Keith of All Trades

Forgive me if this post is a bit self-conscious, but I have a feeling that, among writers, artists, critics, professors and healers in general; and science fiction, fantasy, and horror enthusiasts in particular, this description of myself may be indicative of a lot of my readers.

I like time traveling, humor, creative writing, college football, frosted flakes, encyclopedias, garbage, history, whiskey, science fiction, gadgets, three-toed sloths, sketching, pleasing people, coffee, slouching, interesting monsters, connecting with people, graves, beer, bungalows, Heinz Doofenschmirtz, Lovecraft, quoting movies, fantasy, classic rock, Poptarts, Gnosticism, bookstores, Christmas, the Internet, drinking wine, Wile E. Coyote, banana pudding, tentacles, pot roast, and any year, make or model of the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California (ohh, yeah).

I also write run-on sentences. #rebel

I’m a generalist, a Jack-of-all-Trades who happens to be named Keith.  I’m a Keith-of-all-Trades. While it’s true I have a technical degree, that’s not exactly by choice (long story). And while I do have a successful career, it’s not exactly a fun one.  I work with a lot of high-tech types.  Some of them are kind-hearted, thoughtful and witty.  Some are assholes. Such is life. But contrary to what you may read in articles about Myers-Briggs Personality Types, many tend to be “Es” and they tend to be “Js”.  There’s nothing wrong with that … unless you’re stuck in a room with one … all day … every day … while they make assumptions about you … without so much as a “by your leave” … and Father-God-and-Sonny-Jesus are those people tightwads.  There are times I really wanna bitch-slap ’em and say, “Spend the damn money, already!”

But I digress. This isn’t about them, it’s about me. I’m an INFP in the Myers-Briggs minefield (and Indiana Jones in my own mind-field).  That means, via nature and nurture, I should’ve been a minister, writer, or – if the stars had lined up just right  –  a dog-groomer. In other words, I was destined by DNA to be poor.

BradburyI am not poor.  Neither was Ray Bradbury (he was an INFP).

And I’m pretty sure Jennifer Aniston (also one) is doing okay for herself.jennifer

And while I can’t pursue my dream job I can still pursue my passion for writing, science fiction, whiskey … basically all that crap listed above.  And I can also pass along some wisdom.  Maybe you’ve never studied the Myers-Briggs profiles.  If not, no biggie.  Some people hate that kind of thing anyway.  But basically, if you’re an INFP you’re a healer; and if you’re a “healer,” then you might be an INFP.  If you have a friend or loved-one who’s like this, please encourage them to be the person they are instead of the person you want them to be.  If you do, they’ll accomplish more than you can possibly imagine.  Since people like lists here’s a checklist for those who’re burdened blessed with a healer in their life:

  • We work our asses off; don’t micromanage us.
  • We do the right thing; don’t moralize to us.
  • We sit in dimly-lit rooms; don’t turn on the fucking lights.
  • We feed you; don’t bite our hand.
  • We listen to your stories; don’t gossip about ours.
  • We use our hands and eyes to express ourselves; don’t ever tell us we’re melodramatic.
  • We joke; don’t steal our punch lines.
  • We criticize ourselves; we don’t need you to that for us.
  • We are your friend; don’t make us an enemy.
  • We will heal you; don’t betray us.

This last part is crucial. If you betray us we’ll be hurt, but we may not be hurt right away.  It may take a few days for the pain to sink in … unless we have a temper.  Given our penchant for drama, we might haul off and punch you in the teeth.  And that will hurt.  Because, you see, we learn.  We’re jacks-of-all trades.  We’ve learned all about street fighting. And boxing. And Boxing Day (Canada). And maple leafs. And the Maple Leafs. And ice hockey.  And horse hockey.  And commodes.  And plumbing.  And pipes.  And smoking.  And health.  And science.  And history.  And the future.

rocket shipWe’re science fiction fans.

I don’t think there’s a better description of an INFP than that.  We healers are science fiction fans, even if we hate science fiction.  Now as you know, I happen to love the SFFH genre, but I know quite a few who can’t stand it.  But whether they know it or not, healers are fans of science fiction because science fiction implies so much more than spaceships and ray guns and robots named Robbie. Science fiction implies speculation, thinking about what could be.  And INFPs love fiction, because we live fictional lives.  We look at our daily activity – scrambling some eggs, making coffee, taking out the trash – as if we’re watching ourselves through the kitchen window.

Since I’m here in the South, a lot of my readers will get pissed off that I’m going to close with a quote from the late Senator Ted Kennedy.  But what he said in his eulogy for his fallen brother, Robert, captures everything we healers want to be known for.

“My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world. As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him: ‘Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.’”

By the way, did you know Harry Potter is an INFP? HarryPotter

That’s fitting because he doesn’t exist.  Many of us feel like we don’t either, in a good way.  Now, where’s that invisibility cloak?

Until next time …

Peace, from Keith

Copyright © 2012 Alan Keith Parker.  All Rights Reserved.  Images are included under fair use regulations.  Hyperlinks are provided to websites that have their own copyright provisions.

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