Compartmentalization as a Christian INTJ.

There is this idea in church that one is supposed to be the same inside and outside of the church. This is a daunting idea for me because I can’t help but compartmentalize my life between church, academics (which I no longer have), family, professional (which I still don’t have), and other. I react differently in each of these areas. As an INTJ I try to make sure that my life in the different areas are 90% separate and that the people with whom I interact with on one sphere don’t interact with me on another. I want to have the freedom to live my life without human judgement; without having to explain the differences in the way I dress or act or portray myself. Yet I am made to feel guilty because I am not living the Christian way of life.

If I use the onion analogy to describe human nature taught to me by Dr. Pedro Subirats, I can say that the Christian idea discussed above might not be accurate. What if the idea of being the same in all environments is actually detrimental to Christian health? I have always wondered how can people carry this belief out. It must be very restricting to do so.

I think that something should be manifested in all spheres of my life, but not all. Other than the Christian testimony and my innate personality, everything else should be malleable based on circumstances. This would be the healthy realistically based route, right?

Slow to take risk and delaying gratification.

I have been reading the book Quiet by Susan Cain… slowly but surely. I have read the part about introverts being slow to take risks and delaying gratification. When I read this, it made me feel that I was doing better than what I had anticipated (which I like finding out).

This idea makes me think of two things. The first the introverted nature of God. I would think of the multiple texts in the Bible that say God is longsuffering and abundant in mercy (lento para la ira y grande en misericordia in Spanish, which I like better) and see the principle of delayed gratification.

The second is the idea that INTJ trust works the same way. INTJs are slow to trust and delay the gratification of including someone inside their social circle until the other person has shown that they are worthy of my trust.

Awaiting my moment to truly lead.

Beginning of 2013, I was at old San Juan, Puerto Rico with the Youth Group Director and three other youth group members that were not of the new generation. We were leaving the parking lot where the car was parked and the Director stated that she was going to leave the post soon and someone had to take their place. The other’s made it clear that they were not going to do it and proceeded to stare at me. I was the last one to be looked at, and I couldn’t say no. Since that time, I have gotten the intuition that I might have to take over the Youth Group leadership in the near future.

The fact is that I’m the only youth group member that fit the ideal demographic requirements (based on me, which is biased, I know) to replace her. I have over 10 years in the church as a believer, a member, and a youth group member. I can also provide at least 5 years of service and have the necessary independence to fulfill the role. I also have the studies to back up what I do.

I am currently awaiting something big to come to my life in terms of my calling. My intuition and my logic makes me think that is Youth Group related. Since this day, I have been contemplating the possibility of having to take over the responsibility of leading the Youth Group. Since then I have wondered what would that look like: what would I want it to look like.

A year, maybe two, ago I created a proposal of how would I lead the youth group. I had proposed to have a Coordinator for the 12-17 year youth and the 18+ youth. I also had other things, like a Evangelism Supervisor. A few months later, the Youth Group Director implemented the Coordinator system with the people that I had proposed in those positions. I only shared this with the one who is the 12-17 coordinator. God has a sense of humor when it comes to this type of thing. I was pissed off about this at the beginning because what I thought was being implemented and I wasn’t any part of it. Now, more than a year and a half later, I see the failure that this has become. I have become grateful that I wasn’t at the leadership position when this was implemented, cause that would have sucked for me.

Seeing the fruit of the implementation of my first proposal, I decided to see how that can be improved (very INTJ of me). The new proposal is taking into consideration the failure that the first implementation has and seeing how this can systematically be more efficient. I am trying to keep names out of the proposal this time, though in my mind there might be names on specific positions. This proposal is meant as a mental exercise more than anything else, but I still want to put my best ideas forward.

I know that I have inside me what it takes to lead the Youth Group to great things, but I am still considered a child in the church because the leadership of the church is incapable of seeing my real progress in the Lord. I am awaiting my moment to step up to leadership: the moment that God has determined that is my time to lead, truly lead. When will that be? I can’t say for the moment. All I can do is wait and pray to God that when the time comes I will be prepared to lead effectively and efficiently.

Becoming intolerant.

When I was younger, I used to be able to tolerate a lot of crappynes that other people did to me. Now as an adult, I find myself being less tolerant of people treating me like crap. This is, to my understanding, healthy. Yet I wonder why this transformation exists.

Maybe this change in attitude and behavior is due to empowerment that comes with becoming an adult.

Maybe this change in attitude and behavior is due to the fact that as an adult I learned to recognize and walk away from crappy people and crappy circumstances.

Maybe this change in attitude and behavior is due to the fact that the way people see me when I was a child is different than the way people see me when I am an adult.

Maybe this change in attitude and behavior is due to a conscious change and not environmental factors.

Maybe this change in attitude and behavior is due to the changes that God induces in me over time.

Maybe this change in attitude and behavior is due to the culmination of the development of who I am as a person.

What made me become intolerant of people’s crappy behavior over time? I can’t say for sure. Maybe the answer is all of the above, but I will not say anything definitively until this analysis is finalized in my head.

When a peacemaker intended text gets taken as a joke… just because it has your name on it.

Yesterday I was doing things on my tablet, when I read a conversation between the Youth Group Director and the Juveniles Coordinator on a prayer group that I was put in on Whatsapp (still don’t know why) about the Director’s cancer recovery progress, when at one point they were wondering whether iodine in Spanish was written Yodo or Iodo. I decided to put my Biologist voice there by answering the question. So I did what any Biologist does and look for the answer on Google ;). What I found on Wikipedia (the best resource in the world*) was that both words are valid. So I decided to be a peace-maker and texted a picture of the Iodine Spanish wiki and stated that they were both right… according to Wikipedia.

My intention was to be a peace-maker and relieve the itch that might have been going on in their minds from the unanswered question. Everyone else took it as a joke, even though there were no emojis and I do have a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. Apparently my name is enough to make people think that I was joking. The response was laughter by two people on the group. The Youth Group Director showed that she was pissed off that I had made a joke about that situation and said that the group was serious and that if someone (me) wanted to make a joke that they (I) should do it to her personally.

This pissed me off. The first thing that I have to say about it is that, as an INTJ, I don’t make most mistakes twice. I had already joked about something in this group and got negative feedback by the administrator. So I wasn’t going to text in this group unless what I had to say was actually contributing to the conversation. Apparently they suck and don’t get this idea. Second of all, they think that I’m not capable of being serious on something. I’m not that insensitive to other peoples struggles to make a joke about the Director’s battle with cancer. Her reaction is an indicator of how crappy of a person she thinks that I am. Finally, I can write a text, be taken as a joke, and be reprimanded for it; someone else does the same thing (which the Juveniles Coordinator kinda did) and she gets nothing. That is not fair and is discriminatory in nature.

I wanted to text back and put her in her place: show her that she is being stupid. I didn’t because I didn’t want to react while emotionally charged. If I did, the reaction would have been horrible because rationality diminishes in quality when emotions are involved, and I can’t communicate effectively when I’m pissed off. Besides, the Director has shown that she is not really worth my energy and my time.

How many female parents do I have?

Ok. I am not willing to do this post because the topic is important to me. I actually don’t talk about my mother (nothing positive that I’m willing to say, really). However, because I did the “How many male parents do I have?” post, I decided to do the female version.

So for female parents the same semantic principles apply as for male parents. There’s three names for female parents: mother (madre), mom (mamá), and mommy (mami).

To be honest, I am weary of using these names because I do have a bias that works against female parental figures. I actually don’t call them differently as female parental figures.

My biological mother is mami (I’m using the Spanish term because I live in Puerto Rico and I use the Spanish term). I don’t deny that she is my mother because I don’t want to dishonor her (it’s the most I can do). The thing is that, as with any INTJ, how much weight a tittle has is dependent on what one does to deserve it. Therefore, if a parent (or anyone) royally screws up as a parent they loose respect and their tittle looses credibility and weight. Because of things that Mami has done in the past, her tittle is just that: a tittle.

Outside of my biological family, there have been several that have tried to fulfill that role. Out of them all, one made the cut and one is in probation. The one that made the cut was the Youth Group Director when I first started as a teenager in the youth group. She used the tittle with me before I used it with her. I gave her the female parent status in 2011 (our first interactions where in 2005). The tittle was Mami Puchy (given by her); I went along with it but never gave it importance. She left PR a year later to deal with her husband’s health issues. I felt that I lost a parent. In a way, I did.

The one that is in probation is the minister’s wife. She is… well, not a person that I would be around for a long time. It’s not that she’s a bad person, it’s just that the way that she comes across to people is not welcoming. Given her battle with cancer and multiple health conditions (many of them my biological mother has), I don’t blame her. I have seen how chronic pain and health problems that can change a person and I admire her attitude and the grace with which she faces her circumstances (I wouldn’t tell her that, though). The tittle, for now, is “madre en probatoria” (mother on probation). For her, the road to travel to change the tittle to being approved as a female parent is longer. This isn’t necessarily because of her. My biases will probably be the biggest obstacle she will have to face in order to gain the tittle.

So, in conclusion, how many female parents I have? Three: Mami, Mami Puchy, and Madre en probatoria.

INTJ Comedy.

I discovered the value of comedy when I was 16 after seeing Whose Line is it Anyways video on YouTube. I was fascinated by how Colin Mochrie skillfully said and/or acted out witty and funny things that made the other comedians laugh.

I loved the idea of using your intellect and witt to make other people laugh. It gave me the illusion of control over other people’s emotions. It also gave me a tool to break the ice in social situations. I thought it was worthy of adoption and I watched as many of those videos as I could to adopt the improv comedy mentality in my daily life. I would use everyone around me as victims of my self administered comedic training (poor world).

Over the years, the training has worked (and the world praised the Lord on that fateful day when my comedy no longer sucked… as badly). I have evolved as a person and the quality of my jokes are higher, or at least that’s what the feedback shows. I also discovered that there was a more genetic predisposition for everyday comedy in my family since my father, my brother, and I have the same type of sense of humor.

The thing about INTJ comedy is that, even though it is used to break the ice with a stranger (and acquaintances alike), the real nature of the sarcastic black humor, sometimes insult humor type comedy is only seen by people that INTJs sees as trustworthy (Sorry, world). One can say that INTJ comedy is like George Carlin’s (who is another comedian that I admire because of his articulate intellectual humor, though he rarely makes me laugh) FM & AM record: FM was the newly developed out of the comedic norm type of comic routine and AM was the mainstream material Carlin used to do.

INTJ Comedy is like everything else in INTJ life: there is a side that we let everyone see, there is a side that we let only a few see, and there are things that just shouldn’t see the light of day.

Random Thought 21.

What came to mind when I heard last night’s preacher talk about what his mother responded when the pastor of the church that they attended when he was a child gave a calling to raise funds to fix the church’s ceiling?

yo dono la vaca

(¡Yo dono la vaca! means I will donate the cow! in Spanish)

How many male parent’s do I have?

Weird question, I know. But given my somewhat new social circle that is older male dominated, it’s somewhat important for me to categorize where they fit in my mind to diminish confusion and tension. I also need to make sure that they all fit in their unique ecological niche so as to not think that they are useless or not necessary (it’s a not only an INTJ thing).

Biologically speaking, I have one male parent (duh!). In terms of how many people I identify as a male parent in my head, there are more than one. In Spanish, there is more than the two terms in English to call a male parent: father and dad… and daddy, as I just found in google translate. The terms in Spanish are Padre, Papá and Papi.

Given this fact, I was under the idea that I could only have a maximum of three male parents. I have three male parents… ish. God, my Heavenly Father, is Padre; my biological father is Papi; and the church treasurer is Papá (The tittle has been given as a joke by my church’s day workers because of the human dynamic that I have with him).

I was content with this idea until last year when a minister from my church started to sow the idea of walking into the role of adoptive father. This caused internal conflict because all of the names for male parent were taken (and I wasn’t going to demote one of them to put him there, not without earning it at least). I know that this is somewhat stupid, but in my mind that caused tension. This was until last week when I gave this minister of my church the tittle of “Padre en probatoria” (Father on probation). I was surprised that this came out of my mouth and I didn’t really question it afterwards. This was key, as I didn’t think it was a lie as it was consistent with the actual state of the dynamic. I think that the minister has potential to be approved as a male parent, but for now this is where my mind shows comfort in putting him.

So having gone through the thought process described above, I present the question again: How many male parent’s do I have? The answer is four… ish.

INTJ learning.

INTJs love learning. Every INTJ personality description says so. This is the main motivator to keep taking classes even when one has a career.

As I have lived my life after finishing my academic studies, I have realized that I want to keep learning but I don’t want to run out of topics to learn. This has made me consider picking up the taking classes hobby (with logic and purpose) once I get a real job. I don’t necessarily like the academic pressure and subjecting myself to the judging from professors; I do like the learning that occurs in the class.

In the mean time, YouTube and Google will be my go to source to learn stuff (they’re free).