Things I've Learned Today (about myself and others...but mostly about myself)

1. Seminary succeeded in (temporarily? permanently?) changing my personality. Whereas I used to be an INFP in early college and an INFJ at the time I began seminary, now, after three years of seminary education, I have further progresed to being an ISFJ. I don't really mind, even though I do wonder about whether I liked my older personalities better than my current one, or whether I've lost anything of myself in the process. (By the way, if you have no idea what I'm talking about, go here. It will explain things.)

2. When there's free cake, the mark of a truly nice person is his making absolutely sure that you get a piece before it's all gone.

3. I know nothing about the history of the Middle East over the past 50 years. Not that I really know anything earlier than that either, but especially the recent history. This has been brought to my attention in my reading of Reading Lolita in Tehran. It's a beautiful book so far, and it completely caters to my former English major self. But it is humbling to have to read and reread passages where Azar Nafisi quickly rehashes pieces of her experience and her country's history, passages where natives (and people more educated on these issues that I am) would immediately relate and where I find myself confused and not feeling so intelligent.

4. When I'm efficient and productive, I irrationally expect the entirety of the world around me to also then be efficient and productive. The thing is...I'm usually not either of these things, and so I don't really have the right to expect them from others. I think that I just feel energized and inspired when I accomplish what I need to accomplish, and it makes me want everyone to contribute to that feeling. Besides, I'm impatient.

5. If joy is going to shine through a person or situation, there's nothing you can do to stop it or to pretend that it's not there. And joy is contagious. A patient today said that I spread joy to the floor. I tried to play it off, especially because I don't necessarily feel joyful (or at least I don't think I feel joyful or even happy) most days that I'm hanging around the hospital. This particular patient exudes joy and the love of God, so on some level I think that I am inspired by that and reflect her own joy back to her. But maybe I also have to realize that I can exhibit joy to others even when I can't exhibit it to myself. Even if I'm feeling sad or if I'm having a bad day, joy can be present. Joy isn' t an emotion. It's a state of being. And I think that it is the state of being for a child of God. It can be veiled or hard to feel within, but others will let you know when it's there.

6. I ramble when I try to come up with lists of things that I've learned!

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