So, I’m a decidedly left-brained individual. Perfectionist in school – check. Needlessly planning and organizing menial tasks – check. Totally and wholly lacking any creativity – check?
This entry is as much for me as it is for my readers. Because I grew up a right-handed, left-brained logical person, I viewed creativity as something hippies did. Don’t get me wrong, I admired and still admire all of the wonderful things that artists, actors and writers have contributed to the world. In fact, I may have even been jealous of them. Sure I could organize a school rally or run a student council meeting seamlessly, but could I draw a stick figure in Ms. Powell’s art class? Not if my life depended on it – at least that’s what I thought. Well, actually that is the truth. I always argued with her because she hated to hear me say, “I can’t do this,” but dammit sometimes you just can’t. I’m sure all of us would love to have the talents of Leonardo Da Vinci or Michelangelo, but we’re just not that gifted, no matter how much encouragement you receive.
But because I couldn’t express myself through the visual arts (i.e. sculpting, drawing, painting – basically anything that involved my mind and hands interacting in a successful enterprise), I completely shut myself down to the notion that I was “creative”. I’d always done well in my English classes, but let’s be honest, English class in high school is basically learning the structures of a good essay and doing book reviews. I knew of great literature and how to take apart plots, themes and character development, but for me, this wasn’t being creative.
It actually wasn’t until I took a Creative Writing course in college that I started to believe I could be *gasp* creative. I later found out I didn’t even have to take that class in order to secure my degree, and now looking back it seems pretty fortuitous. I was able to be critiqued by my fellow classmates and give them my input on their work. We delved into everything from poetry to heart-wrenching memories and I found the experience exhilarating. Never before had I thought, me, a self-described anal-retentive, just-the-facts kind of person, could be creative. I’m so, so thankful for that class today.
And I say all of that, to say this – don’t let your dominant brain functioning define your life. Maybe others have already realized this fact and for those I say, Bravo! You caught the train way earlier than I did. But for those others that are struggling with the fact that they feel inklings of creativity and just don’t think they can find an outlet for expression because they too are left-brained and so, creatively-impaired, know that you can find your right-brainedness! Don’t fall into a trap of being made to believe it’s an either/or life out there because I’ve realized through my own experiences (and my husband’s helpful reminders) that life isn’t this or that, it can be this and that! So today I send freedom your way, go be free and as my fairy godmother, Madonna, would say – Express Yourself!