When the idea of starting to look for a relationship with the idea of getting married starts becoming a good idea.

This is one of the most feared statements to admit. As an INTJ that projects an image of logic and not wanting a relationship, the idea that I might want to enter into that commitment of a relationship with the goal of marriage is… paradigm crushing. In my case, I have had certain issues that made me not want to enter a relationship. It wasn’t going to be fair to the partner, and it was going to cause both of us more harm than good. I love being free to do my own thing, to be my introverted self. I didn’t have an interest in getting married, anyway. Relationship… that I wanted, but it was for selfish reasons.

This question of whether it would be a good idea to be in a relationship isn’t new. I get confronted with it frequently. But it has only been recently, induced by my sister’s marriage, that I have taken more of a serious multi-dimensional look at this question.

I realized that, based on who I am and my spiritual path, I should consider the idea of getting married. I also realized that there are more factors that I have to consider when figuring out if I should start looking for a mate. Not just whether I was in a spiritual place where I was stable enough to look for a mate, but whether I could contribute evenly to the relationship. I concluded that I might not be ready for a relationship, much less a marriage, because I don’t have all of the arbitrary requirements to have a “successful” marriage.

For these reasons, I know that I am still not ready for marriage… but I am more willing to prepare for that possibility.

Feeling confident at work.

I started my first full-time job 2 weeks ago. It’s draining… to say the least. It has become a challenge to maintain my church commitments without wanting to fall asleep in the middle of them. I have had so many new experiences, without the time to really analyze them. This means that, as an INTJ, I make observations about myself and my surroundings and are not able to process them for a while.

For me, being able to work is a miracle from God. It was hard to land my first full-time job… because I am just starting my professional career and had few prior work experiences. I was and still work part-time for a non-profit, but it felt like I wasn’t working at all. It’s not that I didn’t work. It was that I felt that it wasn’t enough to calm my feelings of failure to meet standards implicitly placed by my siblings.

During my first week of work, I was asked how I was doing, what I thought about work, and what did I feel. That’s a big mistake! I didn’t know where I stood in regards to my job. I hadn’t had time to process what was going on in my mind. I did realize that I was (and still am) really naive when it comes to wordly things. I realized that working has other benefits besides the economic aspect of it, like keeping oneself occupied and productive and gaining experience in a professional environment.

During my second week of work, something came to my attention that was unexpected: I started feeling confident. Okay, so the word that I used at the time was sexy. This was a big deal, because I have very few memories of feeling sexy and confident. When I did my supervised practice in my masters degree, I suffered every mourning when I had to choose what I would wear. I had too many worries and forced myself into few options. Now I dress for work  with a free mentality and dress to feel good, not just to look professional. I look at myself in the mirror and see confidence.

The most important change that I noticed was that I stopped thinking about what others thought about me and started to think about feeling good and feeling free from my own restraint. At work I am seeing a manifestation of this change in me, and this is why I have been feeling confident at work.