A Pitfall Of Creativity

I’m accident prone. I’ve always got a bruise from some mishap or other, another adventure to laugh over. I’m not clumsy – just distracted.

 

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been easily distracted. I can be very focused, but in the day-to-day I’m often tripping over things, running into things, falling, stumbling… Most of my injuries are explained this way. Perhaps it’s the curse of being creative? Before I turned to writing, I was always searching for a creative outlet. I learned how to cross-stitch, make chainmaille jewelry, constantly rearranged furniture and cupboards, created adventures for my kids, even tried my hand at decorating. I just couldn’t contain the creativity.

But, the hazards of this personality trait generally mean my mind is never on my surroundings. Here’s a few examples.

As a young teen my grandmother dragged me into town (if you’ve been to Bowmanville, ON you’d know I use the word ‘town’ loosely – though it’s bigger now than it was then). She had a variety of errands and I followed her up and down the main street. I got distracted and walked into a giant wrought-iron plant holder erected on the sidewalk by the town. They still have them there. This kind of thing happened so regularly that my grandmother didn’t even stop walking to see if I was OK. “I’m going to the bank,” she said.

Source: polyvore.com via Laura on Pinterest

 

I had never seen a motorcycle up close before (hey, I grew up in a really, really small town) and this man pulled up in front of Beckers, the local convenience store, in full leathers on a big bike. I was mesmerized. So mesmerized that as I opened the door to the store, I walked into the metal door frame. Of course the man on the bike was watching. I was reminded of my own stupidity every time I entered that store for years.

In highschool I was constantly running into things, being hit with doors, falling down stairs, tripping over floor lint. I devised a system for safe travel between classes in crowded hallways. A student two years ahead of me, Josh Storey, advantageously had classes in the same hallway I did for about three semesters in a row. He was immense – I mean, basketball player tall. Everybody moved out of Josh’s way. I would wait for him to walk by and slip in directly behind him and stay safe on his heels before the crowd closed in again. My friends thought this immensely funny and teased me that I just liked Josh – but really it was purely a safety concern.

My friends invited me to this all-nighter youth event in Buffalo. We went to a Buffalo Sabres and Hartford Whalers game (I’m dating myself there, aren’t I?), went bowling and then roller skating. I’d never been on roller skates before, but how hard could it be? All my friends picked it up easy, after all we’d grown up going to the hockey arena for public skating for years. I actually found it quite easy to roller skate, but there were these strobe lights, and the music was super loud. And there were a lot of boys there. Let’s just say that I won an award for the biggest pileup of the night and leave it at that.

In University, I only had two exams in the large gymnasium throughout my university experience because I majored in English and History. Writing essays is definitely safer. I waited for my exam to start at the top of a staircase packed with other students. Below me were a group of students carrying Chemistry texts filled with little slips of paper marking spots for an open-book exam. I got distracted people watching, tripped, and took out one of the Chemistry students. Her little slips of paper filled the air like confetti after a wedding. It wasn’t pretty. I actually feel bad about that still.

At all my wedding showers, if people gave me knives they also gave me a box of band-aids. That’s telling isn’t it.

Two days ago I was texting the hubs while walking through Walmart and ran into a shelving unit and two shopping carts. I had to put my phone away before I brought down the display of Ritz crackers on my head. If I tried to text and drive I’d never make it out of my driveway. How do people do that, anyway?

Life with me is never dull :) But I am not clumsy – I’m just creative.

What about you? Are you prone to distraction? Do you know someone prone to distraction? Got a funny story – share it in the comments. It’ll help me feel a little less like a freak.

Lisa

I’m on Twitter and G+, but I hang out on Facebook – would love to chat. :) If you’re a writer, I post great writing links everyday on my Facebook page. Consider signing up for the monthly newsletter I write with my cowriter – Marcy Kennedy.

“It would be different if one had tried to tell the whole truth. That would have some value.” – Ernest Hemingway

“A woman is like a teabag – you never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” Eleanor Roosevelt

 

 

Comments

  1. says

    Hahahaha! I’m laughing so hard because this is me! I fall and run into things all the time and those who know me are no longer surprised. I never know where the bruises that cover my legs come from. It’s really bad. But I love your perspective – “I’m not clumsy, just distracted”. I am going to use that one, although, in my case it may just be clmsiness, lol. ;)

  2. says

    You could be writing about me :) My husband finds an unending source of humor out of me walking into the doorframes in our own house because I’m thinking about a story. We have two steps in the entrance way and last week I tripped up them and skidded across the dining room floor because I wasn’t paying attention. And I won’t even tell you how many broken and dislocated toes I’ve had. At least with the dislocated ones, I pop them back in myself now ;)

  3. says

    Great story, Lisa! My daydreaming nature has definitely caused more than a few accidents. I was once so immersed in the story in my head that I didn’t realize my car was not in park until a man jumped in front of my car, yelling, “Stop!” Thankfully, the only “bruise” I got was embarrassment.

    • says

      That sort of happened to me too, only I accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the brakes. Nearly gave my mom a heart attack in the passenger seat. We keep people on their toes – that’s not a bad thing :)

  4. says

    I’ve never been a smoker, although I decided to take it up my first winter as a commuter to college. My car’s heater didn’t work, you see, and I thought smoking would keep me warm. Alas, when I shifted gears (the car had a stick shift), I dropped the cigarette into my lap–and quit smoking then and there.

  5. says

    LOLOL!!! Lisa I think that you are a clumsy creative genius! I like the sound of that because I see genius in everything you write! :)

  6. says

    Oh Lisa, you are so down to earth and open. I suffer so much with clumsiness and disorganization that I sometimes think I have ADHD haha, nice to know I am not the only one who falls over my own feet and feels awkward nearly everywhere I go. :) I think you are super special to share.

  7. says

    “I am not clumsy–I’m just creative.” Love that! I know I am very prone to distraction, but luckily not to the point of clumsy. My daughter on the other hand has broken a finger just walking down the hallway (she hit her hand on the wall)!

  8. says

    I love this, Lisa. You could be my sister. LOL! Let’s see, I’m so prone to distraction, I recently was reading email while walking down the stairs. I now have bruises to show for my mishap. The really sad part of this is that I’m still compelled to read while maneuvering the stairs. No lesson learned there! :)

  9. says

    That’s funny! I am not accident prone, but I have done my share of stupid things because of a boy. And, once I accidently went into the men’s restroom because I wasn’t paying attention. You’d think I would have notice all the men going in and out, but not me. Not sure how to explain that one, I just walked in and realized – after a few seconds – that something was not quite right. That was embarrassing! My husband saw me do it too and didn’t even try and stop me.

    Texting while driving – don’t even think about doing that here in California. You’ll get a very expensive ticket. I don’t know how anyone can text and do anything else at the same time. I can barely text while remaining absolutely motionless.

    This was a fun post, Lisa.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  10. says

    Oh gosh, I can completely relate to this! I constantly walk into doorknobs, walls, and counter corners, and not a week goes by without me finding some strange bruise from a collision that I can’t remember, because there are so many. I think my mom takes the cake, though. She has had not one, but two, concussions from accidentally hitting her head really hard against things. We have a running joke in the family that we need to buy her a helmet and some padding to keep her from getting so banged up. :P

  11. says

    I’m not accident prone but I sympathize. We used to have two children who lived next door to us. The girl was accident prone (not the boy) and she was always in a cast or had bandaids, bumps and bruising from her misadventures. I felt really bad for her. She had a strong spirit though, and kept playing sports like a champ. I always thought she should give up the sports, but I guess even writing can be dangersous if you are accident prone.

  12. says

    I’m not accident-prone, but I’m easily distracted with everyday things. I put shave cream on my toothbrush, I lose track of time, and sometimes I open the fridge door and just stare inside for a few minutes while I try to remember what I was hungry for…
    It seems you need a good insurance policy :)

  13. says

    That’s so funny. I don’t recall running into things so much as I have the bruises to show for it. :( I fear for my son. I watch him on his bike and he is always looking one way and headed another. He has had so many close calls. He walks into, sits one, falls over, etc. so many times. He is a total day dreamer. I get the same report from his teacher all the time. He is always lost in his own world and it comes out in his art all the time. Maybe there is something to that and the creative types.

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