Those of you who know me know I love me some Myers Briggs. I’m pretty hardcore INFP. This means I’m an introverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiver (with some J coping strategies to give me the illusion of control). Another way of describing me is the mediator. I can listen with empathy and make folks feel better. I handle difficult situations gracefully and graciously.
More often than not, this is all good. Better than, even. The problem is that, paired with my unique flavor of childhood “stuff,” it means I keep my feelings pretty neat and tidy. Doing so isn’t just comfortable, it makes me feel safe. My therapist gave me this great analogy of a wavelength. Mine is pretty compact. I’m an even keel kind of girl.
But if you’re operating in this small space, trying to avoid the lows, you also miss out on the highs. Not good for a woman who’s trying to live big and be expansive and write emotionally complex characters. Or not eat her feelings on a regular basis.
Cue the bestie. My best friend Crystal is all about the big feelings. BIG. So big it’s a little scary for a girl like me at times.
But she’s also loving and kind and insightful and gives me space to dabble in the big and bold and scary. She gives me the tools and the words and a safe place to say things I can’t say to anyone else. Even more, she pokes at me when I try to gloss over everything. When I try to be gracious.
Girlfriend calls bullshit until I own my feelings.
It’s terrifying. Sometimes I want to throw up. But she hasn’t given up on me. And, really, we’re kind of yin and yang. Having all the big feelings isn’t easy or convenient often. Comparing notes, I like to think, is good for both of us.
Last night was one of those nights. We wrestled with big ideas and big feelings, some specific to our relationship and some about life in general. We both cried. I’m pretty sure we both felt better for hashing it out. And I am profoundly grateful to have her in my life.
So this morning, I raise my latte to her and commit to expanding my wavelengths. Let’s be big and bold and sweeping. Let’s take up more space and be fierce and, if not fearless, fierce in the face of fear.
Cheers to feelings, y’all. And cheers to the besties we didn’t know we needed, given to us by the universe like some kind of cosmic gift.