Are You Trapped in a Brain Closet?

Anyone remember Fibber McGee? The radio show that had a pack rat type of person who would open his closet and everything would fall out, noisily, for a very long time on the air?

Never mind, it is ok if you are staring at me with a blank look. I have been getting used to that stare from a few family members and neighbors of late.

I get those odd looks, not because of Fibber McGee, but because of the recent fly tying dvd my husband and I created. To us, it was an interesting and extremely challenging project that required developing some new skills. To us, it was a natural extension of what we already were doing.

Our customers appear to think so too. They like the dvd, which is a great relief after all the time we spent making the darn thing!

However, a few (not all) family members and neighbors have had decidedly odd reactions. They don’t seem to know how to respond to the dvd, and behave as though it fell out of the sky from another planet.

At first I was surprised, although I should have known what to expect. As it continued I began to realize their brains suffer from a form of Fibber McGee’s closet. There is no room for anything else in those tightly packed closets. Just try putting something new in there and you won’t believe the racket that results!

Their brains have a shelf, apparently a small one, where my husband and I are parked. They left no room to add new facets to their perception of us, even something so mild as an instructional fly tying dvd. That was alien to them, something unexpected and unwelcome.

What was a natural expansion for us is simply unimaginable for them. Haven’t we all had that experience at one time or another when we stepped outside the expectations others place on us?

I, for one, have no intention of trying to cramp myself into someone else’s assigned closet space. I shall take the lesson to heart though, and be more aware of my own effort to never shove someone into a little box and slam the lid shut.

People are capable of the most surprising developments and I believe in warmly welcoming them when they happen. Rejecting those developments is a ridiculous choice, but some people actually prefer to keep their constricted little boxes intact.

We had an employee once who went to a high school basketball game. Her daughter played on the team, usually in a rather lackluster fashion. For some reason, that night the girl caught on fire and made one amazing basket after another until the game was won in a spectacular way with the whole town cheering.

Our employee and her husband were quite horrified and embarrassed. They said it was O.K. for that to happen once, but never again! They wanted their ordinary daughter back.

Unfortunately I have never seen a spark ignite in their daughter since that time. How utterly sad. This young woman lives her life in the small space allotted by her misguided parents.

She may be too young to know she can walk away from their brain closet and just let them deal with it. I hope she discovers that fact someday before she has lost too many opportunities.

For myself, I have no trouble letting others deal with their own brain closets. Actually, the funniest part of the situation with our dvd is how innocuous it is compared to some of my other activities.

If these people cannot handle a fly tying dvd, what do you suppose they would think of the nocturnal hikes I used to take in the desert without a flashlight or moonlight? Rattlesnakes, cacti, and all.

That really makes me laugh. None of us are small enough to fit into the preconceived ideas others have about us, so let’s explode those ideas into smithereens and have fun doing it!

Copyright © Lexi Sundell 2008. All Rights Reserved.

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3 thoughts on “Are You Trapped in a Brain Closet?

  1. Barbara swafford

    Hi Lexi,

    I found that extremely sad about the young girl who got her “fire” put out. Too often parents put expectations on their children and instead of letting them blossom into all they can be, they try to push them down a different path.

    Too often I’ve heard stories of people who go to college for many years (to please their parents), graduate and finally get the strength to follow their passion (which is usually something totally different). Although it may not please the parents, they are happy, their creativity soars, and often they become quite successful.

    BTW: Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment.

    I’m off to look at more of your beautiful art. Such talent!

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