ENFP

Extroversion

Intuition

Feeling

Perception
I ended up paying for the official Meyer’s-Briggs personality test. I’ve always been a bit curious if there was a “handbook” that could help guide someone along down whatever path they are on in life. I found the results and personality descriptions to be almost creepy as to how accurate it was! 

E: Extroversion: I gain energy when I’m with people, but of the extroverts, I’m minimalist- so I still need time by myself to re-center and focus myself. 

N: Intuition: Rather than “sensing”, I prefer to use my intuition when learning or observing. I’m all about the whole picture, in lieu of getting caught up in smaller, minute details. This parlays into the next letter- 

F: Feeling: I prefer to “feel” than think- meaning my decisions take longer, and include considerations for the future, instead of making concrete decisions for the here and now. I also tend to include emotional considerations of not just myself, but others when I make decisions or changes in my life. This is even true when taking on a new job. I’ve always recognized my bell curve- I take time to take in and process, often including others’ perception of me while learning, but once I have my “aha!” moment, it’s all over, and I move upwards and onwards from there on out…. until I get bored.

P: Perception: The alternative to judgement. Judgemental people tend to be very decisive. They know what they want, when they want it, and how- and I sometimes perceive this to be careless or inconsiderate of others- but this only reinforces my tendency towards perception. I on the other hand keep options open and flexible- always looking to the “What If” scenarios. I try to look ahead and consider all outcomes, stepping out of the specific situation to look at the big picture first. I’ll consider how a decision or action could affect or be perceived by others, and after weighing all the options first, then and only then can I choose to go with the best option available. 
I find this whole personality test to be quite informative and educational, like I can look back at decisions I’ve made and interactions I’ve had, and have a little more insight into my inner workings. 
If you want the OFFICIAL MeyersBriggs personality test, be prepared to cough up $50. However, there’s also a free site that is still very accurate. I took them one after the other, and both sites pointed to the same result for me. For the free version, head over to 16 Personalities. For the official test, head over to MBTI Online.

16 personalities has a pretty cute results page I have to say- they have color-coded characters that represent each personality type, and they have a fairly detailed description of how you interact in different ways- at work, in relationships, friendships, and more. Definitely worth a quick look if you’re not sure a personality test is worth $50. 

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Capital One

In the last 2 years, I have been maintaining a secured credit card from Capital One. I have to say, the more I’ve used my card, the more pleasantly surprised I’ve been all-around with them as a company. Customer service is always really friendly. If I’m a few days past my grace period, I usually can have my late fees forgiven. And on top of everything else, their app is a DREAM. Talk about some innovative and highly-detailed developers- you get push notifications regarding account activity, and you get “second look” on transactions that have post-dated tips. I tend to be a heavier tipper having worked in hospitality, so it’s not uncommon for me to leave $10 on $30. Capital One will send a “second look” push notification just to make sure there wasn’t any funny business at the restaurant, which I think is a pretty cool feature! 

I actually had the unfortunate experience not too long ago with a pizza guy deciding to pencil in a $10 tip on a $15 order. This was with my debit card, and it took a few days to figure out that that’s what happened. After I started using my capital one card more and those second look notifications would roll in, I now have the preference to use a capital one card for transactions that involve delayed tips posting! 

I also really enjoy the simple fact that if I leave my card somewhere by mistake, I can just open the app, and turn on or off the card, preventing or allowing new activity.

In addition to all this, they’re fully-integrated with Apple Pay, so shopping online and at stores with tap to pay readers, making purchases is really easy. 

They also include their Credit Wise credit score tracking service for free. I used this to clear up a few old debts, and it was recommended I look into refinancing my car. I’m really glad I did! Capital One approved my refinance request, saving me $2500!

I feel really empowered and encouraged to get my financial health back up to par again, especially since Capital One is providing me with the tools I need to monitor my credit, and options on what I can do to get myself to the next level. 

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Sunny Sundays

If you haven’t realized or heard yet, I made the decision to start Unplugging from FaceBook and Google. Because of this, you won’t see any more posts or pictures from me, unless you are in one of my photo streams, or see them here on my site.

 

That being said, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on recent activities!

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Mark and I have had the chance to really build a nice friendship with Rick and Josh. They are simply lovely people- Rick’s a pilot, and Josh is actively involved with multiple non-profit groups and companies. They enjoy everything from kava at Grassroots, to RuPauls Drag Race, and easy days hanging out at the pool. We thoroughly enjoy their company, and are happy they seem to enjoy our’s as well 🙂

Today we had a really fun time hanging out at the pool at our apartment. Xavier was able to join us too, and once Mark was off work, we grilled up some burgers, and messed around on the mini golf green. A good time was had by all for sure!

In the pictures above you’ll see us all together for Tampa Pride, watching RuPaul’s Drag Race at Xavier’s house, and an afternoon spent with Cassidy.

Looking forward to taking full advantage of the pools this summer, and having friends over as much as possible!

 

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Unplugging from FaceBook and Google

Shopping. It’s a pretty simply concept: When you go to a store, you pick a product or service, you hand over money, and then you receive that product or service. But what happens when you don’t have to hand over money for a service or product? Does that mean the company isn’t making money?

The answer is quite simple. You ARE the product, and the company is selling you to other businesses.

That’s the business model companies like Google and FaceBook have adopted. In today’s world, every man, woman, child, and grandparent alike have a Facebook page. It’s convenient, right? You open the app, and immediately you have content that’s relevant to you- posts from people you know, people you kinda know, people you used to know, shared news stories, buzzfeed listicles, friend requests- the list goes on and on. And so you scroll. And scroll. Where do you stop? Actually, Facebook knows.

Facebook knows who you are, where you live, who you know. They know what posts you read vs skim vs skip. They know how quickly and how often you respond to messages, they know what ads you click on, they know what ads make you scroll a little slower.

With the advent of services like Facebook Messenger, they also know your physical location, where you shop, where you work, where you get gas- all of it.

When you hit that button that said ‘allow’ for location services, or permission for the app to run in the background, you said yes for Facebook to keep tabs on you at all times. They have data warehouses dedicated to storing and processing this information. They crunch numbers and provide stats and analytics to advertisers to help them better target… You. Where should Abercrombie open their next store? When is the best time of day to send you a spam email? What colors attract you most? What they can do with that data is both scary and impressive. It’s impressively scary. Scarily impressive.

I wanted out. I don’t like feeling like these companies have this big hold on me. I love my internet. I do, but I don’t want to be logged like that.

 

Let me tell you a bit about what it’s been like since I left social media.

  • I find my attention span is getting longer. There are plenty of studies that show the harmful effects of social media, and the constant need to be in front of a screen. I’ve found my stress and anxiety levels have gone down, and my attention span is going up the longer I’ve gone without social media
  • I’m more productive at work. With less stress and anxiety, and a higher attention span, I can concentrate more fully while at work. My boss is very pleased with what I’ve accomplished lately.
  • I’m more attentive to texts: With social media, alerts happen throughout the day, often for something unimportant, like someone asking for lives on Candy Crush. Without social media, my phone notifications are usually for something important now- a text, an email, or a photo stream alert. Texts go answered because I’m no longer bombarded with notifications that make me ‘tired’ of tapping away on my phone.
  • My inbox is manageable- I have time to read through what I’m being sent everyday- unsubscribe from junk, and actually review content I want
  • I read more news. I love the Apple News app- it keeps a bunch of news sources all together in a fairly user-friendly format. Instead of getting news secondhand from an opinionated connection on Facebook, I’m reading the articles myself.
  • I’m more ‘present’ when I’m with friends and family. So often social gatherings are watered down when people that are physically present are too busy being focused on what their other circles of friends are doing online. Without social networks to be worried about, I can get back to enjoying the moments more fully.

 

That last point is probably the best of them all. Now, i still share things, just not with social media. I have this site still of course. And there’s email and text. But my new favorite way to stay in touch, is Photo Streams. What a lovely feature Apple cranked out all those years ago! I can create shared, collaborative photo albums with people I choose to share with. If they have iPhones or other apple devices, they can view the pictures, videos, live photos, and slideshows, and comment on them, or even add their own photos from the memory. If people choose to turn around and upload those photos to their own networks, so be it, but the important thing is that I can share the snapshots I took with the people that are really relevant to it. I don’t have to worry about someone I shared photos with on a photo stream has some creepy cousin who’s going to see it and comment or start a political rant, because only the people actually invited to the photo stream can participate.

This decision to go social media-less mostly started when I learned about all the data harvesting Google does. Facebook knows a lot about all of their users, but Google wrote the rules of data harvesting, and they’ve been doing it for decades now. i went online to my google account, and was shocked by what I found- they have a timeline’d map that shows your exact location at all times. They know where you go, how you get there, where you park, where you walk to and from, down to the second, each and every day. This is in addition to them knowing what websites you visit, where you shop, who you are, and what’s in your emails.

All very scary.

 

So, for now, I’ve cut all ties with Google, Facebook, and other data-harvesters. What would be your biggest fears or concerns of leaving social media like Facebook? Shoot me a message or comment below what your thoughts are on this! I told a good buddy of mine about what I was doing and why, and has since cut off Facebook as well, so I’m curious to see different points of view on this.

 

 

 

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Consistently Living

I feel pretty strongly that there’s a lot of different ways your life can unfold in front of you. There’s a lot of things we can’t control, but our decisions on a day in and day out basis make up a solid chunk of the outcomes we achieve. Developing patterns, and creating consistencies is key to any success story- that’s how businesses like Walmart and McDonald’s are so successful. You know exactly why to expect every time you do business with them, good and bad. The bad doesn’t seem so bad because it’s expected, and the good isn’t uniquely celebration-worthy either, but you go because you can have an urge or craving and have it fulfilled without question.

The same applies to lifestyle choices- being healthy, staying active, doing well at work, making friends, keeping friends, relationships in general- no one is perfect, so no one expects you to be, but if you can creat your own personal flavor of consistency, then you can stamp out your own recognizable “brand” with everything you do. If you’re always late to your friends gatherings, then no ones feelings are hurt, you’re just “the late one”. If you always workout and post a lot of gym selfies, then that’s okay, because you’re the fit one, and that’s just what you do. At work, if you constantly gab and gossip, well, sure you’re an HR nightmare, but everyone always knows to look to you for the latest info. 

I’m trying really hard to improve my own consistencies. What’s really fun about this, is that I’m my own person, and can define what I think is consistent. I might not go to the gym every day, or every week, but if every couple of weeks I get “into” the gym and burn off some caloric buildup and build a little muscle here and there, then at least I’m consistently quasi-healthy. And I’m okay with that. The more I accept who I really am, and what my truths and facts are, the sooner I can get to acknowledging what I am and am not proud of, and make the adjustments needed to improve my level of pride with myself in the future. As long as I keep moving in the right direction, I don’t think it matters how long it takes. Life is a journey, and this one is mine, so I can take whatever shortcuts, scenic routes and pit-stops I want along the way.

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Reflections on Paris

A terrible and devastating series of events has unfolded in the world recently. It’s truly terrifying. Terrorist attacks started in Paris, and spread to several other global locations. There’s a lot of media coverage right now about Syrian refugees and various countries’ willingness to take them in, and there’s coverage about what it means to be Muslim and the difference between Islam and Muslims and terrorism. 

I don’t see why the US would ever turn away refugees from any country. We ARE the refugee camp for the world. When we were persecuted for our religion, we came to the US. When we were told whether or not we could keep our children, we came to the US. When we were told who we could and could not love, we came to the US. 

This country is founded on the principle that all people are created equally, and there is a pretty solid definition of what every human has a right to, in order to pursue their own dreams and happiness. No one should be given power of who can and cannot get in on that kind of freedom. 

Right now, Donald Trump is a republican presidential candidate, who is quick to talk about shutting off immigration, exporting illegal immigrants, and finding ways to make our boarders into walls. If anything, we should be finding ways to make the immigration process easier for all people, and looking at how we can expand our boarders,  instead of closing them off. Imagine that- a country that constantly fights for the good of all people, that makes room for more instead of kicking others out. 
Just a few random thoughts about today’s current events. 

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Adulting

There’s a certain beauty in being responsible. For the last 2 weeks or so, I’ve been pretty adult-like. I get up on time in the morning, put on presentable clothes, get to work with time to spare, I have my coffee, I check my emails, and I do my job. I get home, and I make myself some dinner, meal prep for breakfast and lunch for the next day, clean up the kitchen, take out the trash, watch a show or two, and I’m in bed at a reasonable hour.

I often incorporate a glass of wine as my own personal treat to top of the evening. The other night I even lit myself a few candles. But things have been going really well. Like, really, really well. Yeah money is tight. But hopefully not for too much longer. Yeah I am behind with rent, but I know I can get things caught up soon. I can sense the path in front of me has shifted. It’s no longer heading in an aimless direction. Instead, I feel purpose and meaning behind my actions. Im reaping the reward of putting in hard work and staying focused. I’m excited for what the near future holds, and giddy for what I can do for myself for the long haul. 

I think it’s time to call it quits with Cassidy. She’s an incredible person, but her carelessness and strong-willed opinions are a burden. I have to focus on myself right now, and I need someone who consciously makes an effort to be aware of what my needs are, and understands the importance of respecting my boundaries, even if they can’t empathize with me as to why. I don’t want things to be bitter, but I know that it might have to be. 
In the meantime, I feel truly positive and happy about my job, my management team, and the company I work for. I’m looking forward to making a lasting impression and making my mark at Verizon. Oh, and I love my iPhone 6S Plus 🙂 

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