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.