Building A Better Mental Ecosystem: Square Pegs

I finally figured it out – the whole going fallow thing. It isn’t so much about burning the weeds and allowing a new plant to grow as it is allowing the existing plants — the ones who are being choked by the weeds — to flourish.

This sounds a lot like a duh kind of thing, I know, but for the last few months I’ve been focusing on creating a New Barb. In reality, New Barb has been there the whole time. Instead of trying to grow something new, I should have been tending to the existing Barb. Clearing the field so that the existing form can breathe and grow come spring.

It’s a subtle shift in thinking, but it matters.

Square Peg/Round Hole

See, my entire life, I have been a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. I have never quite felt like I fit in. Even with my squad – who I love dearly and who love me in return. Last night it hit me that the world is filled with square pegs. The answer is to love your corners.

And that means accepting that sometimes you’ll feel a little lonely. Being an individual is inherently lonely. That’s why so many of us feel compelled to follow the crowd. We want to know others think like we do or see the world the same way.

One of the reasons I loathe social media is that my feeds almost never reflect how I think. If anything, my news feeds filled with posts telling me how I’m supposed to think. And I’m not merely talking politics. The writing world is filled with conventional wisdom posts. (Or posts following conventional wisdom advice.)


In truth, no one sees the world like I do, nor will they because they are them and I am me. This applies to politics, to writing, to raising kids. Everything. This blog may resonate with people, but what readers take away will be uniquely individual.

Instead of trying desperately to find someone online or in life who thinks like I do, I should be focusing on accepting my individuality. Being me and doing me. The existing me, that is, corners and all.

Therefore, my new motto is going to be “Barb does Barb”. Okay, actually it’s always been Barb does Barb. My new mission, however, will be to stop thinking Barb is wrong. Because there is no right or wrong when it comes to Barb. Just Barb.

Go do you, people. Do you.

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2 Responses to Building A Better Mental Ecosystem: Square Pegs

  1. Susan Meier says:

    Love it. Remember west wing? Let Bartlett be Bartlett. That’s how you win at being you.

    And for the record, I’ve always loved Barb. So you’re on a good path.


  2. Lesley M Mathews says:

    Perfect. And I love Barb as Barb. You are enough, you always have been. Excellent reminder, one I need too.

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