L's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
BookLoverL
Posts: 237
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

Well, I am starting in some ways now, such as reading books about marketing, and writing some poems. It's just that my poetry output seems lower since I've had this one particular job because I've found it hard to stop thinking about the work for that job even when I'm not working on it. If I do manage to set aside time for writing I can write, but it's harder to create myself a space where I'm able to think about writing ideas and not just think about how I haven't done this or that work task, I guess.

If I can start now it'd be better, I agree. I'm trying to at least read things that will be useful for me once I get chance to read.

I did manage to write several poems this last weekend, as well as read a book "Guerilla Marketing For Writers". I just think I won't have the time to focus on things like setting up an author website and getting a book together to publish until I've quit that particular job.

BookLoverL
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

But yes - I suppose I'm starting on producing the material and on the research now. Just likely won't manage to actually publish while I have the current disliked job.

BookLoverL
Posts: 237
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

Mum and I have now moved into our new rental in the small city. Location-wise I'm very happy with it, as it is in walking distance of multiple supermarkets and a park. I can definitely consider selling my car once I change my job situation. The neighbours also seem friendly enough for living next to so far.

Jobwise I'm getting more and more fed up by the week, so now I'm thinking of giving notice in May or June (my previous plan was August).

Still not sure what I'll replace the income with but I've been practising my writing a lot so I'd still like to try something with that.

BookLoverL
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

I have also managed to start up exercising again since we moved, since the change in routine and the larger amount of space seems to have done me some good in that regard.

Mum and I are being basically forced to remove all of our old stuff from my dad's (on threat of it being thrown in the bin), so once I've finished bringing that across I'm going to divide it into sentimental things I want to keep and things I can sell on ebay. I think some of the things there are things people will definitely pay money for, so hopefully I can boost my income a bit with that. For instance, there is a ton of old lego there that my brother and I used to play with as children.

ertyu
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Re: L's Journal

Post by ertyu »

Nice work starting to exercise and congrats to completing your move. Sounds like it's a new beginning and much preferable to your guys' situation thus far. I hope everything lines up in this time of transition.

BookLoverL
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

Thanks! I definitely significantly prefer it already to the old location.

I've rerun my budget projection calculation now that all of the bills are precisely known instead of estimates, and I confirmed that I expect yearly spending for my current lifestyle to be £9000 to £10000 per year, depending on amount of leisure spending and on whether I can get my mum to economise as much as I want on groceries. (She is more spendy than me, so I gave her a hard limit of £20 per week that I'd pay towards groceries, but if I can manage to volunteer to do the shopping myself, I could get that back down to £15 per person. She had been reluctant to let me because she signed up for an app that gave her a voucher at the supermarket if she spent a certain amount per month, even though the savings would be even higher if I went...)

I also calculated that when I sell my car which I will do after I quit the job that needs me to drive places, my projected yearly spend will drop to between £8000 and £9000.

My half of the rent each month here is £347.50 for a spacious house in a nice spot, and if I tried to rent somewhere solo here it would start from £400 minimum for the very cheapest neighbourhood, and I don't have the social capital at the moment to find someone other than my mum to live with, so living with my mum is definitely financially beneficial despite her spendier ways. I rate her at about level 2 or 3 on the ERE Wheaton scale (and myself at 5.5 or 6). This does limit the chances I have to try some DIY solutions because she keeps buying fixes to things I might have tried making a fix to or just not fixed at all, but as long as she's spending her own income on that and not making me pay for those fixes, I don't mind that.

BookLoverL
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

Honestly, the most helpful thing about living with my mum isn't the monetary savings compared to solo living, but rather the social capital.

I've worked hard on my social skills over the last seven years or so and managed to bring them from "abysmal" to "below average". For me that's a huge improvement, but the people I'm most likely to actually make connections with still tend to be those who could be described as weirdos, who obviously are statistically rarer. A lot of my social connections are long distance or online.

In contrast: we moved in here about a month ago. My mum already knows the names of all of our neighbours, talks to them regularly (from an appropriate distance for COVID) and has been asked to feed the cat of one of them who is away for the day! And everywhere she goes she seems to befriend people just as easily.

So usually, if I want something that social capital would help with, but I don't have the capital for it myself, I can mention it to mum and she can often get it for me with her social capital. I got a lot of free or cheap second hand furniture this way when I moved to the previous rental in the first place, for instance.

I've had a few job interviews in the past because of her connections, too.

I'm glad I get on well enough with her to make it feasible to live with her.

ertyu
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Re: L's Journal

Post by ertyu »

BookLoverL wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 7:29 am

I've worked hard on my social skills over the last seven years or so and managed to bring them from "abysmal" to "below average". For me that's a huge improvement, but the people I'm most likely to actually make connections with still tend to be those who could be described as weirdos, who obviously are statistically rarer. A lot of my social connections are long distance or online.
bahaha, i see you fellow weirdo

i see you :D :D

this almost exactly describes me. i have worked on my social skills for more than 7 years, but i still have brought them up to below average, and yep, huge achievement. give yourself a pat on the back, it's awesome that you recognize your progress.

where you're ahead of me is that you see social capital as something useful and recognize it as a Good. Whereas, my knowledge that social capital is a Good is only abstract and intellectual. On a gut level, interaction with others is still something I'd like to avoid (yep, am weirdo, i admit it). It's also good that you have a positive role model in your mom and you can observe functional social skills in practice. :muscle: stay strong and socialize on; you're probably doing much better than you think!

wolf
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Re: L's Journal

Post by wolf »

Thanks for your journal update. I thought INFPs could handle people well, because of their ability of empathy? Having social capital and the ability to build it is something I consider as room for improvement in my life. After selling your car you will decrease your spending quite significantly to a very low number. Well done. 20 pounds per week for groceries is not much. Does it come with meat and dairy or only vegan?

ertyu
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Re: L's Journal

Post by ertyu »

I'm not BLL, but I'm another infp and interested in the topic. i am indeed empathetic. if you want to sit down with someone over coffee or beers and talk to them about the biggest shit you're going through, and be able to rely on someone saying, "that sucks, dude" -- just, being able to hold a space for you and be present with you in the middle of your shit without needing to escape 'cause he feels "burdened" -- then I'm your guy. I have always had a high capacity for listening to someone and have gone out of my way to learn about how to be validating without necessarily trying to "fix it," etcetera. I have done this because I experience this type of one-on-one communication -- authentic sharing of, "this is what's going on for me" -- as deeply meaningful. I am also very introspective and know myself well. As I put it elsewhere once, I can tell you what is true for me and about me. I don't fit the stereotype where you need to pull a guy's nails out before he can open up and talk about his feelings - and even then, only in grunts :lol:

That said, I suck at the social theater where we all grin at each other and pretend we're all peppy, joyful, happy and excited. Before you get to the deep meaningful discussions, you need to get to know people, and you need to progress disclosure at an appropriate pace or otherwise it comes across as oversharing or intrusive. You need to be able to chat lightly about a variety of inconsequential topics in order to build social glue. You need to know when to offer help and how to offer it so that it's welcome. You need to be able to sense you're not overstepping. You need to be able to ask for help appropriately. You need to be able to stand up for yourself appropriately, and not to get flooded with emotion and become reactive. All of these things and many more, I am not so good at. The surface level "bubbly" social interaction is quite exhausting and uncomfortable for me. A trap here is to rely on alcohol etc. Another trap is to do activities together, then realize you've bonded with a dude and consider him your friend, only to have him not come through for you. Sometimes, I'll act out how uncomfortable I am through bravado and bragging. It's a work in progress. We're -NFPs, but we're still I-s.
Last edited by ertyu on Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Bankai
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Re: L's Journal

Post by Bankai »

I also find social capital tricky. I usually go to great lengths to avoid tapping it whenever possible. So I'd rather buy a new tool than borrow it from a friend, or pay for a taxi instead of asking a friend to pick me from the airport at night. I think this is due to my personality and worldview - I value independence very highly and just don't like being indebted in any way, be it financial, social or any other. That's why I don't buy into the idea that everyone can replace financial capital with social capital - I know it's possible and it's a default modus operandi in most of the world, but I just don't see myself tapping it even in a world where I have a ton of it (I also see social capital as very fragile - sometimes one gossip is enough to lose all of it permanently). I don't necessarily see this as an issue to be corrected - the only place where it was causing me trouble was at work where I had to train myself to just ask for help instead of trying to reinvent the wheel and do everything myself. On the other hand, I don't mind when it's the reverse and people ask me for help (within reason).

BookLoverL
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Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

Regarding people: once I already consider a person a friend, I can have deep conversations with them easily and talk for ages. The problem I have is meeting new people in the first place and getting over the small talk barrier, and, as ertyu mentioned, interacting in public spaces or large groups where there's always someone else talking, noise going on, people expecting eye contact and for you to remember to ask them about small talk questions instead of just going straight into whatever topic you actually wanted to talk to them about, etc.

I'm INFP but also strongly suspect I'm neuroatypical, though I'm not presently entirely sure if ADHD or autism is the culprit. ADHD is very often comorbid with Tourette's. But either way, I don't always respond in the expected manner in social situations, and it takes a lot of energy for me to apply what might seem like basic things such as "make eye contact", "call people by their name", and "smile at people when you see them". But if people get to know me then I'll gladly listen to them talk about their problems in depth and switch between validating them and trying to offer solutions depending what they seem to want.

wolf - about the groceries, the £20 is including meat. Except for the occasional speciality we are getting most things from the bargain supermarkets ALDI and LIDL. (ALDI was closer to the old house, LIDL is closer to the new one.) Especially using their everyday ranges, a lot of staples can be had very cheaply there. I was even including some meat in my £15 a week figure when I was by myself, though not as much as at £20 a week.

Mum is actually spending more than me on groceries at the moment, but not because it's not possible to spend cheaply, but because she keeps buying random not-best-value foods instead of getting whatever is cheaper and fits the nutrient profile. But I told her what I would pay towards it in advance, so if she's choosing to spend more on having fancy things, that's her lookout.

BookLoverL
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Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

I didn't used to think I needed social capital, I suppose, but I have gradually realised its potential over time. People with social capital have an easier time finding someone to do favours (saves money of hiring someone), can often get free stuff, if they are looking for work there will be a bunch of people mentioning potential opportunities for them, and if they start some sort of project then they have an already established method for getting word of mouth out about it. Plus of course there are the more conventional benefits of good social connections, mainly not being lonely (and I have often in the past been lonely without realising that that was what I was feeling - I was feeling it as a sort of generalised heartache), and having someone to talk about things in your life with. For instance, the last year and a half I was involved in a discord server for a fandom and a smaller group of us made a spin-off server and we've gotten to know each other pretty well at this point, and if I have an emotional issue come up I can now take it to the people there to get effective emotional validation and encouragement, rather than my previous tactics which were a) read old reddit and agony aunt threads about people who had vaguely similar problems, or b) try to vent in any venue I could find, which was generally not to an appropriate person for the topic of the vent and got me negative social backlash. So now I have people who are good at that sort of thing to talk to it's much better. Part of the arrangement is that I also participate in the community there when I don't have a problem, and provide some support if someone else has a problem.

On another topic, I just went to check the Mr Money Mustache forums to see how they were doing, and somehow there are even less threads there which look interesting than last time. I don't know if my understanding of ERE is getting better or if the quality of MMM forumites is getting worse, but basically every thread is about something that's only relevant to high income earners or that I didn't spend money on in the first place. I didn't even spot any interesting threads in the post-FIRE section.

7Wannabe5
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Re: L's Journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I think of INFP as the classic bohemian artist type. Intelligent, creative, high aesthetic, kind, empathetic, shy, but also likely to get roaring drunk/stoned and scream extreme dark poetry at passing strangers from front stoop on very low functioning day.

Because my closest sister is this type, and I am social relative to her, one of my xntp skills is facilitating communication between this type and more conventional types.

BookLoverL
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Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

I barely drink and don't smoke, but this sounds about right. The more tired I am, the more socially weird I become.

I do think in general INFP is one of the types that fits most poorly into the modern workplace. I personally at least can't bear the thought of sticking with any job long enough to follow a 5 or 10 year FIRE path, hence my more meandering part-time-from-the-start route. I often go into new jobs hopeful, but then get the same "argh, my soul is slowly being ground down to nothing by a metaphorical wood-chipper" feeling after a few months, with timescale for that feeling to begin depending on the exact job.

The things I actually *like* to do, such as poetry, writing, and music, tend to be the things that are not well compensated at the entry levels in the present day. Though if someone would pay me to research a different topic for them each week and write them a report on it, that might be interesting, since the different topics would keep it varied.

7Wannabe5
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Re: L's Journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Yup. That’s why my business partnership with my INFP sister was successful at the level of “we’ll just make enough money with it to leave us enough free time for our other interests” for over a decade. A conventionally successful business would have required a third partner with less vision, more managerial ability than the two of us, and reasonable amount of technician/worker ability/ethic.

ertyu
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Re: L's Journal

Post by ertyu »

relate to "soul ground down to nothing by wood chipper" feeling of full employment also.

7Wannabe5
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Re: L's Journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

XNTPs don't use words like "soul" very often, so for us it's more like a feeling of being trapped or buried alive. I find almost any job tolerable through the period of training/integrating new material. As soon as X% of my day turns into dull yet simultaneously stressful routine inclusive of commute, I am cooked. OTOH, I sometimes experience the opposite problem when I overcompensate for my known tendency to loathe comfortable routine by taking on completely chaotic work environments such as teaching junior high in the inner city. It's hard to always or even often get yourself into a flow situation.

BookLoverL
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Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

I'm really hoping I can manage to get a "just enough" business going at some point that I enjoy enough to not quit before I really start. Maybe if I try building one while also doing a 2 day or so part time job.

I also relate to experiencing the problem where I compensate for jobs where I tend to get bored by accidentally taking jobs where I tend to get stressed. Someday... someday I will find the balance where things are just challenging enough the whole time...

Going to try and type out some general thoughts about my life.

Housing: presently renting with mum which is better than solo renting. Future options include living in a house owned by my mum when she and dad manage to sell the old house they've had together, which will basically be the same as now but even cheaper because I'll only have to pay half of bills; or trying to meet somebody I'd like to live with now I live in the city. The second one seems like harder work because I'd have to find someone unbothered by my various quirks who was also someone who didn't bother me when spending all hours a day around them. But if I found someone who was a good option I might.

Food: budget supermarkets is fine for now. I have dabbled in gardening but last year failed to actually harvest the things I planted because of disability combining with stress from the job I want to quit. We haven't really got the garden set up here yet but when we do I might try and get some second hand plant pots and give it another go. I've tried some very basic foraging in the past, but only really to test, on the "one single dandelion" sort of scale. Would like to do more of that but I'll have to see how that interacts with living in the city re: pesticides. We have no lawn as our garden is paved over.

Water: from the tap (this is also what I mostly drink). Had stopped for a bit for some reason but am going to try to do more bucket-washes rather than showers again in order to save water, as our water use is measured here. I have brought the second hand slimline water butt that my friend gifted me for free last year with me, but it's not connected to the drainpipe at the moment and mum doesn't want to connect it as long as we're renting, so I need to see if I can fit something to the top somehow so that it still gathers water while not connected to the guttering.

Exercise: with being in the city I am now walking to get places again, and also walking to explore the city, and walking in the park... I'm doing a lot of walking basically. I had started doing a bodyweight strength programme from a book I have but think that book's programme is not sustainable for me long run (workouts are too long and repetitive so I get bored midworkout), so I'm going to re-organise the exercises from the programme into one that is. I'm aiming to jog twice a week in the park. No bike at the moment because my 13+year old already-second-hand bike broke in like 3 ways at the same time so we gave it away to someone who thought their husband could fix it instead of transporting it with us from the old place, but if I do get a new second-hand-bike at some point there are plenty of cycle paths in the area. Been lifting a lot of heavy boxes and furniture during the moving process.

Transport: once my car is sold, see walking as explained under exercise. There are also buses until shortly after 10pm if needed. I would prefer to avoid spending on a taxi or calling my mum to collect me in her car, despite my mum's strong suggestion about not walking after dark alone, but may end up having to call her sometimes depending on lateness in order to avoid causing her too much worry. Mum is also thinking of downsizing her car to a smaller and more efficient car.

Money: still got some tuition but would rather avoid getting additional students at this point. Planning to quit the job I don't like, but it has 3 month notice and I'm not planning to quit for another month. The last day for the temporary office work I was doing is tomorrow. Once everything is quit except the couple of hours a week maths tuition, I will take 2 weeks well deserved without any work, and then either try to start a business of some sort or look for a part time job or both. I may also be able to pick up some income while doing this from selling some of the stuff I collected from dad's, and from selling my car.

Social: once COVID restrictions lift I intend to join some local free or cheap activity groups of various sorts aligned with my interests - local LGBT group, poetry/writing group if I can find one, environmental/litter picking/community garden group if I can find one of those, etc. This will hopefully give me friends who are close enough that I can visit them in person more than 3 times a year. Am maintaining my online social connections too - Discord format seems very helpful for me for this compared to Facebook.

Fun: writing, music, whatever groups I join, exploring the city, hopefully exercise, also whatever I fancy doing, should all be fun. Maybe one day I can even find a way of earning money that is fun. I'd still sort of like to try busking with my ukulele but am lacking in the confidence in the area to try it here at the moment, since I'm still getting to know the place. Maybe I can start with open mic nights or something.

Probably there are some other areas of life I temporarily forgot about but I need to sleep now so that's it for today.

BookLoverL
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL »

I have made a good change to my exercise routine today. Rather than trying to follow the programme from my book (which is You Are Your Own Gym - I do recommend it if only for the section with all the different exercises) I have done about 5 to 10 reps each of about 20 different exercises as one big superset. This is much more interesting for my brain than trying to do e.g. the same single exercise across a few sets for 7 minutes solid. I have exercised all of my main muscle groups with at least one exercise. The outdoor gym at the park has now reopened (it was closed for COVID before), so I have been able to use the equipment there to do a few exercises that were a bit awkward to do at my house.

I also washed with bucket wash method. I have now got a small jug to use for pouring water on myself - mum said I could use it since it has a small crack in it. This is better than the jam jar from last time I tried because it has a spout on it.

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