Snowfish and Stardom

Connemara, our castle“If the INFP is a queen, then her home is her castle, her refuge and her domain.”

When I read this sentence years ago in my personality profile, I remember laughing about it with my boyfriend. Me, a homemaker? My culinary repertoire consisted of pasta and cookies, and the sight of a cleaning brush made me break out in a cold sweat. And yet now, five years later, like all terrible things, it seems to be coming true.

From looking at my humble, mismatched little apartment, you would never know it. I’m not a queen in a domestic-goddess sense. I’m more a queen in the medieval sense; I married into this position for life. I just happened to marry a TCK (third-culture king. Or was it kid?). Together we dreamed together of living in the far reaches of the world, and his vocation as an international school teacher made it possible.

In our first country, Thailand, many forces combined to relieve me of my royal domestic duties. Continue reading

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Find Your Sweet Spot

VeniceOn this day, two years ago, I was walking the streets of Venice, trying on carnival masks, riding gondolas, and feeding pigeons, when I came across a beautiful little stationary shop. A longtime collector of notebooks, I bought a handmade one bound in antique staff paper. Of course, such a specimen was too good for my run-of-the-mill journaling, and as such I deemed it my Book of Imagination. In it, I would write about my day as if everything I wished would happen actually had, transforming my humdrum life into a fantastic dream.

I wrote only three pages before giving up in the face of the great gap that was the disparity between my real and imagined life. So much for dreaming! Since then it has sat, abandoned in the corner gathering real-world dust.

The only reason I mention this, is that while my little Venetian notebook is somewhere over the Atlantic ocean right now, along with the rest of our household goods, I’ve started mentally writing in it again. This time, going out on an imaginary limb, I decided to imagine my perfect morning: waking refreshed after a full night’s rest to a room awash in sunlight; no need for an alarm because the day’s work, exciting and meaningful work, is calling, and I can hardly wait to get started.

Why this sudden far-fetched reverie? It turns out it may not be so impossible. Continue reading

An Introvert Takes the Floor

Can you guess which one is the extrovert?

Can you guess which one is the extrovert?

I stood in the crowded airport minimart at two in the afternoon, my face in a book to hide the tears. Between the goodbyes, the airplane fears, the luggage concerns and overall traveler stress, I really don’t understand why everyone looks so calm in airports. Then again I am rarely able to mask my own emotions, even when I think I am; something in my expression always gives me away!

On top of all of this leaving-home emotion, just as heartbreaking as that first goodbye seven years ago, was the devastating realization that I had forgotten my Kindle in my room. On it were the three books I was planning on reading, one for the plane, two for my week alone in Milan.

While irritating, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. On impulse I bought a book by Susan Cain called, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking” and for the next ten hours was entertained by Cain’s fascinating journey into the world of introversion and extroversion. Continue reading