Dumb girl. Space Cadet. Ditz. The words are unkind, and seldom applied to men. They are sexist and too often, many of us women have heard them. This article is in praise of the minds, in the words of Kay Redfield-Jamison, that are unquiet. For they are unique. Not dumb, unique.
Perhaps your mind is hypo-manic, and travels in a million different directions linearly. Or, perhaps a million different directions at one time. Perhaps you have ADD, ADHD, Bipolar, what have you. Your mind is not damaged. Your mind is unique. It is a blueprint of alternative possibilities. It thinks outside the box.
Brilliant minds are seldom quiet. They are often noisy and distracted by all the thrilling possibilities. Artistic minds are often stormy and adventuresome. They find poetry and stories and fascination in what others consider mundane. The everyday, in the auspices of the unquiet mind, is electric. On fire. Magical.
Having a mind so full of inspiration leads to the distraction that others interpret as stupidity. Their brains are as beautiful and essential as those that they criticize. Their attitudes and assumptions, however, are narrow-minded and short-sighted. It takes every kind of people, and brain, you see, to make the world go round.
Some people have personalities that are light, airy, bubbly, and cheerful. This should not, however, be interpreted as dumb.
Yes, I suppose to an extent I speak of myself. If I had a dime for every time I have had my intelligence insulted because my personality resembled that of a character on “Legally Blonde”, I would be a rich woman. I have been called many an insulting name.
Kindness and cheerfulness and lightheartedness are not weaknesses, though. They are coping mechanisms in a brutal world, and if truly appreciated, can be a breath of fresh air. Wisdom is more than an image.
So here’s to the misfits, the odd, strange, eccentric, mentally ill, etc…. In the words of Goerge W., you have been “misunderestimated”. Your minds and creativity add a flavor and excitement to the world. Be proud of it.
Perhaps I sound self-righteous. That is not my intent. My intent is to counteract the negative messages and conditioning that have been slung toward me my entire lifetime. I have been called “crazy”, “certifiable”, “libtard”, “too nice”, “spacey”, “ditzy”, “dingy”, and “dumb”. I even died my hair red once to counteract the dumb blonde jokes geared toward me. The insults have at times caused me to question myself, my intellect, and my value.
A thought occurred to me the other day though: how funny it is, that occupationally, I have been paid almost 30 years (and paid pretty well)….. to think. Sometimes in order to save lives. Hmmmm…..
So am I a “space cadet”…. absolutely! My mind has taken me on imaginative adventures to Jupiter, Mars, and my favorite planet, Venus. Am I a ditz…. perhaps….
But a damn smart one.
So, no matter what unique challenges your brain brings you, appreciate your uniqueness. You, and your mind, are fearfully and wonderfully made!