Square Pegs Unite!

January 30th, 2012

Most of my closest friends are creative types and I think I can safely say that we all share a common trait: We are square-peg people in a round-hole world.

Are you a square peg? Take this simple test to find out.

Have you:
…cracked a joke that you thought was sublimely hilarious only to be met with blank stares?

…suffered the humiliation of being picked last for dodge ball in grade school because you were considered by your peers to be athletically challenged?

…drew a life-size nude self portrait for your high school art class only to have your own mom hide it from you?

If you answered yes to any of these questions you may be an irregularly shaped peg. If you answered yes to all of these questions, welcome to my life!

The early years of being a square peg were rough. In junior high school the most important thing in the world was fitting in — a feat I couldn’t even begin to attempt. Just catching the pre-dawn bus every morning was challenge enough; attempting to wear the “right” clothes and style my frizzy hair into something resembling a Farrah Fawcett Flip was simply out of the question.

Things got a little better in high school. I started to find kindred souls in my art classes and marching band. Yes, I was in marching band.

Art school was a revelation for me. There were people there that were much weirder than myself… and I loved it!

Happily, we live in a world that is learning to embrace pegs of all shapes. An article in Scientific American explains that creative thinking has become a “sought-after commodity” in the global market. So if you are a square peg, fear not! You may soon become the most popular kid on the block.

Read the Scientific American issue The Unleashed Mind: Why Creative People Are Eccentric” to examine one theory as to why it can be so hard for creative types to fit in socially. The short answer is that there’s something in the way the creative brain is wired that can be compared to having a psychotic illness — not exactly the most flattering comparison. But it’s this flexibility in the creative brain that may allow “access to ideas and thoughts that are inaccessible to those of us with less porous mental filters.”



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