The metaphorical you
Is who I’m writing to

Both the collective you
And the individual you

Trying to reach the real you
The unseen you

But am I just writing to
The nonexistent you?


Children By the Dozen

1 and 2: Gentil INFJ and Jolie ENFP

I first got along well enough with the INFJ mère that she asked for my help with her children as well.  She said that Gentil INFJ would probably not talk much during our first meeting, but when I updated her after that he had talked most of the time, her eyes went wide.  She’s commented over time that I’m “very good” at teaching and that I’m a natural with children.

Gentil INFJ, the eldest and a teenager, is diligent and socially skilled.  He’s an ease to talk to.  He’s grown up so much over the past couple of years, both physically and otherwise.  Once, early on, he confided in me that he had une petite amie, to which I understood that it was not something for me to share with his INFJ mère.

Jolie ENFP, the middle child and a pre-teen, has had a little more difficult time adjusting, surprisingly.  She’d be teary-eyed from time to time, affected by her social climate.  And I’d try to cheer her up, always at a loss of what to do.  She once shared that there were “bad people” in her class who ostracised un garçon parce que he had la peau noire — because his “skin’s black”.  And so she’s befriended him; how very sweet and sensitive of her.  She also loves to dance and is always keen on showing me the new dance routines she learns.  She’s a fellow animal lover as well who chose to stop eating meat because of ethical reasons and her love for animals.

They — together with the INTP père and little ISFP — will be heading back to their home country soon.  To my surprise, INFJ mère gave me a parting gift with teary eyes, “pour toi avec toute notre amitié”, stressing that it’s not an ‘au revoir’ but an ‘a bientôt’Jolie ENFP wrote me a letter, and Gentil INFJ hung around at the end, which I realised after that he might have wanted to say his goodbyes or something, but I’m always awkward with and unaware of these sort of things.

3, 4, and 5: Kawaii et Mignon INFJ, ENTP, and INFP

Almost a mirror image to la famille française, I first got along well with the INFJ okasan, then she asked for my help with her children as well.  She’s commented that her children enjoy spending time with me so much and that they get so excited.

Kawaii et Mignonne INFJ, the eldest, is very responsible and mature.  It was difficult for us to communicate at first without the help of translations, technological or humanly.  But it’s since gotten easier and she’s able to understand as well as express herself much more fluently.

Kawaii et Mignonne ENTP, the middle child, is fun-loving and loves the attention.  She picks up languages quickly and easily, as extroverts tend to do, especially ENxx’s.  A very easy-going child.

Kawaii et Mignon INFP, the youngest and still in kindergarten, is so sweet and precious.  He’s reserved and incredibly smart, sometimes coming over to explain things from the (his sisters’) textbooks to his older sisters.  Although he’s comfortable and talkative with me, his INFJ okasan shared with me about how he stays almost silent in school and sometimes comes back home crying.  That isn’t a good sign for an INFP.  We discussed about how her children are doing at their current school, how she feels about it (she thinks it’s too pedantic and strict), her worries.  She and her ENTP mari are discussing about changing schools, which might be the best choice for the children.

On a separate note, I find it amusing and puzzling during the times when I was invited over for dinner with the family and when I stay for a drink and chat that the children fight over where their allocated seats are at the table because they all want to sit beside me.  Pourquoi??  Nande~??

6 and 7: 귀여운 ENTP and 아이

귀여운 ENTP, a very soon-to-be teenager (just days away), is highly intelligent and surprisingly conscientious.  We’re able to talk as though there’s no age gap between us, probably also due to her strong verbal skills.  We’ve been discussing literature recently, and the exchanges are amazing and filled with enthusiasm.

Little귀여운아이, still in kindergarten and a possible NT, is a very quick learner, just like her ENTP 언니.  It was difficult for her to adjust to living in a new environment at first and she would frequently throw tantrums, feeling frustrated at her inability to express herself nor comprehend was what being said to or around her.  Now, a year later, she speaks fluently and naturally and we’re able to converse fluidly.

Their INFJ 어머니 is pleased with their progress and has been inviting me to stay for meals with the family as a way of showing gratitude, I guess.  She was almost in tears once when we talked about how far they’ve come and she thanked me for my help.  Recently, I declined her invitation to stay for dinner, and then thoughts about whether I’m making it worse for myself filled my mind later.  So the next time she invited me to stay for a meal with the family, I accepted and it was great.  I stayed for a couple of hours conversing continuously with her children.  I think it pleases her to see how well I get along with her children.

8 and 9: 可愛い INFJ and ENTP

可愛い INFJ seems to be taking the relocation the hardest.  His INFJ お母さん says that seeing me is one thing he looks forward to, and that he feels comfortable with me.  He’s reserved and has a much steeper hill to climb due to his age.  We get along though and I try to encourage him to express himself even though it takes him longer because of language difficulties.  He’s gradually been displaying more and more tics, which worries me.  It’s reminiscent of how I was as a child, at about his age.  I can see how anxiety will likely play a role in his life and in his future as an adult.  I just hope it’s not at an escalated level, but a manageable/minute one.

可愛いENTP takes after her ENTP お父さん and is easy-going and adaptable.  She’s picking up the language quickly and easily, unlike her INFJ brother.  She’s easy to converse with and a fun to be with.

10, 11, and 12: Bella INFJ, ENFP, and Little Bella

I first started with the ESTJ mother, then she brought her children on board, and then her husband came on board as well.  So it’s one whole famiglia.

Bella INFJ, the eldest and a teenager, is most like me, as her ESTJ mother commented.  We have similar interests and have extensively discussed The Hunger Games with each other.  I told her that she’s like Gale, to which she’s adamant that she’s not since she finds him annoying, selfish, and self-centered.  We both laughed in amusement at that.  She’s mentioned to me that I’m extremely calm, which is intriguing, albeit not surprising.  And recently, she showed me a music video she created with her classmate for a school project on protesting against racism — it looked so professionally done, but what amazed me were the lyrics they wrote; it was such poetry!  I’ve since been showing it to almost everyone I meet like a proud, happy, and excited mother goose.  Her ESTJ mother was very pleased with my reaction when I tried to convey to her how well-written the lyrics were.

Bella ENFP, the middle child, is very sweet and is a fellow animal lover too.  She doesn’t enjoy reading, which worries her ESTJ mother so, but I think it’s more so due to the fact that she hasn’t found what she likes yet, which I relate to as that’s how I was as a child as well.

Little Bella, a possible ESTP, loves hands-on activities and creating things.  She’s very cute and generous with her hugs.  She always makes a sad face and goes “aww” when it’s time for me to leave and always asks if I could be back again the next day.


After writing this, I notice just how many iNtuitives I’m surrounded with.

Where Have All the Hours Gone?

Rejection hits me really hard.  I crumple and never seem to get up from the ground, just falling down deeper and deeper into the soil.  Whether real or perceived, it all feels real to me anyway, and knocks me down just as hard.  Maybe it’s all just in my head, maybe I’m just driving myself insane, but questioning whether they’re real or not matters little when it all feels so real and intense to me.  I’m making myself go crazy; I seem to be crazier than others.  And I’m aware how irrational and dysfunctional all this sounds.

I seem capable of making connections, both online and in person, but they never last.  Where have all those hours of conversations gone?  They just vanish into thin air, as though they never happened and were just a figment of our imaginations.  How could they all become so meaningless after all that, at the drop of hat?  Is there something wrong with me?  Is it just me?

Outer appearances can be deceiving.  It’s the internal turmoil that eats one up.  The final leap would come as a surprise.  They think she has it all together: prestigious-sounding work, confidence/arrogance, intelligence, a pretty face.  There’d be no explanation; it’d come across as a sudden execution.  “Was it really that bad for her?  How bad could it have been?”  they’d question.  They have little to no idea.

Puns and wordplay: I never knew I had a way with them until recently.  I’d always thought it was something that comedians and certain others were skilled at, but not I.  The capability comes when I’m online, hidden behind a screen and a keyboard.  I don’t think I’d be able to do so in person.

Song: Where Have All the Flowers Gone

Fragmented Shards

It always saddens me greatly
Whenever a connection is lost,
When it fades,
When it withers away,
When it ceases to exist,
When we drift to strangers.
It’s all so terribly sad and painful;
They pierce me like shards.
I don’t think I can handle much more of it.
I’m not going to last for long.

The emotions
Are overwhelming and intense.
I guess that’s what tertiary Fi is.
Work keeps me going —
The bit of work I have.
When the students leave,
I will too.
There’d be nothing left then.

“You cannot go,” little bella says
With arms and legs outstretched,
Forming an X across the doorway.
She doesn’t know
The gravity of her words.
Not yet…
Not yet…
I cannot go just yet.

Bulletin: New Dumping Ground Unveiled!

Come on, one and all!
This is the brand new dumping ground!
Unwanted possessions to discard?
Fret not!  This is the dumping ground!

So come on, one and all!
Take a ride on this merry-go-round!
Not a penny to be spent
Because this is the dumping ground!

Come, come!  It’s free for all!
For what worth has a dumping ground?
Throw undesired feelings in the mess
And you might find a Sterling or pound!

Come on down, big or small!
Not a minute to waste, not a frown found!
Empty all your sorrows and miseries
Onto this worthless compound!

Come daylight or nightfall!
Nothing to fear, danger does not abound!
Use it to your merriment, dispose at your fancy
For this is just a dumping ground!

This was on my mind today, and when an INFJ saw me, she immediately said, “Are you feeling okay?  You look really down.”  Then placed a gentle hand on my shoulder later.  It never ceases to amaze me just how quickly and easily the NFs pick up on emotions.

And la jolie petite ENFP walked in close to tears today.  Tears spilled as I rubbed her back and asked what was wrong.  I guess it wasn’t a good day for us both.


Jane Doe, age 5

Her parents were very hands-on.  I could tell that they cared for her very much and were always concerned about her well-being.  They’d always come in with her, right to her seat at the front row.

“Jane, here’s your water bottle and your snack.  Remember to drink your water, and you can have your snack later during the break.  Do you need to go to the bathroom?  Jane, look at me, do you need to go to the bathroom?  Okay, if you need to go later, just raise your hand and ask.  Look at me, Jane.  Here’s your pencil box.  I’ll be waiting for you outside later, okay?  Hug?  And a kiss?”

They’d repeat themselves to her, and I could see her squirming and retreating into herself.  They voiced some of their concerns to me, and explained that she’d have difficulty following instructions.  I smiled, nodded, told them I understood, and tried to assure them that it would be okay.

It took me a while that first day to comprehend her language, and to speak her language.  I tried smiling and talking softly to her, in an effort to coax her out of her shell and to help her feel more comfortable in her new surroundings, but she’d squirm and retreat further into her shell.  So without making any eye contact with her, while I was busying myself at my desk, I gave her some instructions to which she carried out immediately and flawlessly.  I’d give her short praises to which she’d squirm at but she still smiled and seemed pleased with herself.

The classmate that sat beside her — they made a great pair.  Jane was smart; she’d do her work quickly and point out the mistakes of her buddy.  The girl who sat beside her was a quiet and sensitive child.  She was first hurt and annoyed by Jane’s corrections, but I explained to her that Jane was just trying to help.  She understood, smiled and apologised to Jane, and happily amended her mistakes.  From then on, that was their dynamic and the two of them grew closer to each other — going to the bathroom together, having their snacks together, greeting each other happily.

Jane’s mother would often wait somewhere nearby and listen in to how she’s doing.  She was amazed that Jane could follow instructions so easily, and that she was helping a friend — a phrase and terms that seemed so foreign to and unlike her child.  She was really pleased with her progress.

John Doe, age 10

He was vivacious and incredibly intelligent.  Astronomy was his forte.  He talked to me enthusiastically about how Pluto was no longer considered a planet, why it was so, and the exact date of the conference that was held to make this announcement.  He was like a walking encyclopaedia, dishing out facts with ease.  And I would let him educate me on the subject, fascinated by his knowledge.

Children at this age can start to become a little rowdy.  There was another vivacious and intelligent boy in his class, and they would butt heads sometimes, hurling childish insults at each other.  It would frustrate him at times, and it was sometimes challenging handling the two of them.  But their intellect never seized to amaze me.

Because John could be quite a handful with his constant hyperactivity, I could tell that it was a relief for his mother to drop him off there, so she could have some peace of mind for at least a short while.  I empathised and could only imagine how draining it could be for her.

Rick Roe, age 11

He joined the cohort later, and this cohort I’d already been with the previous year as well, so we were already a close bunch, and he was the newbie.  The others could tell that something was different about him, so he tended to stick out like a sore thumb.  I tried to get him assimilated, but he seemed to prefer being on his own, doing his work dutifully and correctly.  He was a courteous boy, which I found to be an amusing juxtaposition to my lack of courtesy.

He would get frustrated when the others made fun of him and laughed at him. I always tried to handle the situation to the best of my ability, and one day when he was feeling particularly exasperated, I told him to inform me whenever something like that happened again and I would deal with it.  He calmed down and agreed.

Some time later, he approached me and it took me a few seconds to gather that he took what I said literally (and why wouldn’t he, it later dawned on me).  I then had to defuse the ‘tattletale’ situation that was going on.

Rick was smart as well.  He would often ask thought-provoking questions that the others sometimes laughed at, but I would always affirm that it was a great question and would always be excited to answer and explain.  His mind worked in a similar way to mine — if two words were similar, then what exactly was the difference between them was a frequent question he had, which was amazing.  He picked up on and started using the higher-level vocabulary that I had used and explained only once.  It was almost as if I could see the gears churning in his mind.

A Million Miles Away

How many miles to Babylon?
Three score miles and ten.
Can I get there by candlelight?
There and back again?
Yes, if your feet are nimble and light
You can get there by candlelight.

I’m in a dense fog, a million miles away.  Behind a glass wall that’s inches thick.  I sometimes get glimpses of what others see, but does it matter if they never amount to anything?  We count our are’s and were’s, not our might-have-been’s.

Hunger evaded me completely.  I let it linger as I could do without food for a while — without the necessity of maintaining one’s sustenance.  Escapism fills me up, at least temporarily.  Words are what I eat.

I don’t know why it never occurred to me in all these years until recently.  It’s as though I completely forgot that online chat sites ever existed.  And suddenly, it was like my world opened and expanded beyond the horizons.  I was no longer in a cave, but meeting individuals from all across the globe, virtually.  I see the angry ones, and many fellow sad ones.  I wish I could help, even if that means I remain underwater.  There are many intelligent ones as well.  Most are from the young crowd, but I guess the ones of my age group and older have already settled down so there’s little need for these sort of pursuits.

A connection is what I yearn, I’ve come to realise.  Not just mere interaction or communication.  Meeting other iNtuitives especially, where our wavelengths match much more soundly.  The NFs in particular — those are the ones that leave a lasting impression.  They are an admirable bunch; how they pierce right through me.  The question now is how long the connections will last.  Some have already withered away, but time will tell.


Paper faces on parade
Hide your face so the world will never find you

Every face a different shade
Look around, there’s another mask behind you