Why Venn Diagrams Genuinely Make Me Feel Better About Things

Why Venn Diagrams Genuinely Make Me Feel Better About Things

Oh, Venn diagrams, putting our messy world into some kind of colourful perspective…

I love Venn diagrams – I really do. I love them because they represent to me everything that I always imagined would be brilliant about being good at maths. (I’ve always been terrible at maths). I fancy, in my woolly artsy way, that the mathematically-inclined have a season ticket to a world of unwavering order and reason, and this world is a GOOD world! It’s a snug and logical place where everything balances and makes sense, and once you’re right you’re never, ever wrong. What a lovely world that must be. It’s like a Disneyesque magical kingdom… and Venn diagrams offer non mathematically-inclined folks like myself a glimpse of that world.

I’ve spent large chunks of my life struggling with feeling not quite one thing and yet not quite another. Venn Diagrams offer a way of depicting this where it’s not just OK, but actually really nice to look at! They present us with the mathematical licence to turn predicaments into pretty new colours. Whether it’s words or pictures or, dammit, even numbers, you can feel like this no-man’s-land of yours is actually the very point of it all. And then you start to appreciate it that much more.

Because Venn diagrams visually organise all sorts of information so brilliantly, they really help me out of my compartmentalising comfort zone. Yes, there’s This and there’s That, but where it overlaps is where the magic happens. A bit like life, maybe. (Plus you can feel free to retreat back into This or That if you need a breather!)

venn diagram

Unicorns and narwhales… it’s a kind of magic, via Elise and Justin.

So… Venn diagrams help me dispense with what is less useful, and they help me better understand the bits on the outside of the diagram which have made the middle bit possible. They offer us a chance to overlap the seemingly disparate worlds of logical, purposeful order and messy emotional humanity.

And it all feels so much more do-able when you get to colour it in!

Venn diagrams are nice and thoughtful and make me smile and feel better. I guess that’s because the middle bit (whether it’s a Venn diagram or daily life) is one of my favourite places to curl up with a cup of tea, sigh contentedly and ponder my day.

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