5 Things About Me

I thought it would be fun to do a lighter post. Here are a few things about me you may not know.

1. The older I get, the less I care what others think.
This has been so incredibly freeing for me. I’m still a people-pleaser at heart, something I’m working to overcome, but I feel more at peace. There’s no longer any intense pressure to conform to what I think others want.

2. I write far better than I speak.
Writing gives me time to sort through my thoughts and feelings and choose the most appropriate word for the occasion. Thankfully I’m blessed with family and friends who are patient when I mix my words together or stutter (which happens if I’m nervous or tired).

3. I find it easy to see things from another’s perspective.
Travel and personal experiences have broadened my world. It’s far richer for all the people I’ve met and interacted with. However, it also can become frustrating when dealing with those who only see life one way.

4. I internalize stress.
I never knew how to handle stress as I was growing up. I’d simply shoulder everything until it overwhelmed me. Then I’d have an emotional meltdown (usually over something small and insignificant). Over the last 5+ years I’ve been learning to be more proactive. Meditation, mindfulness, exercise, and time in nature has helped me alleviate and deal with stress.

5. I find labels helpful but am not defined by them.
I’m an introvert (specifically INFJ) and a HSP (highly sensitive person). Learning there was a reason for the way I thought and functioned completely changed my perspective. I finally felt normal. That being said, I don’t find myself constrained by labels and am always pushing for self improvement.

What’s something interesting about you?

15 things about me

coffee-2179009_1920It’s been a slightly slower day and I’ve had a little bit of time to write. I wanted to share a fun post where you can get to know me a little better. Here are a few things about me. Most of these relate to me being introverted and highly sensitive. I’d love to find out more about you too, so feel free to share in the comments 🙂

1. I love people. But social time has to be in small increments or with people I value highly. I find group activities exhausting.

2. I need a lot of alone time to recharge after I’ve been socially active.

3. I crave emotional depth in my relationships.

4. I’m far better at writing things out than speaking. Writing lets me sort out my thoughts and feelings and I can take my time choosing the best words to convey my meaning.

5. What I say is a tiny percentage of what’s going on in my mind.

6. I tend to internalize stress. I’m working on improving, dance and workouts help a lot with stress relief.

7. It’s easy for me to view things from another person’s perspective. It’s frustrating to deal with those who can only see the world one way.

8. I’m very perceptive and have a good idea of how someone is feeling even if they don’t say anything.

9. I hold myself and others to incredibly high standards. But I’m working on this too, as it tends to create disappointment and frustration most of the time.

10. You know I’m comfortable with you if I act silly or sing in front of you.

11. I analyze everything. Literally everything.

12. Just because I’m quiet doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying myself. I just show it differently.

13. If you interrupt me and don’t apologize, I’ll assume you’re not interested in my thoughts. And I’ll be less likely to offer my opinions in the future (especially if its a recurring thing).

14. I care deeply about others, especially my family and close friends. I would do anything for them.

15. If I want to say something, I will. Don’t try to pressure me into speaking, it won’t work.

Hope you have a great weekend!

The simple life

architecture-1087820_1920I love a simple life. A quiet existence where I have everything I need and nothing more. Having too much stuff distracts me from what’s really important. It’s the people who matter to me, not the things. I want my mind to be free to focus on what I value: my relationships and self-improvement.

Unfortunately, I have a pack-rat for a roommate. She displays knickknacks throughout the living room and likes to stack her entire tea collection on the kitchen counter. But it’s her space too, so I try to keep things in perspective.

While I may not have complete control over the shared spaces, my room is different. My room is my sanctuary. It’s clean and quiet. There’s no clutter. A few frames adorn the walls, a string of lights, some travel shots. It’s a cute room with matching colours and simple pleasures. It’s very much me. It’s my escape and where I go to unwind.

Since our shift into winter, I’ve had more time to clean and tidy up indoors. I can remove the clutter that slowly piles up and reclaim the quiet corners of my room. This past week I’ve gone through my room, closet, and storage bins, purging them of unnecessary items. It’s a work in progress but clearing out space in my closet is so addicting!

How’s your week been?

5 roommate tips

people-2561065_1920I wrote an earlier post here on roommate challenges. They’re definitely still there but I had a good conversation with my roommate last night and I’m hopeful. I can’t remember how it began. But we ended up talking about our differences in energy and how much social time we need. I’m hoping I was able to articulate how essential quiet time is for me. It’s also helped me better understand how she functions. It was comfortable and hopefully leads to some small positive changes. I wanted to share a few things that have helped me and given me a more balanced perspective on things.

1. Communication is key.
This is vital in any relationship but especially if you live with the person. I need to tell her when I’m feeling burned out and that I’ll be recharging for a couple of hours. That way she won’t feel like I’m purposely avoiding her. Having a self-deprecating, “it’s me, not you” kind of attitude can help too.

2. Door closed = quiet time.
If I want to be alone, I shut my door. That’s the signal that I’m recharging or busy. I also hang a sign on my door with a cute illustration and the words “recharging – do not disturb”. I’m also working to create a peaceful oasis in my room for maximum relaxation.

3. Reset your perspective.
As an introvert, dealing with an extrovert’s chattiness can be a challenge. But it’s just as challenging for an extrovert to deal with an introvert’s aloofness and not take it personally. Extroverts need to socialize as much as we need them to leave us alone. When you have a roommate, the shared spaces are no longer places to recharge. They become the social hub. So if I’m in the living room, it’s because I’m mentally prepared to talk.

4. Find other escapes.
Shutting the door isn’t the only way to get alone time. I like to go for long walks after supper for some much needed quiet time and reflection. Even a solo gym or coffee date can help me decompress as well.

5. Compromise.
I need a lot of quiet time and I will take what I need. But I value my friendship with her and don’t want her to feel that she’s living with a stranger. So every night I’ll spend some time with her. We’ll either eat dinner together or chat for a bit before bed. We get to connect and I still get my quiet time.

Any other ideas?

An introvert’s trip

tokyo-290980_1920A couple of months ago, I started planning my trip to the Philippines and Japan. Everything is booked and its beginning to sink in that I’m actually going. My friends are doing the majority of the planning for the Philippines leg of the trip, as they’ve been there before. But I’m on my own in Japan, so I’ve been creating my own itinerary which has been exciting and a bit stressful.

My need to research, plan, and analyze is a huge part of who I am. Being prepared allows me to handle unforeseen circumstances much better than if I have to improvise everything on the fly. Especially when tired, jet-lagged, or hungry. I already know I’m going to get lost, take the wrong train, and end up somewhere random. But by accepting this, it’s less stressful to figure things out when it (inevitably) happens.

Here are a few things I’ve been doing, in advance of my trip, in order to take care of my introverted nature.

1. Plan days based on location.
I’ve broken up each day of my trip according to prefecture. This minimizes the number of trains I need to take, thus reducing the amount of interaction with large groups of people. I can also swap my days around depending on how I feel. If I’m feeling overwhelmed, I can choose a quieter itinerary filled with parks and gardens. If I want some more adventure, I’ll choose a busier shopping area.

2. Get back to nature.
Tokyo has a lot of shrines, temples, parks, and gardens. My plan is to include at least one of the above each day, and spend some time sitting quietly outside, in order to restore myself. I can bring a book, listen to music, or just sit and people watch. This will give me the quiet time I need to recharge each day.

3. Keep things simple.
There’s so much I want to see, but if I overdo things, I’m not going to enjoy myself. I’ve limited the number of attractions to 2-3 per day. If I have more energy, I’ll do more. It also opens up plenty of time for exploration and photography. I know that by pacing myself, I’ll have a far more enjoyable time.

4. Make a daily schedule.
I’ve already planned out the basic structure of each day. I want to start my day fairly early and pick up breakfast and water from a convenience store. Then I’ll head for the train station after the morning rush (to avoid the insanity). I’ll then check out various attractions, exploring as much as I can. I’ll schedule in a specific time for lunch, to make sure I’m eating enough. I’ll also check in on my energy level throughout the day and take breaks as I need them. I want to spend my evenings unwinding at an onsen or bathhouse and enjoy a quiet end to each day.

5. Research everything.
As someone with many food sensitivities, I’ve looked up safe places to eat in all the areas I will be traveling to. Rather than wandering around irritably looking for food, I can find what I need right away. I’ve been reading up on how to navigate the city by train, which hopefully proves helpful in the near future. I’ve also been practicing reading hiragana and katakana in order to make reading signs and menus a bit easier.

Obviously, I can’t plan for every possibility. But if I can be well informed beforehand, the entire experience will run more smoothly.

Do you have any travel tips?