Square Peg

I love witty personalized license plates. Sometimes it takes me a minute or two to figure out the intended message, but this one was a cinch!

Square Peg 5 - this is the one

According to Wikipedia, “‘Square peg in a round hole’ is an idiomatic expression which describes the unusual individualist who could not fit into a niche of his or her society.”

If we replace the words “could not” in the definition, with “would not,” it comes closer to describing me. I’m not fond of being fit into a particular mold. I’d like to think that while staying true to myself, I can “shift my shape” to meet the situation at hand.

My friend Carol at Wanderings of an Elusive Mind was recently asked, “In your native language which letter or character describes you best? Why?” I love her response:

“I think I’ll pick () – parentheses. Not one half, but both sides. Because it reminds me of a hug, and that’s how I feel about life, most of the time. It’s one big hug, it’s all-encompassing, but you’re not locked in like you would be had I picked an O.”

Is your shape fluid or fixed?

© Laurie Buchanan

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51 thoughts on “Square Peg

  1. I love the concept of shape shifting, not so much by complete transformation as by conscious choice to become more like what we aspire to be and maleable enough to connect with others to achieve goals. All of this without becoming a chameleon and losing self altogether!

    Lovely to be at a computer on a Tuesday morning, Laurie. Ready to greet the day with you.

  2. Some parts are fluid as water or air, and other parts are more solid like earth. It’s sure fun to see some of the more creative license plates, isn’t it? P.S. Like what Carol said, too. Love witnessing what Life expresses through all of us…

  3. You got me thinking Laurie! I can see myself as a Y with arms up to embrace the day with a sun salutation or a woohoo!
    I’m also a balanced and grounded A.
    Perhaps most of all I like being a C, where there is space to let others in.
    xo

  4. You also got me thinking, as you usually do. I was going to say I’m getting more fixed in my ways with age, but considering the many new things I’m trying at the moment, perhaps I’m more fluid than I think…:)

  5. For the first twenty years of my life I was pretty square. Over time I have become more circular, I think. As we know, wheels roll more easily over life’s terrain than do squares, triangles, or rectangles. Besides, circle shapes connect more easily with others, touching at a mutual “sweet spot.” Another thought: Balls don’t have crevices for criticism and negativity to sink into – just rolls off like water off a duck’s back.

    I guess I picked an O, but I don’t feel locked in – fluidity is my mantra most days.

  6. Laurie, that’s a interesting question, it brings on a case a introspection while caught up in the daily routine of external affairs. Mentally saying the Alphabet, I felt more in tune with the letter S. It curves, it slides around obstacles, it moves where a rigid line will not, it flows.
    In my life when confronted by a barrier, I don’t throw up my hands, sit down and cry, I look for another way around the issue. Can I go around, under, or over, maybe even straight through!? Options, that’s what S has, Options!

  7. Laurie, I am flattered that you quoted me! It certainly has prompted interesting responses – I love the variety in the way we see ourselves, and the positivity is wonderful!

  8. Oh, fluid for sure. I do know how to behave in “polite society” when I have do. These days I really prefer not to have to though. This morning after four long, dark, dreary days of rain the sun finally reappeared. As I was starting my morning walk I stood for a moment on the porch, raised my hands to the heavens and did a little cheer for the sun. Now I’m sure that gave the neighbors something to talk about. It’s taking me awhile to get used to fact that people do watch out their windows even when they are not seen and my quirkiness will make them talk. Even though it is all by choice, it can still be uncomfortable when other try to force square pegs into that round hole We just don’t fit.

  9. Another great thought provoking post!! I would say I am more of the “shorthand” shape from days past rather than a typical alphabet shape. I never seem to follow the straight and narrow and all the curves, lines, and shapes can have different meanings depending on the sentence!

  10. What an interesting question.
    I pride myself on being undefinable and yet I’m always trying to define myself. Maybe that makes me a ‘W’ — always riding the waves. ‘W’ rather than an ‘M’ because I like to define myself as positive rather than negative. Oops, there I go again trying to define myself.

  11. As usual, interesting question Laurie.

    Are you familiar with Amoeba – little single celled animals that move by sending out “pseudopodia” (foot like extensions), and sort of flowing into that new direction?

    For most of my life I have had this mental image of myself as a sort of conceptual amoeba, but rather than moving into new spaces, I just sort of expand into them, become them. In that mental image, the “space” is not restricted to 3 dimensions, every new distinction or abstractions opens a new and potentially infinite dimension that I slide a new pseudopod into (to “gain a foot hold”).

    In this conception, my shape is constantly changing, always expanding, has semi fluid boundaries, and is always extending both its range within every dimension visited and the number of dimensions occupied.

    The number of dimensions available seems to be infinite, so logic has forced me to accept that irrespective of the number of dimensions I manage to visit, or the depths I manage to investigate any of them, I will still be a close approximation to ignorant. Infinity is like that, vast beyond any ability to imagine.

    • Ted — My mind immediately went to a sea anemone when you wrote amoeba. I think it’s because the visual of the sea anemone is easier for me to wrap my head around. I can easily picture you with all of those arm-like tentacles gathering, storing, and using information as fast as you can! 🙂

  12. I think I would choose pi, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Equal to 3.14159265358979323846… , the digits go on forever without ever repeating. In the finite world we will never live the same moment more than once, so every moment of every day is a unique experience. And, as with pi, this process is eternal.

  13. I am as fluid as I want to be , never fixed . I just couldn’t be . I have spent many a year in the past pushing legs and arms kicking into that big vast hole , realising when only half of me was there , it really wasn’t worth the force . Now I just flow as a when I wish …so wonderful to be happy being JUST ME Laurie .
    Cherryx

  14. Since I’ve separated and divorced and you know all to well that b.s. my ex has put me through I would have to say (!X#$!!%$5) when it comes to custody and that bitter troll ex wife of mine. Overall though I’m a big teddy bear 🙂 when it comes to everything else.

    I would say pre split though I was more fixed now I’m definitely fluid, does any of this make sense or does it just sound good in my head LOL.

  15. When playing the piano I liked knowing the rules and kept fairly close to what was given by others, My Mother and Sister are very close to the rules of society and parenting and staying the path and it serves them well. I had to give up on trying to follow the rules because I knew the Doctors were wrong about 2 of my kiddos and I am very, very happy I went my own way to give them greater freedom and creativity and they are so healthy now and my oldest can create with numbers like nobody else I know is able…I was wrong for the church and had to find other avenues to use my gifts – problem solving and integrating ideas at an amazing pace. It was hard to find a job that would pay me for my skills – though they all wanted me to volunteer my time – I am very much a failure at earning money and yet awesome as a parent and counselor or teacher…. The rules folks were always asking me to leave I am a rushing river in a calm body very much not a part of any mold.

  16. It is certainly my own tendency to be fluid, Laurie, though I know with post people it all depends on the circumstances. Again you have come up with a fantastic post from a look ahead on the road. 🙂

  17. In this world a little humility and a little conformity go a long way and we don’t have to compromise our principles in all cases. We learn that our square peg should be a little rounder in many cases.

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