I’m a great lover of books, but you probably already know that… I recommend one nearly twice a week and always have one or two nearby. I’m also a great believer of education – mostly self-education. However, I’m convinced that the greatest education isn’t found in a book or a university. The greatest education is found in life. I’ve been reminded of that a couple of times lately.
One of these lessons is a simple one. A kindergarten lesson, no less: Square pegs don’t go in round holes.
Have you ever found yourself trying to cram a square peg into a round hole – trying to do something that’s just outside the realms of the possible?
Maybe you’ve gotten caught up in the trap we all do from time to time – trying to be someone we aren’t. We put on this facade, thinking that we’re fooling everyone when in fact we aren’t fooling anyone, especially ourselves. The facade doesn’t fit and we’re incredibly uncomfortable yet we seem to be unable to just step out of it and be ourselves. We get this ridiculous image of who we SHOULD be or who others EXPECT us to be – then we fight a silly battle to try to fit into that skin instead of our own.
Have you ever seen someone in ill-fitting clothing? Maybe it’s a 17 year old boy with pants falling down below his rear. He walks kind of duck-like trying to keep them from sliding down.
Why not buy pants that fit you – instead of trying to fit pats that aren’t suited for you?
Maybe it’s a woman who’s trying to fit into her daughter’s jeans. She shuffles down the aisle at the grocery store, barely able to walk OR breath. You know that if she drops something and has to pick it up, she’ll be buying her daughter a new pair of jeans.
Why not buy jeans that are your size instead of trying to squeeze into jeans that are someone else’s size?
I’m sure that, like me, you can’ t help snickering at the imagery. Yet, we’re just as guilty aren’t we? Maybe not in the clothes we wear, but we’ve certainly fallen into other sections of the tap. After all, we’re human. Below are some of the most common instances of trying to fit square pegs into round holes, skinny bums into huge pants and huge bums into skinny pants:
- The individual who wants to save a few dollars and tries to be his own plumber, roofer, web designer, mechanic, and/or electrician. If you have a career – stick to it. Do what you do and let others do what they do. Think about it. If you try to do other people’s jobs (jobs you aren’t trained for, experienced in, or proficient at) a few things are going to happen:  Odds are you’re going to mess up and have to contact them anyway.  During the time you’re spending doing THEIR job, who’s doing YOUR’S?
- The spouse, girlfriend, or boyfriend who try to be someone different around their guy or gal. Who are you fooling?! Be who you truly are. If you are with someone who wants you to be a different person, that’s a big problem. Throwing on a make believe persona isn’t the answer. It’ll slide off in time and then where will you be? On the wrong side of wasted time, ridiculous facades, and bad acting.
- Maybe you’re the type of person who bites off too much. We (I’m going with we here because this is where I wiggle into the wrong jeans…) think, “If this is good…. this, this, and this will be better!” Not necessarily. I made a Red Velvet Cake recently and made a double amount of cream cheese frosting. Why? I wanted to erase all doubts about having enough – that, plus my daughter Brittany is a Frosting Finger Swiper. I bake all the time and one of my biggest pet peeves is when I have to try to stretch something to go further than it’s capable of going. I despise coming up with less frosting or toppings than I need. I find myself spreading delicious frosting so thin that it can’t even be tasted or appreciated. Then, I’d try to overcompensate by piling on chocolate chips, walnuts, or coconut. Fancy facades are always second best.
- How about followers who are in leader’s positions? We’ve all seen them – bosses and managers who sit at the big desk simply because of family or friends. They don’t have the personality or drive to fill the desk and, deep inside they know it. They live each day trying to spread walnuts and coconut over their insecurities and inefficiencies -hoping no one notices. The sad thing is, they feel just as out of place as they look. The check (and their pride) is too big to rock the boat – but they’d be much happier at a smaller desk. They’d be healthier, more fulfilled, and infinitely more comfortable. Why? It’d fit.
These are just a couple of examples – I’m sure you can think of more.
This may seem like an unusual post coming from blogdom’s Mary Poppins. After all, I’m ALL ABOUT aiming high, fighting the good fight, never giving up, challenging yourself and all of that great stuff. However, I’m even more about not making a dang fool of oneself!
I was up against something a little while back. When I’m doing something that matters to me, I’m as stubborn as any mule could hope to be. I stick with it until I either figure it out or twist it around to where I want it. I think it came from being an only child – my parents always led me to believe I could do anything I decided to do and I guess I took them at their word. However, I have sense enough to know that square pegs don’t go into round holes – they weren’t designed to.
After spending a few hours with the square peg and the unrelenting round hole, it occurred to me, “The time and energy you’re spending here could be better used elsewhere. You could actually be accomplishing something other than frazzled nerves.”
So I laid the square peg down and moved on. And guess what? It felt pretty darn good! I actually moved along to something that was within the realms of the possible and accomplished something I’d been meaning to do for weeks.
No amount of time, no amount of inspirational quotes, no amount of motivational books, not even 3 pots of coffee will make a square peg fit in a round hole or a size 18 arse fit into a size 4 pants. However, a square peg will be divine in a square hole and a size 18 arse will be bootylicious in a size 18 pair of jeans.
Basically, this long post boils down to this:
- Don’t try to be someone you aren’t. Be the original, quirky, warm-hearted person your mother raised. Never try to be someone she wouldn’t even recognize.
- Don’t try to do things you aren’t equipped to do. It’s great to have an area of expertise – and it’s brilliant beyond compare to stick to it.
- If you ever bite off more than you can chew – spit it out before you choke.
- Don’t try to be the queen or king of everything – stick to your own castle and your own kingdom. Remember, if you leave your throne – it’ll be empty, at best, and taken, at worst.
- The next time you seem to be up against the impossible, realize that it may be just that – impossible. Ask yourself, “What could I be accomplishing if I put my time and energy elsewhere?”
- The same lessons hold true for broken dreams and relationships. If you keep staring back at what was “lost,” you’ll never be looking in the right place – ahead – where something truly beautiful can be “found.”
Vow, today, to never waste any more time trying to put square pegs into round holes…. and always wear pants that fit you. Just thought I’d throw that in there.