When someone first meets me, I come across as pretty normal. Perhaps a little geeky, but on the whole, a normal guy.
When they've known me for a month or more, they start to realize I'm, in fact, rather silly. Not life-endangering silly, and not bad-financial-decision silly -- I'm the sort of guy who just looks at life a little differently.
Part of why I'm so silly, and part of why my worldview is just a bit askew from most other people's, is because my brain is always looking at things around me and trying to come up with a story to go behind them. It's my creativity in high gear, looking at mundane events and trying to spice them up, give them a little creative twist of lemon.
My brain is doing it right now, hence this post. As I type this, I'm wearing two bandaids and have two large squares of gauze taped to various parts of the left side of my body? Why? I had my son, Marcus, out on a leash to get some fresh air and eat some grass (that only makes sense if you know Marcus is a cat). At one point, he started to do something he'd never done before -- he pulled back against the harness. There's a strap that goes around his neck, and that's connected by a strap down his back to another strap that goes around his torso just behind his front legs.
So, Marcus is pulling back, and I see he's starting to work his way out of the harness. Never done that before. Never. So I hurry up and get close to him just as he worms his way free. He has no collar, no identifying jewelry of any sort. He's an indoor cat who takes infrequent vacations into the yard with close supervision, sort of like a prison inmate on furlough. If I'd just let him go, he would likely have run as far as the corner of the house and started sniffing.
But I didn't think of any of that. I just panicked and did what seemed the most logical thing in the world to do.
I tackled him like a football.
Cats, for the record, don't like being tackled like a football, and even when they have the utmost trust in their human, will still scratch for all their little feline legs are worth to try to get free. The result is about a dozen scratches on my left hand and arm, and a pattern on my left knee that looks eerily like a map of the runways out at Indianapolis International.
Now, if I wanted to be normal, I could just tell people this story. But I'm not. So, what will I tell them? That's where the creativity kicks in.
"Oh, that? Yeah, when they tell you not to put your arm through the bars in the monkey cage, they mean it."
"I fought the garbage disposal and the garbage disposal won."
"When you want to make notes to yourself on your hand, make sure you're using a ballpoint pen and not an exacto knife."
Okay, I never said they were good ideas, but that's what creativity is like a lot of the time. It's not about making up great stories to tell at parties; it's about flexing that mental "muscle" to get it to work in new and better ways so that when you do need that great story to tell at a party, it'll have had the practice and will be ready to jump your aid. So look at something mundane going on around you right now and see what your creativity can do with it.
And just to reiterate, don't tackle your cat.