At almost 33 I am realising I might be an introvert…

… I might be crazy or just getting older, but hear me out.

So I head a little  of a  find myself time in Thailand recently. Nah, jokes! It was a stag do and good fun with a couple of friends and there is a new energy inside me since then. I think my sleep schedule changed for the better, so I have had 3 days of getting to bed at 1am and getting up at 7:15am, so it’s a little less sleep but I feel fantastic and have one hour more of gaming or reading a book. Again maybe I am just getting old and can make do with less sleep.

Speaking of reading, I am currently reading ‘The Suitcase Entrepreneur‘ and it is a very interesting and fast read. Almost done now. I have learned a lot and will put some of it in practise. However one of the core draws of the lifestyle promoted in that book is the endless moving around and adventuring or flexibility thereof. I don’t like that. I like being in places and exploring them and stuff around it that I like and learn about things that interest me and those can be plentiful and are definitely different to Lonely Planet locations or their readers mindsets. Maybe it is the German in me or maybe I am too old for this. Haha!

Again, nothing against all this. I also don’t like ‘normal’, but I really want to be in a place and make it my place. I can’t be in multiple places at once. I don’t like standing desks either or living out of a suitcase, but having meaningful stuff and less stuff than others appeals to me to a great degree. Speaking of entrepreneurs, at some point, I have been one but way to young for that at age 20 for 2 years in sales. I have learned a plethora of things and I would do the same thing again, but it also drained me to no end and made me change my life almost completely on a path of endless learning and eventually moving to China.

At that time and way later and again about 4 years ago after again being in sales but then slowly transferring in more of training roles and administrative customer relationship management tools I was more comfortable but still in those sales time I did these personality test, you know them, if not, check it out, this one (16 personalities) is fast and fairly accurate and interesting. Guess what I was: The Entrepreneur aka ESTP and that is still close enough for me.

But, and this is kind of a big but, I feel drained after meeting with people. Especially drained if they are in close proximity to me (physically and geographically) or it is for example a kind of ‘forced’ networking event or something similar. In my time off, I like to read or think or watch stuff or game but in my comfort zone and most of the time on my terms and I can be super stubborn in that way. I need like a full day every week where I avoid meeting people at all. Then I feel re-energized and I did so after the Thailand trip. There is, of course a handful of people that understand me and I could have around 24/7 but that is the exception to the rule.

What made me write all this was something completely unrelated to psychology and this came up in the comment section of some article, that I can’t even remember but someone said something to the degree of: Introverts are ultimately drained by people, while extroverts get energy from being around others. Ultimately the are happy for long stretches by themselves.

Boom! I was thinking. This is happening, I need more time by myself and I feel better for it. Or maybe I am just old and have more responsibilities or more stuff to do on my own and time feels less efficiently spent with a group (or big group) of people. It’s not getting old though, as again, a handful of people seem to get me all the time and I want them around all the time or the time I feel like I need that. All babble, but I did that test again, with a slightly different result.

Knowing more about myself year by year, day by day, being in job that gives me the opportunity to grow and in a more relaxed state of mind and without much bending of my inner introvert at events or in sales (where I am actually great, but feel way more drained) – surprise – I am still a bit more of an extrovert it seems but it’s 50 something percent but now the result is: The Commander aka ENTJ

It’s one letter off and I am more judging than prospective. I judge people and I am a bit more of a planner/strategist and make quick assertive decisions as opposed to keeping a lot of options open. I rather life in a more confined environment and adapt quickly than endlessly waddling around and deciding on either and getting everyone’s option.

I was planning to go into a field like event planning or some sort of marketing role or PR with events and being there and approaching strangers and whatnot, but now, I think I will develop in a more interesting way (to me) without forced cold interactions that I at this time believed I enjoy but ultimately would stress me more than I would need.

To be fair, I feel the ENTJ result is a bit harsher to myself and I don’t like it as much as the ENTP, but I believe it reflects me more, my stubbornness and sometimes frustration with people. But I discovered I need these times alone and that sometimes I get drained around people.

Enough with my armchair psychologist self diagnosis. Try the test! It is fun and you might learn something about yourself or you might find a random article online and read the comments and you realise something new or old about you and you grow in your way.

 

 

Glass Hearts

Part of the plan that I made is to keep the Ohrwurms going and then write something from the heart mid-week’ish. What better way to start than to talk about something from the heart about hearts. A special kind of heart, a heart that is weak, a heart that rubs me the wrong way, because it’s cold – the glass heart.

I have written before that recently there is not really much that makes me angry or riles me up in a way to write a blog post about or constantly bothers me. There is something. Something that seems to have developed and grown over the last few years or so, it seems to me.

It’s the thin skin that a lot of people are walking around in. It’s the constant state of victimization that some people find themselves in. It’s the brittle glass heart that unfortunately doesn’t really pound, as this would show strength and life, no, it just makes a screeching sound whenever some resistance in life shows.

What I am trying to say is, that people seem too easily hurt, outraged and for the lack of a better phrase: are just weak.

I am not going to make this about China or me, just the state of the world that I am watching from my little window of existence. As I am typing this, on this H3H3 podcast they mention that SJWs (that is something that came into existence) find it ‘unethical’ to promote breastfeeding as it discriminates against woman that do not breastfeed. This is exactly what I am talking about!

This whole feeling that the world seems to be out to get you and the hubris that these people think the world revolves around them is absolutely baffling to me. The world doesn’t revolve around me or you. We are insignificant to the matters of the world for the most part. Try to be an example of how you would want to be treated and live by example. Somehow the outrage seems to be exemplified and somehow multiplies and changes the world recently. For the worse!

Currently I really dig the latest Body Count record, Body Count, a band that became ‘famous’ (in the mainstream) for the outrage over their song Cop Killer. In hindsight, even without having heard the song this sounds like a terrible message and without context it 100% is, but it is first and foremost just a song. You know who understood that? The kids at hardcore/metal/crossover concerts back then. In context it is about the completely unjust and horrible killing of a black kid where the prosecutors (they happen to have been cops) got away with it. But don’t listen to me giving my opinion on it, listen to the man that came up with the song.

Context matters. But it’s lost to glass hearted people. It’s sad to me and I am not even surprised anymore. Living in an international city sometimes this might seem a bit amplified, even though one would think, given the many nationalities and cultures represented would allow for a bit more acceptance and tolerance, that this is not the case. Context flies out their window. Sometimes it feels to me that the glass hearts forget they live in a different country.

I am forever grateful and proud that I grew up with very liberal friends, with a scene (talking about Punk, Metal and Hardcore here) that is insanely tolerant, open and friendly (for the most part) and that I made it mantra of mine and got it tattooed under my (thickish) skin that reminds me to be the change I wish to see in the world. And maybe just maybe, listening to music where a style of singing is pretty much shouting, made me more accepting for someone getting loud, let’s say in an argument or in a sports game, but again, the context matters, maybe they and I get loud because it is about the game or for the arguments sake and this is fine. Not personal, I don’t think of you less and neither should you. I wear my heart on my sleeve and it doesn’t take a genius to understand when people do that. It never did, it takes some common sense, context and the knowledge that you and me are not the center of the world.

Sometimes it takes a beating heart, some strength and doing the right thing in leading by example. Less whining. Get rid of the glass hearts – you are human. People went through way tougher times than you or me or us (if you are not living in a war torn country, of course – but somehow I feel the need to mention that. Let’s stay and get strong/er instead of devolving into overly sensitive glass hearts.

 

Ohrwurm of the week 23/2017

With the recent plans I made, I am bringing something back. The weekly Ohrwurm (literally ear worm meaning a song that is stuck in your head). So I am trying to do this every Monday and this might give you an idea of what kind of music I am into and maybe there is an interesting video there or you discover your new favourite song and/or band.

I am going to write a couple of thins and something like a short review of the band and what I think about them coupled with some facts. So here we go:

Fire From The Gods – The Voiceless

I have discovered this band roughly a year ago. The band is a rap metal/crossover formation from Texas. They evoke the spirit of Twelve Tribes (that I saw live) and a bit the Mike Terry Bury Your Dead times.

Not going to joke, when I discovered the above video, I replayed the song 10 times and I got super emotional. The warmth in AJ Channer’s voice is really something different and in times where singing parts can get annoying and/or are over produced there comes this dude with power, soul in the singing parts and no doubt he can pull that off live too. The lyrics are system critical and to the point. If you do like The Voiceless, check out the slightly different End Transmission with an equally amazing refrain, but the video has a bit of an odd, slow start and reminds me of some late Born of Osiris videos (with a far greater video opening though).

So If you, like me miss some of the fantastic singing that Howard Jones (don’t get me wrong, I love Jesse Leach just as much) showed with Killswitch Engage, here is his equal and a band that I am sure will come out with a lot of great stuff.

How I almost got beaten up by gangsters

Boy oh boy this was a day!

When a day starts at 7:10 (AM that is, if you are not using the superior 24 hour system, because it confuses people) with a pick hammer and knocks on what feels like the wall that you sleep next to, then it is not easy to make that a great day, not to say that it is impossible.

So I jumped out of bed got dressed, put some cold water in my face, smiled in the mirror (I do that daily, I am weird), then swishing some oil, all over the span of maybe 1 minutes with hammering going on (and pick hammering). Then I found the source (not that I have not done that before). 3 floors down, 2 dudes renovating an apartment for like 1 month so far, doing the majority of their work at around 7 on random weekdays and most favourably weekends, where they start a bit later, at like 8.

I knocked the door. Not really. Like maybe 2 times before I smash the door with my hammer fist as hard as I can. It`s one of those (new) doors that look like solid metal, but they are actually tin can thin aluminium (I assume) and a thick layer of styrofoam inside, so I am sure this has a dent know. The two times before the door was not properly hinged in, so I was able to just scream away.

This time the door got opened by 2 workers that looked like they have been up all night, they looked less awake then I got from them starting their work day at 7 not having had their morning routine, but who am I to know, they might have swished baijiu and then swallowed it. Possible.

So out came my wrath with the force of 2 death metal singers and years of training on stage. It is by the way a misconception that Chinese cannot be loud or super angry, like some comedians seem to assume, at least that is what I remember from a Comedy Open Mic Night the week before on Monday.

Selected outtakes:

ARE YOU SICK IN THE HEAD?, DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?, DO YOU KNOW THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE SLEEPING?, DID NO ONE ELSE EVER TELL YOU? OKAY, I CALL THE POLICE THEN.

You can tell I am HSK 88!

To my surprise another neighbour from below comes up the stairs and backs me up. Pleasantly I nodded his way, did that arm motion, one does before flipping someone off, but without the middle finger and just the hand swinging up (try it, it looks pretty cool) and strolling up to the apartment.

Cue to the rest of my morning routine, which is having a glass of water, two Chlorella tablets, a vitamin C tablet and a fish oil capsule. While doing this the two construction workers loudly discussed what could possibly make the neighbour and the foreigner so upset. (if you want to know more about people always renovating around you in China read the top comment in this reddit thread and have your mind blown)

Now you wonder where the gangsters are. Those were not the ones, this is just how the day started.

My morning routine then goes on to watching a youtube episode (this morning this one, that is a bit too harsh with the movie, especially as the swearing is fitting, the this dude somehow has issues with) while the water boils for some coconut powder, honey and turmeric. This should last until either a podcast or the youtube episode is done. Off from the sofa it then is and on to some weird yoga, push up, squat and stretching routine I have designed and then get the cat to not scratch the mat too much and brushing the teeth, cold water in the face again and kiss the two girls goodbye (cat and girlfriend that is) and on to work it is.

Then it is time to get my bicycle out of the pile of trash (from the renovation remember, that conveniently stays of days where people park bikes and scooters) and scooters and other rusty bikes it got trapped in. Headphones on and along the river while shouting at some suicidal drivers (on average maybe 2). The route is scenic and if the sun is out and the sky is blue it is amazing, it most of the time is, the shouting is really just me helping these people to maybe get one shock (or mild surprise) so they learn to hopefully not kill themselves in traffic.

Work is in an odd building. It`s on the river and has 22 floors. Most of it seems empty or under construction, but there is a LensCrafters there and some sort of tax bureau. Also: gangsters. Not the tax bureau, but the gangsters still have to wait.

The building`s elevators and floors are labelled 1 to 15 and then 16, 16 and a random letter, 17 and a random letter and of course 18 then 18 O. We work in the top floor. This odd naming somehow originates in a law that existed before that allowed buildings in that are to not have  more than 18 floors. Clearly they outsmarted the system!

So, a couple of months back, these gangsters moved into one or two of the offices on our floor. They are tatted up, they have beer bellies, usually black shirts, massive gold chains, short hair and they smoke a lot. Office time for them is usually watching something on their phone for maybe 1 hour a day sitting at a massive oak table, alone, while the fourth of formerly five fish in their aquarium stays afloat belly up. I ran into them a couple of times in a day usually they are smoking at the urinal or on the toilet passing the no smoking sign on the way to the toilet.

Sometimes you catch an elevator with them, while maybe one of them smokes in there with you. Today I was about to head home waiting with my bicycle in front of the elevator door.

The elevator reaches the top floor and before I can push in, the best looking gangster (no belly, a black button down shirt, showing the yakuza style breast piece he has and the gold chain), typing/playing on his phone pushes my front wheel out of the way and gets into the elevator first. I acknowledge this with a look of disapproval and a shaking head movement. His gangster friends join us in the elevator and the door closes.

In Shanghainese they discuss what a hubris ridden asshole foreigner that is, too poor for a black Audi, I might be and how they could take me out. Maybe next time. I chat to my colleague. Then a stare down happens, I look the handsome gangster deep in the eyes not saying a thing. Hours pass, I feel like fighting that battle in Hero with Donnie Yen) actually it’s just seconds, I lose the battle, I look up and above the elevator buttons, there is not much to see there, so the back of my head hits the wall of the elevator.

The doors open and everyone leaves the elevator. The gangsters walk slowly. I overtake 3 of them. Outside the good looking gangster smokes, opening the door to his black Bentley that he conveniently parked in front of the stairs instead of the parking garage. I carry my bike through the small spot between said car and a black Audi to head home.

This is the story of me almost getting beaten up by gangsters…

I haven`t blogged in a good long time and I got a marvellous keyboard that I yesterday learned to type on properly and typed this article out. There is a plan for this blog and no plan is real before put into action and this is the firs step, so there is more to come, more structure and more articles. I thoroughly hope you enjoyed this piece. At least I feel a relieved and relaxed after typing this out and maybe next time I try to break the intense state and maybe make a joke or present some oddball humour to the situation instead of the mental fight I had. So here is a great video from the amazing Charisma on Command guy on the mesmerising Tony Robbins (who fascinated me with two great books and an interesting Netflix documentary). I leave you with that and hopefully not with depression: