The Category Catastrophe

Some things I learned:

  1. The world is set up for categories
  2. People don’t fit into categories
  3. You can get more excited about a scooter at 18 than 5.
  4. Doing something nice for some one can make you smile
  5. Tall guys make great dates and great friends
  6. Being sad, is well, that. Sad.

I’m going to go a little out of order here, we will come back to 1 and 2

3. My aunt kept telling me that she had a pink light up scooter in her garage that I could have to get myself around campus with. Tonight we exchanged presents with the cousins and my aunt and uncle gave me a brand me, “aero-dynamic”, fat-wheeled scooter. It’s perfect and I couldn’t say thank you enough.

4. I’m not always the nicest cousin. I usually like to interact as little as possible with my younger cousins, but tonight I decided to show them how to drive my stick shift truck, so the three of us piled into my one cabin truck and we drove around looking at Christmas lights, while they told me which way to turn the car. We listened to music and it was actually quite wonderful. Even though I’m not always as nice as I can be to those kids it meant the world to them for me to spend half and hour driving with them and focusing only on them.

5. I had a friend Zack randomly ask me to go the the new Star Wars movie with him and of course I wanted to go. He was just so nice, I forget that those kinds of people exist.

6. Sometimes people get sad. For seemingly insignificant reasons. But that doesn’t discredit their sadness. Today I got sad over feeling lonely and being unable to express who I want to be. But there’s not much I can do to change it other than wait for the actions I have made to pick up and start changing things.

Alright, now back to 1 and 2.

I had a great conversation today with a friend and it got me thinking about categories. The world operates in a way that people have to be specialized, and only in one thing. You go to college and pick 1 major. You pick 1 career. Most people pick 1 place to live. You choose 1 political party. You affiliate with 1 religion. And the list goes on. But I don’t think this works fairly with how the human mind works. We love categories, or at least I do. I love order and black and white, but frankly the world is just a giant shade of gray.

A real issue from my perspective was personality types. If you’re into the Myers-Briggs system, I’m an INFJ, but that doesn’t mean I am only introverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Judgemental. It only means that those are the most prominent features. Sometimes I prefer to think things out and use my brain rather than just my feelings, and that goes with the other traits as well.

It seems as though I may be a sample platter of sorts. There are so many things I want from life and I just don’t know if I can do even some of them with this limiting idea of categories. How am I supposed to work for NASA with a music degree? I would love to do both.

Categories need to be attributes that we apply to ourselves, instead of constraints we live by.


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