Derek and I have been discussing brains lately.
<Insert requisite zombie joke here.>
It usually starts with me describing to him something going on in my brain, and ends with a blank, bewildered, or pitying look on his face. Then he says something like, "Your brain must be a dark/scary/confusing place."
At my behest, he has also tried to explain what his mental space looks like.
Picture a showroom for the Container Store or one of those home organization places. That is what I envision Derek's mind looking like.
It is clean. It is uncluttered. It is straightforward, and most things are black and white. Decisions are made quickly and precisely, there are vast memory storages (past the age of eight, that is), and a very concise and accurate way of accessing that memory. Thanks to a moral compass that points true north, what is Right is easily identifiable and done whenever possible. Multi-tasking comes easily. Perfection is the goal.
Now picture the opposite. That is my brain.
Well, that's not quite true. There is an organizational system in place, of sorts. It's not complete mayhem in there.
Actually, my computer desktop is a pretty accurate microcosm of my mind:
(Click to embiggen.)
Behold: Virtual sticky notes. I love those things. Obviously. Let's see here... we've got some book titles that are on my to-read list. Some things I need to do. The word hegemony. Just because I like it. Temple Grandin is a movie title I recently read a recommendation for that I am very intrigued by. The citrus zester is on my birthday wish list (which is just a few days away- be prepared for a superfun birthday post about cancer!).
And just think: I deleted at least a dozen sticky notes before I took this screen shot.
While my desktop with its glorious sticky notes does kind of remind me of my mental state, it's not entirely accurate. I think mostly in words- as in, written words that I can see printed across my mind's eye. I'm not sure if it's because I read so much or if that's what caused my love of reading to begin with. Also, all those notes might lead you to think I'm good at multi-tasking. I'm not. Me multi-tasking is dangerous. Literally. It's also not that bright in there. My thoughts tend to be kind of dark. I have to make a conscious effort to focus on happier, more positive things.
I've always kind of assumed everyone thinks more like I do. I think Derek knows that most people don't have a mind like his, but he also doesn't believe most people's brains are just like mine.
At first I thought this meant everyone else's were somewhere in between, but further speculation leads me to think that each person's mind is so individual that it's close to impossible to put it on some sort of spectrum (although my psych degree has taught me that people are bound and determined to try). The mind is also very difficult to describe, as I've discovered in writing this post.
I hate to ask a question as an ending to this post, because for some reason, that seems to actually deter people from commenting, but I must: What's your brain like? More like Derek's, or mine, or completely and totally different?
UPDATE: Wow. You guys have left some awesome responses, and I'm proud to know some really fascinating brains. I've had so much fun reading about them!