Reverb 10.6: Make.

December 6– Make.  What was the last thing you made?  What materials did you use?  Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? 
I am simultaneously two personality types that can overwhelm and frustrate many people: right-brained and extroverted. And both to a bit of an extreme. Every day I exhibit all of the bad habits and traits of a right-brainer: a penchant towards random thought, a pervasive inattention to detail, thought and decision-making processes driven by strong emotion.

Pair that with an extroversion that I call ‘charming’– but I think most people might call ‘abrasive’– and you get a winning combination of sentences that get interrupted by another story of a completely different topic, projects that get started (without any planning) but never finished, and an intense need to discuss things from all possible viewpoints and consider every possible outcome, with a particular focus on how things make me feel. Not to mention the absolutely insane chattiness.

It took me a long time to realize that not everyone operated within the right-brained and extroverted worldviews that I experience every day, and I was accepting of that. It takes all kinds, after all. But I never considered that my extroversion or the grandiose and flighty thoughts that characterize my right-brained operation could be a problem for people until a fateful day in Barnes & Noble Booksellers. I was lost, on my way to something (but I probably thought of something else to look at and forgot my original plan completely—if there had even been a plan at all). I found myself in the Parenting/Self-Help section filled with books on how to make your baby an Einstein and what to do with a picky eater. I glanced over to catch the title of one of the books, proudly splashed down a bright yellow book spine that was likely designed to make parents feel happy and light about their problem demons children.

“How to Deal with Your Extroverted Child.” Deal with? Deal with?! There is nothing to ‘deal with’. . . is there?

Apparently there is. 33 chapters of ‘deal with’ in that book. I was appalled. Clearly, this book had been ordered by Barnes & Noble by mistake, as it clearly was not written by any respectable leading social science researcher with 4 post-grad degrees and over 25 years of researching and working with children. . .

But my astonishment turned a bit to horror as I starting reading the titles of the books neighboring this blasphemous text—a whole shelf on dealing with your extroverted nightmare child. How disruptive they are going to be but “as a diligent parent you must continue to work to teach them the appropriate way to act in society.” And there were titles on right-brained children too! “How to Help Your Right-Brained Child Be Successful.”  As if they were incapable of achieving their own success simply because they thought a little outside the box. Or planet. Two and a half rows jam-packed with chapters and pages and diagrams on dealing with your wacky, freethinking kid that won’t just shut the hell up.

I was 20 years old when I saw these. And honestly, temporarily heartbroken. I clearly exhibited the traits (and fit the descriptions down to the last word) of the kids parents struggled with most, outside of the diagnosable learning and socialization challenges.

(I bet at this point you are wondering what the hell this has to do with the Day 6 Reverb 10 prompt. Clearly you need to get on the right-brain train, friend. It always comes back around to the topic—it just takes time.)

The intensely creative part of being right-brained has led me to create and make a lot of things. This year I designed my own holiday cards, I designed a photo book for the fabulous women I lived with last year, I sold about a half dozen of my paintings, I sketched and doodled and blogged and photogged.

This weekend I had the fantastic opportunity to catch up with a group of friends I hadn’t seen in a while.

And I made people laugh. Hard. Great big belly laughs and tears streaming out the corners of eyes. Because I am outgoing. And creative. And I have flighty thought and I say random things and I am goofy. That’s a pretty awesome superpower that I wouldn’t trade for anything, even if it meant losing all of my other creative and artistic talent.  And I think I will set aside some more time to make more laughter. Yes, that would be good.


2 thoughts on “Reverb 10.6: Make.”

  1. I love it too. THX for not being the only right-brainer to take seven paragraphs to get to the point. I always think it works, but wonder if everyone is presing "unsubscribe" as their left brains tune me out forever. Also, I can't think of anything better to make than laughter.

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