Novel Aspirations: My Greatest Dream in Life

Those of you reading this who are writers will know what I mean when I say that I am having one of those days when I want to write about so many things but my mind can’t seem to slow down long enough to settle on any of them.  I love nursing, I really do, but my greatest career aspiration is to be a writer.  I don’t even really think of writing as a career because writing a novel has always been my greatest dream, going all the way back to childhood.  I’ve always been fascinated with books and stories and the older I get the more my love for reading (and writing) grows.  I want desperately to write the kind of novel that really makes people think, that makes readers really examine their own lives and beliefs.  But I have no idea where to start, and at twenty-four (almost twenty-five) years old, I figure I haven’t experienced enough of life to be able to write such a thing anyway.  There’s a part of my brain that tells me I’m crazy for thinking I could ever influence people with my words, whether written or spoken.  I try not to listen to that voice but there are days, like today, when that voice is louder than the other voices in my head.  I’m not schizophrenic or anything but we all have voices in our heads, you know the positive ones that say “You can do it,” usually followed quite swiftly by the negative ones that say “You’re crazy for dreaming such things.”

writing a book

I was talking to a dear friend of mine recently about the struggle we all face to feel normal in a world that sometimes seems to do nothing but scream “You’re weird!” every time you walk out the door.  Her response was “No one ever changed the world by being normal.”  I love that so much and I fully believe it’s true.  I used to think I couldn’t be happy in life if I didn’t become famous somehow.  Now I realize how foolish that was, but there is still a part of me that feels like I won’t be fully satisfied with my life if I don’t really make a difference in this world (the poem I wrote that is the title of this blog was about this exact struggle; see my post “Inspiration Behind the Blog”).  I’m old enough now to realize that you don’t have to be the next Mother Teresa or Gandhi to make a positive difference in the world; actually we can all do that just by being good decent people every day that we live.  By reaching out to those in need, by showing mercy when it would be easier not to, by baring our souls about the struggles we all face so that our friends and acquaintances realize that deep down we’re really all the same.  And yet I keep coming back to writing.  As much as I love nursing and realize that my career offers me a multitude of opportunities to help others every day (or night) that I work, I can’t help but feel that no matter what I accomplish as a nurse, or even as a mom someday, I’ll still want more.  I still want to write a book.  I still feel like that’s the best way in which I can touch this world.

At the rate I’m going now, I don’t know if my book will ever happen.  At this point in my life I’m still much too worried about what others would think about some of the things I want to write.  I know I have to move past such trivialities if I want to ever write something truly great, but that isn’t going to happen overnight.  I also realize that even if I do actually write a novel, it might never get published.  And even if it did get published, that’s no guarantee anyone would actually read it.  But I still feel like I have to try, because as I told a friend yesterday, I write principally for myself, to bring peace to my own soul.  Of course if my writing can somehow inspire others, then that is a wonderful bonus.

I have no idea where I’m going with this post but I just knew that I wouldn’t get anything accomplished today and most importantly I wouldn’t be at peace with myself until I wrote about something.  Even if it was something as ironic as writing about writing, as the case may be.  In any case, I like to think that this blog is a small step in the right direction toward accomplishing my dream.

For those of you reading who would like to share what your greatest dream(s) is in life, I’d love to hear from you.

The “Aha!” Moment: I Finally Understand Myself!

Today a friend of mine from nursing school posted a link to a personality test on her Facebook. I’ve always been intrigued by personality tests, though quite often they seem to be mostly crock. However, this one appeared pretty legitimate (it’s quite famous actually; I had just never taken it before) so I decided to take the test. The resulting description inspired quite an “Aha!” moment for me. Never has a personality test described me so accurately as this one! I want to share this because I really feel like reading this is helping me to understand myself & to focus on the positive aspects of my personality, & I believe it could do the same for you! Here’s part of the description for my personality type,INFJ (introverted, intuitive, feeling, judging):

“Even though their presence can be described as very quiet, INFJ personalities usually have many strong opinions, especially when it comes to issues they

consider really important in life. If an INFJ is fighting or something, this is because they believe in the idea itself, not because of some selfish reasons.

INFJ personalities are drawn towards helping those in need – they may rush to the place of a major disaster, participate in rescue efforts, do charity work etc. INFJs see this as their duty and their purpose in life – people with this personality type firmly believe that nothing else would help the world as much as getting rid of all the tyrants. Karma and similar concepts are very attractive to INFJs.

These tendencies are also strengthened by the fact that INFJ personalities have a unique combination of idealism and decisiveness – this means that their creativity and imagination can be directed towards a specific goal. Few other personality types have this trait and this is one of the most important reasons why many INFJs are able to eventually realize their dreams and make a lasting positive impact.

INFJs are masters of written communication, with a distinctively smooth and warm language. In addition, the sensitivity of INFJs allows them to connect to others quite easily. Their easy and pleasant communication can often mislead bystanders, who might think that the INFJ is actually an extrovert.”

See for the full description.

Anyone who knows me reasonably well will probably agree that this is a pretty darn accurate description of me. I am often described as quiet (see my last blog post about being “too nice” to like rock music) & yet I do have many strong opinions, though I like to think I’m flexible & capable of seeing other points of view as well. (I always want to laugh when people call me quiet because I think “If they only knew all the things I’m thinking in my head!”) Despite being somewhat “quiet” I don’t mind voicing my opinions & I don’t shy away from leadership positions. In fact I often volunteer for them, not because I like telling people what to do but because I love having the power & ability to make a positive difference. This leads right into the next part of the description about helping others. Obviously I do love helping others or I wouldn’t have chosen to become a nurse. And as the description states, I do strongly believe the world would be a better place if we got rid of tyrants. (I have strong opinions on freedom & individual liberty as some of you may know, but that’s a blog post for another day.)

My favorite component of this INFJ description is the part about the unique combination of decisiveness & idealism that makes this personality type capable of fulfilling their dreams & making a “lasting positive impact.” Ever since I was a child I’ve always dreamed of making a difference in the world. When I was a kid I thought I would be a failure in life if I didn’t become famous someday. Now I realize of course that was a silly way to think, & I actually cringe at the thought of being a celebrity. But I still want to make a difference in the world, even if it’s just the small sphere that I inhabit for whatever time I’m allotted on this Earth.

INFJ’s are also talented writers which I like to think I am. At the very least I certainly enjoy writing which is one of the majors reasons I started this blog!

Lastly, I do think I connect & empathize easily with others, which probably explains why I scored so high on the F (feeling) part of the test. I like to think this is part of what makes me a good nurse, both for my patients & their families as well as for my coworkers.

I hope I don’t sound arrogant or self-centered in writing this post. As I explained earlier, this test has really helped me to understand myself. I’ve always felt like I’m a little strange or “off” which probably is true considering this personality type is considered to be quite rare. I have also struggled throughout my life with being very detail-oriented, focused, & perfectionistic which has its benefits but can also be very tiring. There have been so many times in my life when I’ve thought I would give almost anything to just be a more relaxed, “happy-go-lucky” person. However, reading something like this that focuses on the positive aspects of my personality really encourages me. When I read this I thought “There really ARE other people out there like me!” And if you look at the bottom of the web-page it lists famous people who are thought to be INFJ’s. I was quite gratified to see several of my heroes in life listed: Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr, & Nelson Mandela. Not bad company if I do say so myself!

I am sharing all of this because I truly believe this test can be beneficial in helping us to understand ourselves as well as others we interact with, whether it be at home or work or elsewhere. I seriously think this might be a good test for couples to take prior to getting married or moving in together. Not because I think there are certain personality types that are necessarily compatible or not compatible (though perhaps there are; some research on that would be fascinating), but because I believe it could be very beneficial in helping couples to understand each other better. (Definitely going to try to convince my husband to take this test. I am very curious to see his result.) One of my strong opinions about life is that self analysis is extremely important because the more self-aware you are, the more empathetic you can be to others. And more empathy in humanity can only lead to a better world for all of us.

You can take the test for free here:

I’d love to know your results so feel free to post them as a comment along with whether you feel the result is accurate or not.