Friday, November 23, 2012

Left Brain, Right Brain

Until quite recently, I would have characterized myself wholly as a left-brain person. I think I've muddied the waters recently, and I'm not sure that's a good thing.

I have no idea if there is actual scientific fact behind the popular right-brain/left-brain debate, but I think that most of us characterize ourselves predominantly as one or the other. Left-brain people are characterized by logic, analysis, and accuracy. Right-brain people are characterized by aesthetics, feelings, and creativity.

Me? I like order, structure, punctuality, i's dotted and t's crossed. I rarely think outside the box, and I will vehemently defend that the box is there for a reason. This is who I am. Or is it?

Very recently, I began to write this blog. I became fascinated with photography. I even [red-faced] did some crafts. And I liked it. It all satisfied some heretofore unknown and apparently unfulfilled need for creativity.

That's all well and good. Now I'm a perfectly balanced left-brain container-buying label maker-using person who also likes to take pretty pictures and write some stuff. Except that's not how it's working out. Ever since I've turned on my right-brain creativity, the left-brain things that form my core competency have begun to suffer. I've missed appointments, I've paid bills late, and let's not even mention the state of my filing system. It's like my organized self is losing some sort of internal battle with my creative self, and I don't like it. I feel like some working mothers characterize their guilt: working two jobs and doing neither well.

I had a very satisfying afternoon of cleaning and organizing and felt more like myself. I even paid the bills. I couldn't, however, even think of what to write for today's post. It's like only one side of my brain (or personality) can operate at a time. I'm beginning to think of it like my swim strokes. I was always best at breaststroke and butterfly, which require staggered upper and lower body movements. I can't kick in freestyle because I can't simultaneously move my arms and kick my legs. Just not coordinated enough. Maybe my brain is the same way.

While pondering this tonight, I thought it might be fun to try an online left-brain/right-brain test to see how it characterized my poor conflicted brain. At random, I chose this test: http://mindmedia.com/braintest.html. The results?

52% left brain
47% right brain

I'm not sure what the other 1% of my brain is. Maybe just confused. In any event, I was weirdly pleased to see results similar to what I've been experiencing lately. Some might say balanced, others might say conflicted. My answer depends on which day you ask me. What do you think? Am I a left-brain person? A right-brain person? A left-brain person who absorbed her right-brain twin in utero? Or is the whole concept quackery? Stay tuned to see if I will become a jack-of-all-brains or a master of none.

What about you? How do you see yourself? Do the test results support your view?


1 comment:

  1. Cynthia: I was 33% left and 66% right, which was really surprising. When I lived in NJ, I took a right brain art class. The instructor taught us how to look at things using the right side of the brain. i.e. instead of drawing a vase, you looked at the space around the vase and drew what you saw around the face. When you are left brain, it is very hard. Thanks for sharing

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