I’m not that close to very many people. I think this may be part of my problem and I’m working on it. I need to work on me. I’ve let so many other things and people become my center that I seem to have lost my own gravity and sense of worth and purpose.
Evelyn came home from school the other day with a “bucket” made from a paper bag, inside were small scraps of paper. It was an exercise in kindness, respect, and friendship. You would say something nice to someone and put a piece of paper in their bucket. Say something hurtful and a piece was removed. The idea is you are supposed to always try hard to fill up other people’s buckets. If we do that, all our buckets will be full.
The problem is I’ve put a lid on my bucket. I gave everything inside away and I haven’t let others close enough to refill it. They can’t even see that it’s drained, because I won’t let them. On the outside the bucket looks perfect and full.
I was recently reminded of the 16 personality types. I had taken the test a long time ago and never gave it much thought, but I took it again. I got the same type, INFJ. It rings true with everything I am. The counselor and protector. The innate feeling of loneliness. Being able to see through the walls people have put up around their feelings.
I know how those around me are feeling even when they don’t. And I take on and internalize all of this. Your feelings are now my own, good or bad. You tell me about your breakup and I now feel lost and sad. I read a story of a small life lost too soon and I will hold that devastation for days. You are elated with news of getting a new job or planning a vacation and I am as excited as you are. I go over conversations I’ve had or texts and emails I’ve sent again and again afraid I said the wrong thing. I love and need to be a support for others but I constantly take in and never let out my own feelings. All this has exhausted me. Time to refill my bucket.
So I write to recharge. I rarely speak words that melt like butter, smooth and perfect. It takes me too long to form responses and if I don’t take the time to calculate my words, I can get flustered and stumble over them as they clunk out of my mouth in incomplete thoughts. Lately even the words in my head seem jumbled and scattered but I’m going to keep trying. Keep writing. Hopefully clarity will return and I will feel more like me.