PS- I also never proofread. Oh well.

 

Feeling Alive Again. Or, Courtney Act on Big Brother Has Brought Me Back From The Dead

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So, I don’t know how many people out there keep up with the UK telly, but something amazing was just going down on what is normally a generic and trashy reality show.

The 21st season of Big Brother in the UK just concluded and that shit was bloody brilliant! As an American, I didn’t know much about the show except that Courtney Act was going to be on the show.  Now, I’ll say, if I were 15 years old, I would have watched that show every night of the damn week.

You see, as a teenager, I used to love Big Brother….And you know what, I should probably have a Big Brother breakdown here for everyone, because Big Brother is completely different in every country around the world.

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Here in the US, Big Brother used to be like a fucking marathon event.  The show was on, for no joke, almost 3 months. That means that everyone who made it into the top 7 got to stay for the entire 3 month period, whether it’s in the house, or the sequester house.  I know that in other countries, the show is only on for about a month. And then sometimes those Celebrity Big Brother seasons are only like 3 or 4 weeks.

Anyways, so as the gay kid in Ohio who was beat up and made fun of constantly, Big Brother seemed like a dream come true. It was this house filled with all these hot fun people, AND THEY WERE LOCKED IN WITH YOU….FOR 3 FUCKING MONTHS! 

It just seemed like the ultimate way to make friends. You could be close to all these people, and you were never alone. The hot jock would have to get to know you because you were sharing a room. The pretty cheerleading type would become your friend because an alliance needed to be formed. The wise old woman who’s been through shit could give you advice all damn day because you’re sharing a house together.  It all just seemed so perfect! I was sure that the reason I was alone all the time was because nobody ever took the time to get to know me.  But, if they were locked in a house with me for three months they’d have to!  It would be like one big family at summer camp!

So anyhoo, I used to watch the show religiously. All the episodes.  They’d have the Sunday, and Tuesday, shows and the Thursday live eviction show.  I used to fantasize about being the house with them. Watching all these people share a bedroom, share a shower, share the hot tub, share everything.  For someone who was alone all the time, Big Brother was fuckin wet dream for me. I loved the idea of having people in my life…even if they did potentially want to vote me out of the house. I used to stay up in bed at night, fantasizing that I was a member in the house too; making friends, and living life to the fullest.  I used to love the hope and excitement I felt watching that show, feeling that some exciting adventure was just around the corner!

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But as I got older, the show lost it’s luster. I stopped thinking that every new person was a potential friend. My heart hardened. Walls were built to protect myself. I stopped watching the show.

 

But, something with this new season began to attract my attention. I started seeing news articles creep up about something incredible happening in the Big Brother House. This season of UKCBB (United Kingdom Celebrity Big Brother) was titled “Year of the women” because this year marks 100 years of women having the right to vote in the UK. The show was already leaning towards a discussion of gender, and threw in 2 extra dimensions into the storyline.

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The first was India, The UK’s first trans woman to be a part of a news team.

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And the second was Shane J / Courtney Act, a drag artist who was previously famous from Australian Idol back in the mid-2000’s (which Shane did in drag as Courtney and pioneered the way for others) and then more famously, Ru Paul’s Drag Race.

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And then to counteract all of this, they also brought in ultra-conservative politician and super crotchety old woman, Ann Widdecombe.

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So, sparks started to fly because India was just god-awful, and Ann was just an old dusty bitch.   But the entire house, and all of the UK began to fall in love with Courtney.  She had multiple conversations with everyone in the house about gender, sexuality, and performance. She was willing to talk to anyone about the differences between drag, and trans. The difference between gay and pansexual, and the difference between gender and biological sex.

She even took to debating Ann about some of the more conservative and Anti-gay policies she helped enact back during her time in parliament. But what made Courtney so amazing was her ability to always remain calm, collected, and willing to engage in any  conversation that may have come up.

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And everyone loved it.  She was the house favorite, and the entire nation fell in love with her for knowledge, self confidence, and beauty.  The UK as a whole even started a national conversation on gender because of what was going down on the show. She wasn’t just teaching the other housemates, but she was teaching an entire country, and thanks to the internet, the entire world!

 

So this is first part of where I started feeling myself wake up inside. There’s just something about Courtney Act that I need to be more like. I need to carry myself with her confidence. I need to walk into a room and actually feel like I belong.  Somehow, even though Courtney Act tends to look like a slutty drag queen Barbie, she ends up being the shining light in every situation she’s in.  I need to have the self love and respect that she has.

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Furthermore, during the season, Courtney Act managed to school everyone on gender and sexuality.  She not only carries herself well, but she is phenomenal in conversations. She took what could have been some very difficult and controversial moments, and spoke to housemates about them as if it were just the most natural thing to her. I need to be better at communicating with others.  

Check out Courtney given’ the boys a lesson on Drag and Trans:

 

 

So yeah, I’m a guy, and I have never done drag, but damn, there’s so much to learn from Courtney Act.

 

 

Secondly, there was a bit of a show romance happing in the show as well! There’s an insanely cute guy on the show named Andrew Brady (He was on the UK Apprentice or whatever…)

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So get this…. from the very first second Courtney Act walks into the Big Brother house, he’s in love with her.

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And from there… a Bromance/Romance began!

They started getting really close, and Andrew was constantly flirting with Courtney Act.

Throughout the show the “friendship” grew and grew…..

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And then, as time went on, Andrew started like Shane, even out of drag… for a gay boy like me, it was like magic was happening.  A hot straight guy was getting along with a man who, out of drag, was an effeminate guy, and in drag was….well, a drag queen.  It was so amazing to see Andrew form this friendship and not care about labels or what other people may think.  He was just himself, and Courtney was just herself…and they connected.  It was amazing and heartwarming to watch.

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Oh my God…. they even had tub time one night!  It was fuckin’ amazing!  So yeah…that fifteen year old inside me who used to watch Big Brother hoping to find an amazingly close friendship… well, he felt super pleased watching this season.  I get those butterflies in my stomach again watching this season, just like I used to when I was a teenager. I find myself laying up in bed at night again, imaging myself in the house….Imagining some handsome straight guy was becoming my friend, and was having tub time with me too! I get this rush watching this season… a rush I haven’t felt in such a long time.  The rush of youthful excitement and passion and hope for some great adventure.  And ya know, I’ve missed that feeling…and I’m glad it’s back!

 

And You know what, everyone noticed that she was a shining light as well… because she won!

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Watch the win here:

 

But look, I think we can all be winners here.  I think we can all learn a lot about being your true self and letting yourself shine, even if your true self is something that the common man might find odd or different.  Courtney went into that house and literally changed people’s minds about the LGBTQ community and that is fucking amazing!   Let’s all try to be beautiful, engaging, and inspiring people! 

 

~ The Dark Horse

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Mental Health Resource You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

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So, one of the best resources for depression and anxiety I’ve ever experienced is an Australian website called Beyondblue.  Now, since most of you reading this have never lived in Australia, you probably have never heard of Beyondblue, hence the post!

It’s a great site that is friendly and fun (which really there isn’t enough of when talking about mental health).

The best part is that it covers EVERYTHING there is to cover.  If you scroll down on their homepage, you’ll find this:

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Who cares if this website wasn’t designed for our country, it’s great!  Plus it’s fun and funny.  I mean, just look at this video:

 

Now, this is not a paid advertisement I’m writing here  (although, fuck that would be amazing if I actually made money from this little blog)   But why I’m writing about this is actually because it is so important. 

Everything: Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, and Panic.  They’re all so scary to go through alone.  They’re extremely distressing.  That’s why it’s such a relief to go onto a website that is bright colorful, friendly, and funny.

We need that stuff!

We need more people telling us how to prepare ourselves for the bad times, how to live through the bad times, and how to thrive after them.   I hate always having people look at depression and stuff as like, “Well, my life is over…too bad.”

But that isn’t the case.   I remember when the show Lady Dynamite came out on Netflix there was a review for it that said, this isn’t a show about living with mental illness, it’s a show about thriving with mental illness. 

And I love that.  Let’s all learn to thrive.  It’s hard, sure.  But damn, it’s gotta be worth it!

Check out Beyonblue below!

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety

Life After Drugs

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So, if anyone has been reading my blog, my last post was about me getting crabs… So, that sucked.

Furthermore, the deeper issue is that I had a problem of releasing stress and numbing pain through sex.  You could say I have a sex addiction, some argue that it isn’t real, so argue that everyone is addicted to sex… who the fuck knows.  All I know is that I used it as a tool for escaping hard times…which, to most, would be an addiction.

 

But now the spell has been broken, reality has rushed in, and I’m left asking,

Where do I go from here? 

 

Sex isn’t the same now.  Now, every time I see a random guy, I ask myself… but what if he has crabs? … or worse, and STD...or even worse, HIV?    For anyone out there who has never looked down and seen bugs burrowed into their skin and living off their blood before… it’s something traumatizing.    I don’t want to go back to my old ways anymore.  It’s too gross and too risky.

But now it’s like…what to do?   Without sex to numb my loneliness, do I actually have to go out there and met new people?  Do I have to make friends?  Cuz, I don’t make friends.  It’s just never worked out well for me before.

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But, and as fucking horrible cheesy as I know this sounds, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

 

I’ve started joining some groups on campus and opening my Saturday nights doing things rather than meeting random people.

I joined a board game group, which, I won’t lie, has been some serious fun.   I never knew I’d like hanging around the board game crowd so much, but it I have laughed so hard there and it’s been fun and constructive.

I’ve also really started taking charge in the LGBT group Im a part of.  I’ve started taking on more tasks and leadership and it’s been great!  Not only is it fun, but it’s a total resume builder for sure!

 

And you know what…I don’t need a fucking addiction controlling me.  Fuck that. (or i suppose I should say, I won’t fuck that… not anymore)

 

 

So you know what addiction …..

debbie

…Go to hell.

 

~ The Dark Horse

 

 

 

 

 

INFJ Problems (Or, Normal People Suck)

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Ok people, let’s get real for like 2 seconds here.  Last week in class I had a total INFJ moment, and was like…. fuck humans.

 

So there was this girl, she’s from North Carolina, she’s super annoying and loves to complain ABOUT EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME, she’s overweight, and she isn’t very attractive…like at all.   Now I’m not saying this to be mean.  I’m saying this to give you an overview because it’s important to the story.

 

So, I’m in a short story class for the summer, and naturally, we talk about books and stories a lot.  So we we’re talking about 50 Shades.  Like every random thing about it:  How crazy it actually is, how funny it is that older women read it, how it spawned from Twilight fan fiction, and then someone brought up how the BDSM community actually hates it because it’s a portrayal of rape, not BDSM.

And then, the North Carolina girl walks in mid-conversation and is like, “Im sorry y’all, I just don’t approve of BDSM”  and I’m like… Ok.  That’s fine.  This isn’t a conversation about our love of BDSM, we’re just talking about 50 Shades.   And then she’s like, “I’m sorry, I just..I just can’t.  It’s too much for me…” 

 

And so I’m looking at her like Please Shut The Fuck Up You Obnoxious Idiot.   And then I explain to her that even though she doesn’t like BDSM, it exists, and 50 Shades was a cultural phenomenon, and as writers we have to talk about it because it’s one of the best-selling books of all time.  It, despite your hate, is something anyone interested in publishing should think about.  It’s relative to our career field.  You can’t just tell people to not talk about it because you’re around an think you’re too good or too Christian to let your ears hear about it something.

And then she’s like, “Well I’m starting to think you must be into BDSM if you’re going to defend it so heavily”,  and in my head I’m like….

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And then I have to explain to her that just because I don’t care if someone is into BDSM, doesn’t mean I’m into BDSM.

And then she’s just starts doing a lot of like weird Southern-sound-things like:

“nnnnaaaawwwww ya’ll, nnnnaaaaaawwwwwwww, nerp, nerp, nnnnaaawwwww, sorry, but nnnaaaawwwww, just can’t ya’ll”

 

So then I break out the big-guns.  and am just like, “Look, I’m not saying this to be mean.  I’m saying this to be honest with you:  You’re relatively large, and you know a lot of society would cringe at the idea of you having sex.   Now I’m sure you can agree that that’s wrong… now take that logic, and apply it to your disgust to BDSM.”

 

But then she’s like, “I CAWNT believe you just said that to me, That is so rude, that is so offensive, blah blah blah” 

 

I however, am not the type to back down. 

 

So, I’m like, No.  I’m showing you that you are unfairly judging a group, the exact same way society judges you.  Now I have a feeling you don’t like the way society judges you, so take that knowledge, and apply it to how you treat others.

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The conversation ended with her basically just doing a lot of:

You’re so rude

You’re so mean

I can’t believe you’d say that 

I’m gonna cry

and so on and so on…..

 

And I was just constantly like… No.  I wasn’t saying it in a mean way.  I wasn’t putting you down.  I was showing you your flawed way of thinking.

However, of course, she didn’t care, and I know part of the reason why she got so upset was so the conversation could end making me look like the bad guy, and put the pressure off of her.  Now don’t get me wrong; I know that was a risky conversation.  I know I “went there”  and so forth, but sadly, with some people you gotta go there, otherwise they’ll never self-refelct.

 

Ok enough about that, let’s look into our INFJ-ness and see how that relates that interaction:

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So as you can see, INFJ’s are focused, yet big-picture thinkers, and are insightful, while using our outstanding sense of integrity.   When it comes to formulating ideas we truly use our introversion, intuition, feeling, and judgment to the best of their abilities.

~~What this means is we can put ourselves into other people’s shoes relatively effortlessly.  Such as seeing things from the perspective of someone who likes BDSM).

~~Our big-picture mentality also let’s us see many things too.   Such as, Who is BDSM actually harming?  Nobody?  Ok…then let them do it.  It also helps us to see things like, “well hey this girl is judging others the exact same way she hates being judged…this is wrong”

~~ Our undying integrity keeps our opinions unbiased and fair.  Letting us bring true conversation to the table, not just self-assuring pleasantries that we want to believe.

 

However, society doesn’t get it.   Most people don’t comprehend the idea of holding thoughts because they’re true.  They live in a world of self-propulsion, and if an idea doesn’t tell them what they want to hear, they subconsciously refuse to believe it.  Think of how EVERY smoker you know will always be like, “You know there was this article about a woman who lived to be 100 even though she smoked everyday!” ….that is some A+ self-delusion.  But sadly, it’s so common and most people do that type of thing.  So when an INFJ comes along and defends an opinion, even though we don’t directly benefit from that opinion, it’s seen as some form of witchcraft or something!

 

 

So, what does this mean?  We’re going to be perpetual outcasts?  YES

We will normally hold opinions that may get on other people’s never?  YES

But look above at the jobs that INFJ’s do best.   We are also the movers and the shakers of this world.  We get some of the coolest jobs ON THE PLANET!  We do the things that most people only dream of.  INFJ is know as:

The Protector.

 The counselor.

The Philosopher.

 

Our set of skills (Our very unique and rare set of skills actually) is the combination that has the power to set this world on fire.

 

So remember: Never give in, Never surrender, always stand up for what’s right, and always always always be true to yourself!

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Rock on INFJ’S!

~ The Dark Horse