Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Smell you later...

There's something about trying to find the time to sit down and write about all my adventures that is so daunting.  Same goes for the 600+ pictures I have from Europe.  Maybe these things will be weekend adventures.  And by adventures, I mean hopefully solace and much-needed alone time that is so scarce here.  I haven't had to live with a roommate for a very, very long time now.  But that is for another post.

Instead, I want to write about a metaphor that popped into my head last night, as I was drifting into sleep.  (I'm sure y'all know how that happens.  You find the meaning of life in the shower.  Or right before sleep.  Or when you're trying to focus on something else. etc.)

Anyway.  I have had "the opportunity" to undergo multiple transitions the past couple of years.  Technically, all of your life is constantly transitioning, right?  Right.  But, I have never had to meet, get to know intensely, collaborate with, and even on occasion live with SO many new people in such little time.  First, there was moving to BGSU and completely rebuilding my social networks.  Then, there was a supervisor change.  Then, there was going back to Taiwan (which... after a six year period of not seeing extended family members, you're essentially meeting new people).  And then, there was the Europe trip (That epic, unforgettable, amazing experience.... that I will some day write about.)  And now, here I am, in little Marymount College in Palos Verdes, California.

As many of you know, I am constantly introspecting (p.s. this is a great form of this word.).  I naturally reflect on myself, generally in how I interact with others.  Not surprising really.  There's this thing about my personality that I had been struggling with, ever since I'd gotten to BG.  I'm not trying to toot my own horn, but I would actually consider myself to be wacky, intelligent, fun, etc.  For you True Colors nerds, Orange is a CLOSE second to my top ranking Blue.  For those of you who are not True Colors experts, please see below for my best attempt at a crash course in explanation.  Anyway, as such, I tend to pal up with some pretty OUTRAGEOUSLY Orange people.  They also tend to find me to be a good companion because I get their crazy, but I won't upstage them ;).  But that's the thing.  I'm often, in turn, upstaged by them.  I never think that I hide anything about my personality, but generally, I'm not going to hit you with my full-frontal orange right when I meet you.  Because I care too much to get to know you and what kind of person you are (blue), and how much crazy you can really handle before I launch that sh*t at you.  Sometimes, it takes me longer to warm up than other times.  But still.  I have found myself passed over for different things and opportunities because I didn't stand out more than my truly Orange counterparts that really laid it all out there at the beginning.  I'm not bitter that my friends are rock stars.  Because they ARE beyond fabulous and deserve every opportunity.  But I was definitely struggling being okay with not being first string.
I have noticed.  If you give me long enough, I will come through for you.  In terms of work, friendship, creativity, problem-solving, etc.  And, typically, I am well-liked.  I am easy to get along with.  One of my Orange besties keeps comforting me with:  "I [Orange bestie] invoke a very strong reaction out of people.  Because I just throw all my crazy at you, you either LOVE me, or HATE me.  Or they love me and get sick of me because I'm overwhelming.  People don't tend to feel very luke-warm about me.  But you.  People like you.  There's not a single person that has an actively negative view of you [p.s. I am unsure of the validity of this statement].  And you even get people that really love you too.  And you're stable in both ranking and personality.  Isn't that better than extremes?"  At the time.  To be obstinate.  I said no.  But as I get more comfortable and mentally make note of my interactions with new people, I'm starting to appreciate it too.  (Disclaimer:  I hope that this passage does not make me sound  like a smarmy jerk because that's not what I'm going for, I promise.)

The metaphor that floated in my head has to do with perfume.  I want y'all to know, right now, that I actually know nothing about perfumes.  Except, "Ooh.  This smells pretty!" or "*gag* omg. why does this exist?"  I cannot pull out "citrus notes" or "floral flavors" etc.  I leave that to the experts.  and my sister.  So the only piece of information that I do know about perfume, is in fact from my sister (and some double checking on Wikipedia).  Perfumes are made out of typically 3 layers.  There is that strong, top layer, or "the first note".  This is what hits you upon first spray.  It's the theme that overwhelms your senses and what you're really considering when smelling the perfume in the store, and typically what you actually want to smell like.  There are also middle notes and base notes.  The base note is the scent that is the core of your perfume.  After hours of wear, this layer is the one that will continue to linger on your skin/ hair, after all the other scents have drifted away.  I think all my life, I have been striving to be the first note.  Seriously... how glamorous!  But in reality, I'm more of that base note.  And it's really more conducive to my preferences anyway.  I'd rather be the one that you want to keep for the long haul.  The thing that you still catch a whiff of at the end of the day that makes you smile a little.

So.  Okay then.  I am a base note.  And I am finally okay with it.

***True Colors uses four colors: Gold, Green, Blue, and Orange.  Each of these colors represent a certain subset of personality traits and preferences.  All people have some percentage of all of these colors and traits, though some are more extreme than others.  I'll describe some more extreme attributes.  Golds are known for their need/ desire to follow traditions and rules.  They can be occasionally overbearing, but really what people think of when they think of "the stereotypical leader".  Greens are the "intellectuals".  They are detail-oriented and focused on the process, rather than the outcome.  They are the types that care more about the theory than the practice, and are occasionally typecasted as "a little weird" or "in their own little world".  Not my words.  I got that straight out of a True Colors book.  Oranges are creative! and fun! and spontaneous! with lots of energy and initiative but--

... generally really terrible follow-through and disdain for detail.  Blues are your emotive, empathetic, sympathetic, feelings kind of people.  Super relational and considerate.

For reference, or if you're just curious, I have a very high/ extreme blue score.  My orange and green tend to be pretty close to my blue score and close together/ flip-flop depending if I'm playing/ working.  My gold is very low.  ... The more you know *theme song plays in the background*  (It is almost midnight here.  I'm a little loopy).

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