I have been writing this post in my head for a very long time. I have this idea in my head on how I want it to be but my words have never quite come together the way I want. I found this picture recently and it spoke to me, I knew it was meant for this post. I also knew it was time to just start writing, let it come out however it chooses to.
This is what it feels like to be an idealist, an INFP, for me at least. I am writing this in my “I” voice, not speaking for all idealists/INFPs, just me. The world at times, often times, feels magic. The wind in the trees, the way it makes the leaves move, the noise it makes.. Magic. Old trees that have lived much longer than myself, they have seen the world change around them but there they stand strong and true.. Magic. Human connection, one soul finding itself in another.. Magic.
When I was a child I was all imagination. I played in the trees but they were not trees, they were castles. I pretended my backyard was a wilderness filled with gentle wild animals who wanted nothing more but to be my friend, I laid out carrots waiting for rabbits that would never come. I lived a life of joy and fulfillment playing in a world I created in my mind and my heart. I understand now that part of this was out of necessity. Idealism, imagination, rose colored glasses, being inside my own little world.. It was a way to feel safe when my environment did not. It gave me somewhere to go when I could not be where I was. Idealism is part of what helped me survive.
I have never grown out of my idealism. It allows me to see the best in bad situations, it allows me to find hope when all feels lost, it allows me to find compassion for those who would hurt me, it allows me to feel safe when the world feels scary.
I know there is a balance to be struck, especially as an adult, but ultimately at the end of the day I am still very much an idealist. Some may see this approach to life through a negative lens. My response to that would be before you jump to criticism and judgement think about what this world view might mean to the person. We do not become who we are arbitrarily. I am willing to bet that I am not the only survivor of trauma that has used my sense of idealism as a tool for resiliency. It is absolutely a strength, it helped me survive. I went through what I went through and never stopped believing in the world, and life, and magic, and beauty. That is strength. That is resiliency.
Because the world is going to be what it is going to be regardless of me so why not try to see the best whenever possible, it is there, keep looking.
Because The world is full of beautiful magic and I can’t ignore it. I cannot help but be in awe everyday I get to be part of it.
Because there is no right or wrong way to experience life and this is my way.
My husband is a realist, we balance each other, I lift him up, he keeps me tethered to the ground so I do not float away. I admire his perspective and respect what it means to him. I can also be a bit of a cynic at times because I am allowed to exist in more than one way in my life and sometimes social justice issues are too big and awful to see through my rose colored glasses. That is okay too. I embrace it all.
You don’t have to be all one thing all the time. You can exist in your life in many different ways. Life is not as rigid as we are told it is growing up. It is flexible and forgiving, we make it complicated with our ideas about right/wrong/good/bad and other forms of dichotomous thinking.
So where do you land in all of this? Idealist? Realist? Optimist? Cynic? Anarchist? And why? You are not who you are by accident. What got you there? There is no wrong answer and your story, whatever it maybe, is sacred.