if you know me personally, you know i’m OB-SESSED with anything that helps an individual grow, understand themselves more, and evolve. i’m all about that personal and collective growth, u feel me? so, clearly then, i know a little bit about the myers-brigg type indicators or mbti.

the mbti questionnaire was first published in 1943 in the united states by katherine cook briggs and isabel meyer-briggs (both infj/p types), inspired by carl jung. they wanted to create a practical tool to understand another person’s mode of functioning and thinking. essentially, these four letters speak to your decision-making and learning processes. there are 8 different possible cognitive functions in the myers-briggs system, as listed below.

Learning processes

  • Introverted iNtuition
  • Extraverted iNtuition
  • Introverted Sensing
  • Extraverted Sensing

Decision-making processes

  • Introverted Thinking
  • Extraverted Thinking
  • Introverted Feeling
  • Extraverted Feeling

i know none of that makes sense and we’re all just looking at it like, okay!? but essentially, each of us have 4 processes that we use: a main one (or driver), a secondary process (or co-pilot), and 2 more weaker processes that are opposite cognitive functions of the driver & the co-pilot. for example, i am an infp. my main cognitive function is introverted feeling. this is how i make decisions, i just feel them on the inside. literally. this is what “introverted feeling” means – that you just feel what’s right, you just know. my second function is extraverted intuition. this is my learning process. extraverted intuition is an exploring function, constantly asking “what if?” this is followed by 2 weaker functions that i must learn from: extraverted thinking and introverted sensing. i’m not going to go into that any deeper but i highly, highly recommend this article by personality hacker, where they explain their mbti “car model” beautifully. it’s a really simplified explanation of the four cognitive functions.

so, as i said, i am an infp/j – known as the advocates, the healers, the counselors, the mediators. i bounce back and forth between the p/j functions at different areas of my life. in high school, i got infp for the most part. in college, i always received “infj” while a year out of graduating, i seem to keep receiving “infp” again. i don’t consider this a black/white thing. i think, as with anything in life, there’s a spectrum and we are constantly changing. you might tell me, but it seems like you’re trying to label us all? well, yes and no. i think these tests and understanding one’s zodiac is helpful but it is by no means the end all, be all. it is by no means “the answer”. it is just one part of the vast and constantly-changing puzzle that is you!

so keeping that in mind, you can take the test here.

with all of the disclaimers and prelude out of the way, here are the zodiac signs & the mbti types i believe they correspond to. i don’t think there is a correlation with each sign being a certain type because we are, again, such complicated beings that it is not so simple. i may be an aries but i have so much water in my chart that i could never be the same mbti type. you must really know your whole chart and i advise looking at the dominant signs within your chart for this comparison.

Aries – ESTP, ESFP, ENTP
Taurus – ESTJ, ESFJ, ISTJ, ISFJ
Gemini – ENTJ, ENTP, ENFP
Cancer – ISFJ, ISFP, INFP, ENFP
Leo – ENTJ, ENFJ
Virgo – ESTJ, ISTJ, INTJ
Libra – ESTP, ENTP, ENFJ
Scorpio – ISFP, ISTP, INFJ
Sagittarius – ENTP, ENFP, ESTP, ISTP
Capricorn – ESTJ, ISTJ, INTJ
Aquarius – ISFP, ENTP, INTP, ESTP
Pisces – INFP, INFJ, ENFP

 i believe, generally, the elements can be categorized as such: water/NF, earth/SJ, fire/NT, and air/ST. in other words, water-dominated folks tend to be intuitive feelers, earth-dominated sensory judging, fire intuitive thinkers, and air sensory thinkers.
let me know what you think and whether or not you agree with these groupings. i would also love to know YOUR zodiac & mbti combo, so please let me know in the comments below!
>> i am an aries sun, scorpio rising, with a moon in taurus and my chart is dominated by scorpio & pluto. majority water & fire. and i am an infp/j. 🙂
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I’m that bitch that’ll ask you your zodiac sign (and rising and moon) at any social gathering. I’ll then proceed to judge your whole life. My interest in astrology is deep and runs through my ancestry, as a woman descending from the Indian subcontinent. Even at the age of five, I would pull out the Birthday Book off my grandfather’s bookshelf and read my cousin’s horoscopes out to them. In the past two years, I’ve been actively studying astrology, self-learning about the planets, houses, stars. I’ve been pattern-spotting through my network and group of friends to identify patterns amongst signs. Based on this work, I’ve created my own version of “WTF I think When I Meet Your Sign” ~ enjoy!

Please take note that this is a general, quick overview of each sign and that your chart consists of ~MORE~ than just your sun sign. If you know other signs that dominate your chart, read my views on each of them as they’ll probably create a better picture than just reading your sun sign. For example, I may be an Aries sun but Scorpio, Taurus, and Pisces energies are deep and powerful in my chart.

Aries: I’m an Aries! Yay! Arians are childlike, fun, adventurous, and passionate as fuck. This is the sign likely to boldly flirt with you from across the room or dominate you in the bedroom. They like to take life by the reigns and charge forward. They don’t sit still and are quick to make an impulsive decision (often regretting it later). Lowkey, they some crazy motherfuckers but here’s the thing: Arians know they’re crazy. Arians aren’t ones to hold a grudge and their short temper re-wires pretty quickly but in the time that they are in the peak of their anger, they may say and do some mean shit. Besides all of that, they are extremely well-loved because they are loyal, brave, incredibly caring, & fun. Once you’ve been through some shit with an Aries, you’ve made a friend for life. I’m kind of biased but I think it’s key to have an Aries homie in your circle of friends.

Taurus: Oooh, Taureans. They love the good good in life, especially anything that plays to their senses. They LOVE food, especially fine dining with loved ones. They care about their home, many of them prone to being homebodies (especially those with Moon in Taurus). They often care a lot about material security and comfort, many unhappy without it. And, of course, they are stubborn as hell. It takes a LOT to make a Taurus budge. They’re also the type to be sensual lovers in the bedroom, slow & intentional. N they LOVE TO CHILL. More so than any other sign. I also feel like every Taurus I know has a green thumb or likes to landscape or something. When it comes to working with the land, there’s no one that does it better than a Taurus. If the Taurean and Venusian energy is strong in one’s chart, they often emit an aura of stability, calm, and grounding.

Gemini: Alright, so we all know the Gemini’s infamous reputation. Well, it’s not all bad. I really like Gemini Rising folks… Geminis are highly intelligent, communicative, and curious individuals. They are usually able to talk about many, many things in great detail (and then… just never stop talking). It’s astonishing how much they know and like to ponder, which is why you’ll often find that a Gemini loves to sit and think and talk their thoughts out with somebody. Their mind is always going! Oh, and Geminis are very fun. Like, if you’re trying to party hard one night, call your Gemini friend. Because they’re so outspoken, intelligent, and curious, they are able to navigate a night out effortlessly and charismatically. Throw in an Aries and you’ve got yourself an endless night. Just don’t bring them home because then they’ll talk your ear off and suddenly throw some shade a couple days later. ????

Cancer: Oh, Cancer – it can go either very well or very, very bad. Cancer is an incredibly sensitive, emotional sign. They are nurturing, sweet, and often rather defensive. I’ve gotten to know a few Cancers super well and they tend to use a hard, tough exterior as their defense mechanism. Once you’ve warmed them up and have shown the crab that you care for them and will be there for them, they lift their tough exterior to show their soft, mushy self. Cancers tend to love cuddles and affection more so than other signs. Like Taureans, they greatly value their home and family life. Cancers are also a Cardinal sign, meaning they like to initiate. This can lead them to leadership roles and they can often be quite successful if they are self-aware and learn to manage their emotions. Because of a Cancer’s innate mothering characteristics, Cancers can often make well-loved leaders who care about their constituents. If they lack self-awareness and emotional intelligence, however, Cancers are known to be drama queens, often picking unnecessary fights constantly.

Leo: Leos are fun, brave, spontaneous and all – but they need mad reassurance and validation, especially while they are young. This is that friend in high school that is gorgeous as hell, stuntin on everybody, but always complaining about something, lacking self-confidence, and fishing for compliments. Leos are charismatic, bold, brave, and another fun addition to the party. Like other fire signs, there can be a bit of a temper, though, that they must learn to keep an eye on. More so than any other sign, Leos are proud: proud of their background, proud of their friends, proud of their lovers. You would be highly mistaken to ever speak out against a Leo’s friend or lover because that Leo will shut you down so quick.

Virgo: When in need of advice or real talk, FIND A VIRGO. When in need of some DIY magic, FIND A VIRGO. Virgos are wise, practical, sometimes kind of anal, hardworking, and creative. I find it often difficult to work with Virgos because everything has to be just right. They are quite the perfectionists. I always find Virgos to be helpful and they’re the person I search for when I need feedback for something. However, I also often find Virgos to be kind of… boring. Of course, it varies as with any sign and I have plenty of Virgo friends & family. They’re also very funny and add to great conversation. Overall, I think, Virgos are the advice & DIY masters of the Zodiac.

Libra: When I think of Libras, I think ~aesthetic~. Libras are pretty, charming, sociable creatures. I have never met a Libra that wasn’t able to talk to a variety of people at ease. They’re the ones in the group to try to ensure that everyone is participating and no one feels left out. It’s a sweet characteristic. But, I have also come to find that Libras aren’t that… deep. They tend to fall more on the superficial side of the spectrum and typically don’t have much to hide (much unlike the next sign we’re going to discuss). Libras, though, are typically very popular as they are so charming and fair.

Scorpio: I’m a Pluto & Scorpio dominant (ugh). Scorpios are known for their intensity. They’re intense in all that they do – work, socializing, love. They are obsessive, deep, emotional, and possessive. When a Scorpio wants someone or something, they will obsess over it until they have it. Scorpios are incredibly emotional but their external disposition does not show as such. They seem to be standoffish, quiet, and intimidating on the outside while the inside is tumultuous: wave after waves of deep emotions. Scorpios keep their emotions hidden below. This particular water sign is even known as “ice” because of how hard their outward demeanor is. Scorpios, though, are powerful and most intuitive of all the Zodiac signs and if self-aware, they can often pave their own path to success. They also make loving, loyal friends and partners, who will fight for their loved ones through anything  — once you’ve broken through the ice, that is.

Sagittarius: Has anyone ever said anything bad about a Sagittarius? They’re some flaky, wishywashy mofos but it’s hard not to love them. Like the other fire signs, Sagittarians can get a party started. They are fun, wild, and constantly moving. Sag is the sign you want to invite out for an adventure (though be warned, they may not show up – so don’t put all your eggs in this basket). When it comes to their personal ambition, too, a Sag is unparalleled. Once a Sag knows their life path and what they want to do, they charge ahead with drive and motivation, not stopping until they hit their goal. As a mutable fire sign, Sagittarius cannot be tamed.

Capricorn: Capricorns remind me a bit of Virgos… which makes sense, as they are both earth signs. But they are way more serious than Virgos. Capricorns know how to get shit done and yet, somehow, always seem to be working. I sometimes wonder what would happen if you told a Capricorn there was just no more work to do (they’d probably create more work for themselves). Caps are reliable, steadfast, hardworking, calculating, and logical. They likely get great grades in school. They tend to be great communicators, too. I know a lot of extremely funny Capricorns, too, but they only let out the humor once you know them well. I think Caps are typically boring but if you need, like, a lawyer or accountant or someone to help you get your shit together – call a Cap. They’re on it.

Aquarius: Ah, the weirdos. I love Aquarians so much. They’re free spirited as hell. They’re weird, straightforward, and intelligent. An older Aquarius has likely had a variety of jobs in numerous fields and was probably good at most of them. They often have unconventional ideas and morals, so they make for great conversation. Aquarians also tell it like it is, which is a characteristic I LOVE as an Aries. Aquarians are also incredibly detached from emotions (which can be both good and bad), stubborn, and aloof. It often creates friction between them and their loved ones because the Aquarian is so detached and aloof. However, again, a self-aware Aquarian can learn to balance their detached way of living while still caring deeply for their loved ones. It’s not unlikely, though, to meet an Aquarius who is a bit of a loner.

Pisces: Ooh, I love Pisceans! I have quite the Piscean spirit myself, due to a strong Pisces in Mercury and my general watery disposition. Pisces are also some crazy mofos. They’re emotional af but tend to disguise their emotions – not in the way that their watery sister, Scorpio, does, no. Rather, Pisceans are the queens of disguising their emotions, often masking it to ensure that their friends, family and lovers are comfortable and happy. In other cases, when someone hurts a Pisces, they are the masters of cutting the perpetrator out of their life — quickly and quietly. Pisces are deeply caring, stemming from their sensitive intuitive nature. Pisces, like Scorpio, are also extraordinarily intuitive – able to pick up on the emotions of the room in seconds. If anything or anyone is off, Pisces jumps in to provide support and care. Ruled by Neptune, Pisces is a little bit otherworldly, ruled by dreams and fantasies and idealism. It is likely that a Pisces you meet is daydreaming 80% of the time. Pisces are able to go with the flow and tend to just do their own thing, swimming through life with their head in the clouds. They can often be indecisive, flaky, and hard to get ahold of.

 

well, there you go :p a little quick take on the zodiac signs. hope you enjoyed~

as a queer panjabi first generation woman, i would be nowhere without my chosen family.

i have come a very long way in understanding myself, my relationship with my parents and the rest of the family, and what it means to both receive and give love & nurture.

i love my ma and dad. i truly do. i look at my father’s worn face, deep stress lines, gray hair, slight limp with such a heavy heart. he commutes about 2 hours to and from a computer data storage company that abuses its’ workers, does not allow them to unionize, and forces people of color to stare longingly through a glass ceiling that has yet to be shattered. he has weekly migraines. i yearn, every day, to help him heal.

my sister, brother, and i are my ma’s world. she knows (and desires to know) nothing else. she works at a semiconductor operating factory as a fab operator. meaning, she stands all day covered head-to-toe in a bunny suit, goggles covering her eyes, amidst dangerous chemicals. she is paid next to nothing. she comes home from twelve hour workdays to make dinner and clean, her hands and feet tired and worn.

they immigrated to the united states at an incredibly young age. my father was 25, maybe he was a bit self-aware. my mother was only 20. i can’t imagine that she knew herself at all. she was pulled away from all family and friends, to live with my father’s family, in a foreign country, new baby in tow. i have tried asking my ma what that felt like, “how did you feel? what do you remember about california in the 1980s?” she says something vague and changes the subject. my heart breaks. i yearn, every day, to help my mother heal.

growing up, i was beat. a lot. family members now tell stories of how impatient my mother was with me, how much i cried. they laugh, it’s normal. i was, and still am, afraid of my parents. my parents even often told me that a child should be afraid of their parents. they did not know that they were holding in their arms such a sensitive, empathetic child. a child that needed nothing more than space to be creative and to express her deep well of emotions. through middle and high school, my self-esteem did not exist.

growing up, i recall 0 positive affirmations. no reassurance. no “i’m proud of you” or even “you’re beautiful”. growing up, it was all i wanted.

i remember when i came home with the most exciting award of my young life: “best writer of the class”. 2nd grade. i was so excited, all smiles, jumping off the walls. as my parents walked through the doors in the evening, i ran to them. they said “okay, that’s nice”. later, they would tell me that writing is just a hobby and push me to do my math homework (i was never good at math).

this would continue to be a theme. even until my first salaried job offer at the age of 23.

i was ecstatic, it was my number 1 choice. i ran a victory lap around my home. my parents said,”it’s okay but keep applying for jobs that pay better.” it was at a nonprofit but actually paid better than most nonprofits. again, just like every other moment of achievement in my life, i could not help but feel sad and like i wasn’t enough.

i know it is not their fault, i know that they have struggled, sacrificed, seen and felt things i cannot even fathom. i can only imagine what it felt to travel to a new place, to speak with broken english in a strange country, with traditions and customs so vastly different from the ones at home. that’s scary. that’s fucking hard. harder than anything i have ever done. it’s an incredible, inspiring feat. it does not change the fact, though, that at this moment in my life i find it very hard to share my life with my family.

when i struggle so hard to build myself up, reaffirm myself, praise myself for my growth & good work — it’s terrifying to go to my parents’ house to have all of my hard work destroyed, made to feel small again.

the biggest kicker? my parents have no idea about my queer identity. in fact, no one in my family has ever even come out. i already can imagine my parents’ reaction. they will wonder what they did wrong, they will blame themselves, they will cry, they will want to hide this news from the extended family, they will ask me why i continue to dishonor them… as if i have always been a burden, something they want to hide away.

my whole life has been a constant internal battle with myself: am i really this bad of a child? why is everything i do wrong? why am i such an awful person? why can’t i make my parents and myself happy?

unbeknownst to myself till this past year or so: there is nothing wrong with either myself or my parents. we are all doing the best we can, with what life has thrown our way.

it is for all these reasons and many more, though, that chosen family is so key to my life. when something goes wrong and i know my parents will only kick me down further rather than providing nonjudgemental support — i call my chosen family. when something occurs in my love life and i need advice — i call my chosen family. when emotionally hurt, i call my chosen family, as my family has never provided me emotional support.

as a queer first generation panjabi woman, i am also afraid of losing family upon coming out. then, too, i will call upon my chosen family.

i have not always been the most loving or caring friend or family member but in these past couple years, it has become one of my most important goals. to become more loving, more caring, more compassionate – especially towards my loved ones that show me true unconditional love and support, leaving all judgement, biases, & attachment behind. i think it is for this reason, too, that i become so afraid & a little bit maniacal at any moment that it seems like someone in my chosen circle is angry with me or distancing themselves from me. i am loyal, protective, and a little bit too attached with my chosen family… but i can’t help it, it comes from a fear that maybe one day… if i choose to come out to my parents… that i will no longer have “family”.

one day, i hope my relationship with my parents will be a little bit more open, a little bit better. it will never be perfect, and i will never give my parents exactly what they dreamed of. all i want for them is to be able to find happiness from within themselves, not through their children. i hope that we can come to an understanding and at least, choose to be happy together. i hope, one day, that they will treat me as the autonomous, strong individual that i am.

 

i was sitting inside the san juan bautista parroquia in the center of coyoacan in cdmx today and suddenly, i felt an overwhelming rush of emotions. this isn’t new to me, as an empath and highly sensitive person. it just is. particularly, though – i’ve realized – in spiritually charged spaces.

it’s funny, growing up – i vividly remember resenting and rejecting sikhism. it felt forced. i was told to go to the gurdwara and my mother tried, tried, tried. i didn’t get it. maybe she didn’t have the words she was looking for. regardless, i thought i was an atheist, i thought religion was silly. i didn’t understand how anyone could believe in this higher being or power that we couldn’t see, couldn’t “prove”. i often looked to my books and felt that i needed science, literature, something “academic” to show me it was real.

i stumbled through much of my life, identifying as an atheist while unknowingly participating in spiritual acts.

by the end of my college career and months into living in oakland, i caught myself in the act. lighting sandalwood. carefully walking the incense around my room, even to my darling cat. my mother’s spirit moved within me. her soft worn brown hands blessing me with sandalwood, as she carried it throughout our home and back to the altar.

while in oakland, i began learning about meditation, devouring article after article on higher purpose and soul-searching and spirituality. i’ve read more about sikhism in the past year than i have my whole life. i was drinking dramatically less. (i realize now that my drinking was truuuuuly numbing my spirit and i, as a highly sensitive person, cannot be drinking like the folks around me – a truth i still struggle with.)

you know one of the craziest things? i believe in signs. i always kind of have. again, i was always a bit of a contradicting atheist. this past year, as i’ve been delving deep into spirituality, i remembered a third grade project that i had to participate in.

we had to pick a part of the brain and write a basic report. any part. the teacher gave us a huuuuge list of examples. my little ten-year-old self wanted to write about none other than the pineal fucking gland. the pineal gland. the pineal gland!?

as in the third eye, the crown chakra. this realization blew me away. this realization came days after i (kid you not) tried to attempt astral projection all week. in third grade, i i did not have a single clue about the pineal gland but i remember that it struck me at the time. the universe just knows what we need, right? the universe is constantly trying to light our path but we miss the messages.

one of the first books i devoured, too, was a book on astrology. a book right off my late grandfather’s book shelf: the birthday book.

the signs only continued, though. my first boss in a salaried job, right out of college, is spiritual. she does not speak about it directly at work but she doesn’t intoxicate her body in any way. she believes and preaches “selfless service” – a tenant of sikhism, in fact. under her mentorship, i opened my eyes.

then, months later, i found myself joined by a new co-worker and we found ourselves speaking of spirituality, rituals, cleansing our bodies and leading more compassionate, selfless lives. it was because of her that i felt encouraged to join the east bay meditation center’s people of color sangat, another tenant of sikhism. without sangat, we are not held accountable and i was definitely struggling. i am so grateful for her friendship and sisterhood in this spiritual journey.

and you know, though some of my closest chosen fam are 300 miles away from me… i have been saying these past two years: i feel like i need to be in oakland, i am meant to be in oakland right now. and how incredibly true that has been.

today, i sat inside the church for quite a long time. quietly. meditating. feeling. tears threatening to fall. this journey is a battle but i’ve come so far. i spent junior and senior years of my undergraduate career drinking every day, transforming into someone selfish and suicidal. though i still drink, i rarely remember when the last time was when i do choose to drink. progress. i was un-disciplined in my vegetarianism but i feel such a deep roaring motivation to stick to it. progress.

i have spent so many days on this trip, beating myself up for not knowing enough spanish and for just being out here to vacation while offering no services but i forget to give myself love for the internal work that is pushing through. i feel as though there is love, creativity, and compassion bubbling beneath layers of self-doubt, laziness, and lack of action.

it is all coming together. this trip has opened my eyes to so much, has solidified so much of my strength and power. i feel affirmed in my self. i’m constantly growing and constantly asking myself hard questions, unafraid to be honest with at least myself. for that, i am proud.

i have always been an explorer, a wanderer, always wondering “what if?” and since i was a little girl, it was a dream to travel. not to party or to indulge (much) but to discover, learn, push myself into serious discomfort. growing up, it was never a possibility to travel. family rules and money prevented it. my tremendous lack of self-confidence and inability to tightly grasp my agency and autonomy as a first generation panjabi girl prevented it. finally though, here i am. i did not take no for an answer. it felt right, it was time to go.

family, friends, acquaintances, strangers all ask the question: but why alone? yet, for me, that was never a question. why not alone? consider me strange, i adore my solitude. i’ve fallen in love with silence. yet, traveling solo is rarely solo. hostels are bustling with other travelers, locals glance at me in confusion in sodas and cafes, white men feel entitled to dump their every thought on me. even here, i create my solitude. i carve out moments of silence. i make space and time to decompress in solitude. i say, no, gracias. it is a part of my careful practice.

family, friends, acquaintances, strangers all ask me, too, the question: why costa rica? in all honesty, i was not even sure at first. my original plans were to support my comrade in her local permaculture work with la comunidades idígenas. to work with the earth. to provide my services. when her plans were left in the air, i decided i was to go ahead on my own. it felt right.

in my first moments in costa rica i met a sikh man, with whom i found myself in deep conversation about sikhism and spirituality.

just like that, the universe sent me an answer. well, damn. pura vida. it has been a tumultuous year of excruciating growing pains through self-discovery, self-healing, and spiritual growth — this was its culmination, or rather, continuation.

yet i felt confusing feelings of discomfort and pain my first few nights of backpacking. i stayed in a hostel in a remote area of the osa peninsula, literally immersed in the rainforest. no sign of human life in sight, except for us, 10 or so travelers. this was the beginning of my trip. i didn’t do this for any particular reason but that it felt right. i make 99% of my decisions because they feel right. my intuition is my guide. it was right. i was uncomfortable. i cried. i was emotional. and it was okay.

the sun, the moon, and the trees held me. the coos and caws of birdsong told me it was going to be okay. the wet heat, similar to that of my homeland, enveloped me in a hot, but comfortable, embrace. it was going to be okay, it was going to be okay. the long, strenuous hikes reminded me why i was here. the persistent roars of howler monkeys reminded me to push through. i have never seen or heard such life. my mind frequently flooded with the question: where the hell am i? how the hell did i end up here?

i spent hours hiking, solo, through the vast jungles — crossing streams, climbing up waterfalls. i got lost. i trusted myself: i found my way back. i focused on my breath. i looked to the sun. i thanked the steady, capable tree roots – as they held together the small cliff sides i walked across. i have, honestly, never been in such awe. of the land. of my self.

i said goodbye to that woman i was in the forest and i am now, under the bright full moon, in the city of san jose. wondering who i will be by the next cycle of la luna.

nvknkr.

 

do you know that feeling

you get in your chest?

it feels like a

snake has wrapped around your heart, your lungs

and it’s squeeeeeeeeeeeeeez

simultaneously your heart is runningamillionbeatsperseconditslikeyouregoingto

EXPLODE.

do you know that feeling

you get when your hands

t r e m b l e and you just can’t seem to hold them

still?

or that feeling when

your stomach is in knots, it feels sick

and you’re t r y i ng to breathe

but you’re afraid you’ll vomit or worse:

cry.

do you know that feeling

when your mind is suddenly

clouded

by all the things you should’ve said, or not have said, or

goddamn it, why did you do that weird awkward thing?

your mind just won’t stop runningrunningrunning

fabricating stories and lies and outrageous theories.

and damn, do you know that feeling

when the professor calls on you in class

and the

heat flushes to your face

and your mind is suddenly

blank…?

—-

this (and still a million other things) is what my social anxiety feels like. all the feelings and physical reactions contradict and overwhelm. however, these are merely the feelings and reactions i feel when in social situations/around people. the process it takes to get out the door to go to something? that’s a whole nother blog post. i wrote this one really quickly, just felt like putting some of my social anxiety into words… a lot of folks don’t understand what i mean when i mention my social anxiety and some have the audacity to tell me my social anxiety isn’t real. well… it is.

i like lists. a lot.

  1. Just fucking say no. 
    • I thought I had learnt this sooner. But I’ve only just really put it into practice this past year. When I don’t want to expend my energy on something (doing something, going somewhere), I finally fucking say no (well, usually – it’s all a learning process, yo). Though I’m still working on saying no in the workplace – I think I’ve learned to honor my capacity, energy, and wellbeing to say no to going out, trips, whatever it is that I don’t want to do. I’m still working on not giving a reason for my no but one step at a time, I’ll get there.
  2. Self-worth.
    • I’m still working on this one, too… but, damn, a year ago I would’ve let people treat me like shit and get away with it. NEVER OKAY. You are fucking worth it, you’re intelligent, you’re a boss ass bitch, you’re funny, you’re creative, you’re valued, you’re a fucking princess. Don’t forget it, own it. This is so easy to say but so hard to truly believe and act upon. I try to give myself positive affirmations in the morning and in the evenings. Sometimes I write them down, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I find myself thinking “fuck, I’m so dumb – why’d I do that?” and sometimes I try to change the negative into something positive… “I’m not dumb, I wanted to do that – it just didn’t work out the way I wanted… hey it’s actually kind of funny.” Whatever, figure out what works for you because you’re awesome and you need to do what works for youuuuuuu!!!
  3. (Cis, Hetero) Men suck.
    • Yeah okay this one contradicts my last point but generally speaking, they do and I don’t trust them. Not to say I don’t have compassion for men or that I wouldn’t be friends with any men… I have mentors that are men and homies that are men but I – for the most part – don’t keep too many in my close circle of homies. Not sorry. I just don’t need any macho male violence in my life right now, thanks.
  4. Memorize housemate’s numbers… or be prepared to waste three hours locked outside of your home in the rain with no phone, no keys, no bra on your body. True story.
  5. Mindfulness, to be present, to bring my head back down to the ground. This one has been a game-changer for me. As an introvert, I’m often kickin’ it in my own head, whether it’s just me thinking about existentialism or over-thinking a situation or daydreaming about another time and place, I forget to stay present in the moment I’m in. I’ve made a practice to ground myself in every moment I’m in when I feel my thoughts and anxieties run amok… and it has made a world of difference.
  6. The importance & necessity of compassion. I have made it a personal goal and intention to practice compassion in all that I do, to unlock my inner empath and truly put myself in another person’s shoes before making any decision. Having compassion for myself and for others is so integral for me to live a happier life and since I’ve begun working on this, I’ve been a little bit less anxious, a little more carefree… Compassion is a whole nother blog post for another day, though.
  7. Accept all of me – even parts of me that aren’t considered desirable traits by the mainstream. I’m quiet, I’m introverted, I like to hang out with myself… and I’m finally so fucking okay with all of these things. To get here, too, I’ve been taking the time to learn more about myself. To ask myself hard questions about my past. I’ve also had to accept and own my mental health. To be open about my social anxiety. To not let people tell me that my anxieties “aren’t real”… when in fact, I’ve had a problem of heart palpitations, sweaty palms, and over-thinking in classrooms and social settings since I was ten years old.
  8. Brush (AND FLOSS) my teeth and be careful when parking  my car.
    • You know… these might seem unrelated but they ain’t. One day, you’re going to go to the dentist for a biannual cleaning and they’re going to let you know at the end of the appointment that, hey, you might want to book an appointment to fill those cavities, and yeah, by the way – evenwithyourinsuranceitsgonnacost600bucksthanks! Just a week later, you’re gonna get your car towed because maybe you were running late for work and didn’t pay too much attention to where you parked. Suddenly, you’re forking over 500 bucks (that you kinda wanted to spend on a ticket to Costa Rica… oops). Next thing you know you’re wondering why you ever thought it was a good idea to ever go to Happy Hour or go to that wine tasting with your friends… Or maybe not, maybe that won’t happen at all. Maybe that was just me. Moral of the story is: take care of you & your shit.
  9. BE OPEN & VULNERABLE (let those walls down, girl!).
  10. Affectionately, deeply, wildly love your best friends, your homies, your chosen fam. Love ain’t just for your partner or significant other. It ain’t just for the family you were born with. Fall in love with your best friends and you will never feel alone, even when they are 300 miles away. Fall in love with your best friends and treat them like the goddesses that they are. Nurture these relationships. Check in with one another. Plan trips together. Prioritize them.
  11. Keep cash in my car and wallet… at all times.
    • Because who fucking knows when you’re randomly going to be driving and hit a toll road… am I right (was that also just me?)? A lot of places are cash only, though… you never know. Emergency cash is so important. Plus, it’s great to have cash on hand when you want to give money to someone in need.
  12. My productivity does not equal my worth. This one’s hard to truly internalize in a capitalist society that is constantly pushing us to create more, make more, want more, consume more, do more, more more more — but I try to be intentional, honest, and gentle with myself. It’s okay to do nothing. It’s okay to want to do nothing.
  13. Draw, write, print and paste my dreams, visions, and goals all over my room and laptop. I don’t know bout y’all but it’s so easy to fall off track from what’s REALLY important to you. Reminders are key.
  14. But most of all, through all of this, stay gentle with myself and others. Stay soft. Life is fucking hard. I know you’re battling daily micro and macro aggressions. I know capitalism sucks. I know you’re dealing with stupid shit at work, on the streets, at the club. Housing is a struggle, there are bills to be paid, something randomly hits the fan. But I’ve learned, with the help of mindfulness and practicing compassion, that it’s okay, that we gon be alright, that I am so blessed and privileged to be where I am – despite all the BS. I remind myself of the people I love and care about and the beautiful home I live in and the beautiful people that surround me and the trees, the water, the food that sustains me…

A year ago, I was struggling to get myself to therapy (and now I’ve begun). I was struggling to love myself (and now I’m falling). I was struggling to honor the pieces of me that I felt were unworthy to the mainstream (and now I mostly don’t give a fuck).

Yeahhhh, I’m gonna be alright. And you are, too.