With the exception of discovering a beautiful new place, nothing invigorates me more than an authentic conversation. A sincere real heart-to-heart, even one in which (my) vulnerabilites are exposed!
I went out on Friday night. My friend and resident M had a birthday dinner at Outback Steakhouse. On a budget, I rarely dine out, so I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I wore that Baroque top for the first time. The Blood Orange 'Rita has been on Outback's menu for years now, but I haven't tried it before because I don't often splurge or might not order it when treated. I finally ordered it last night and it was delicious. In fact, I had to force myself not to down it in like three gulps! Simply delicious. As was their bread, tangy tomato salad dressing, steak, baked potato and Chocolate Thunder from Down Under (which is basically a brownie a la mode). It was a fun night for M who happened to suffer from his second traumatic brain injury over six months ago. He's been living at a rehabilitation center far away. I was thrilled to see him enjoy his evening (22 oz. steak with lobster included) and be surrounded by six good friends (and a plethora of thoughtful Grateful Dead gifts), so close that they're like family. M even calls one of them Aunt J.
This "Aunt J" is like family to me as well. I laughingly think that J's like the Jewish grandmother I've never had. She's like me in many ways. I am so lucky to have a wonderful friend like her. On the blog, you'll know her as the author of my Christmas poems. While she drove me back home, the conversation eventually turned to me and my plans for a new life, specifically my need to move to a city. She is kind of pushy, in the best possible way, and wants a better life for me, namely one where I can dine out once a week and savor a vacation once a year. All of which is possible with a better-paying job. She wants me to experience and live life. With the exception of my birthday shopping spree, I am living as minimally as possible in order to save money to move and establish emergency savings. This is valid and important. Frustratingly, this step takes time. Anyway, to be close enough to someone to theorize reasons why I am not very ambitious in terms of my career is something. I am such a private individual. J sees such potential in me, more than I see in myself, which is a bit shocking as I am a constant dreamer of possibilities and like to accomplish what I have planned. This is simply the most recent of so many heart-to-hearts we have had. After each intimate conversation, it almost takes me a bit of time to calm down. A close connection shared is invigorating because authenticity is such a deeply held value of mine. INFJs like me often tend to be incredibly close to one person or a select few. Sadly, I do not currently have this is my hometown of mine. Maybe after I move away and meet new people, I will develop these deep relationships I crave in a romantic interest or new local best friend ...or both. You know (from my previous post) that I'm reading Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin, a new book on habits and I so wish I could excitedly share my thoughts with E, read him passages from it. I believe he might be a Questioner to my Upholder tendency (regarding handling internal and external expectations). For the first time with a guy, I became increasingly aware of how I was unintentionally holding back my real self (that is, my complex inner world) from E (to be "cool") and tried to reveal more with this man I loved. Anyway, it was nice to have let my guard down with J, who I think is likely a fellow Upholder. This deep discussion will serve me in my actual life, at least in motivation and support. I think I will take her up on her offer and meet her to work on my résumé as well as research job or even career possibilities.