Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Left Brain, Right Brain

My sister-in-law recently told me that I am one of the few people she knows who are "both brained", i.e processes things both on the creative and the logical levels. I've been thinking about that a lot lately, and wondering why I chose a career path that put me decidedly in the left-brained world (cold, hard logic), to the exclusion of my right brain. The easy answers are of course money, job safety (although a fat lot of good that did me with being recently let go), and marrying a man who is very dominantly left-brained.

But there are lesser reasons, too: in my family of origin "creative" also meant volatile and unpredictable, and to avoid that I simply tucked that side away and ran to the "safety" of logic. Plus, I was (and still am) completely lacking any kind of confidence when it comes to the results of my creative energies. Showing the world what I produce from out of that nebulous and often puzzling place is scary to me, it makes me feel very vulnerable and unsure of myself... which is exactly why I need to do it.

But my biggest hurdle in working out of my right brain is turning out to be coming from my left brain. She's been dominant for so long that she keeps trying to intervene, to direct, to self-edit. Before I even put pencil to paper she's saying "oh no, not there, you'll ruin the whole thing if you make that line". And so I must take steps to keep her quiet while I'm working. She seems to go to sleep somewhere after 9PM, so nighttime seems to be where I get the most done. I've noticed too that with any kind of white noise - the TV, the radio, the husband talking - my left brain is occupied so my right brain can work unencumbered. Alcohol works (although too much of that and both brains go to sleep, leaving me with a completely non-working brain).

The irony of this, of course, is that I'm using a process of logic to figure out how to silence my logical mind.

Anyway, all this to say that yes, I am both-brained, but it can be as much a curse as a blessing sometimes.

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