Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Left Brain Person"

I'm not a person that gets easily bothered by what other people say or think about me. You can call me stupid, lazy, ugly, tell me I don't know how to do my job, whatever, and it usually just rolls right off my back.

However, a coworker said to me today, "You're pretty much a left brain person, huh?," and it's bothering the shit out of me. She didn't mean it in a derogatory way. It was more of an observation than anything else. Of course, she added "you need to get a little more right brain activity." It wasn't a comment designed to make me reevaluate my life, but here I am... writing about it.

I'm trying to figure out why this comment irks me so much. It wasn't a shocking realization or anything. It wasn't like her comment made me all of a sudden realize I'm overly analytical of everything. It wasn't event an incredibly perceptive observation either. Pretty much anyone who knows me for more than 5 minutes knows that I think... a lot... about everything.

I think what bothers me so much is that when I think about it, there's absolutely nothing I do that is creative, artistic, or lively in any way. I don't cook that much, and when I do, I treat it like a fucking science project measuring out exact amounts of ingredients and setting timers to let me know exactly how long something needs to cook. I can't draw for shit. I am a good technical writer, and I do my fair amount of writing on this blog and another blog. However, my style of writing is workman-like. There's not much fluidity or beauty in the words I string together. Creative writing is completely out of my grasp.

In fact, the more I think about it, I can't actually think of a single thing that I have fun doing. I can't remember the last time I went out and had a really good time just doing something for the fun of it. Now, I like playing basketball, but even my approach to basketball is completely analytical and my fun is more based upon how well I shoot the ball or dribble the ball in a particular game than it is on simply the fun of playing. I play video games, but they aren't fun to me. In fact, I go about them as if it's my job to finish the game.

I don't enjoy the experience of anything. My ex-girlfriend used to ask me to go for walks around the campus all the time when I was at college. On nice spring or autumn days, our campus was quite picturesque. I used to tell her no most of the time. My reason: I walk around campus from class to class all day. Why do I want to do more walking than I have to? Even when I broke down and agreed, I never just enjoyed the relaxing stroll. I tried to walk quickly so that we can reach our endpoint as fast as possible.

I'm not a fun person. As a kid I was. As a kid, I invented a million different games to play with my friends. I was the one that had all the ideas. No one had fun unless I was there. I can't pinpoint when it happened or why, but somewhere along the line, I just became an entirely different person. For whatever reason, this extroverted, lively kid just shriveled up and crawled back into his shell. I stopped talking to people. I stopped voicing my opinion. I stopped letting people know what I liked and disliked. I hid the real me behind impenetrable walls.

So, when that coworker mentioned that I need to use my right brain a little more, it struck a nerve... because I know she's right. I don't lie to myself very often. In fact, I'm quite honest about my shortcomings, and I'm very conscious of the things I need to improve upon while being aware that some things (i.e. greying hair) are beyond my control. However, I must admit that I often try to convince myself that there's nothing wrong with my mind and personality. I keep making excuses for the way I act and the way I think, but in reality, I know I have a problem (maybe several).

My question is, how do I go about finding myself and finding meaning in my life? I really don't have any clue where to start. I figure I'll take small steps for now. My first step: Try to be nicer to everyone. I've always prided myself as a nice guy, and once upon a time, I truly was that. Now, I act nice around people simply because I'm supposed to and not because I feel any real desire to. I need to weed out the negative thoughts and pessimism so that I can just focus on the positive side of things. If I can do that, I think I can get my mind on the right track.


Anonymous said...

I recommend the book Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul, by Jane Roberts. Even if you're not a spiritual person, it'll teach you a new way to look at life. The main idea is that on some level, everything that happens to us we have allowed to happen to us. She says that we can create our own reality.

Silliyak said...

First "The Tao of Physics", it gave me "permission" to accept the possibility of some weird right brain type stuff.
Second, practice meditation. I had to emphasize the "practice" part in order to get over my perfectionism. Good luck

Un-PC RPh said...

Wow you totally sound like a pharmacist. You sound like the pharmacist I used to be. I used to always say there were no persons more boring than pharmacists. I used to not like to do anything, nothing seemed fun or interesting.

Then I had my kids and I began working about 30 hours a week. Somehow through a random series of events I decided to try my hand at sewing and knitting, which I took to amazingly fast. People could not believe I was able to do these things with such skill. I taught myself, and I think my analytical mind and ability to research and gather as much information on my areas of interest were a huge advantage. Then through all of this I discovered the creative, imaginative person I had kicked out of my life in favor of a pharmacy geek. I love creating, building, making things. I love designing patterns in my mind. I think and think about how to accomplish the vision I have in my mind, rather than just following some pattern someone else created like a recipe book. This is very fulfilling and rewardng.

SO maybe the thing to do is find some sort of interest you can delve into and explore. Find something to create or build, maybe that passion you once had will return and you can use that left brain to create with the right brain.

Anonymous said...

that is essentially the philosophy of chess as well; whatever has happened to us we have allowed let happen to us