I was at an event today where the staff were asking people, as an amusement, to tell their lives in 6 words. We had to write them on sticky notes which were then put up on a board. I forgot to read other people’s. But the word ‘inconsiderate’ or ‘self-centered’ didn’t make it to my sticky note. I’m not really either of those things. Maybe ‘forgetful’ or ‘rushed’, since my family was waiting for me to finish up with this distraction. No, ‘distracted’ was not one of the words either. I don’t think of my whole person as living an ADD lifestyle. I just think of it as a force I need to learn to control. Hence my coaching ipso facto this blog.
With no further ado, my words, my life:
**Anyway. I can’t remember the exact wording they used for the assignment but I remember feeling that it was open to interpretation (and also discussion but I had to scoot)*. So I interpreted it as ‘where have I been and where am I going?’ That’s where I sourced my six words. I took them straight from the heart, didn’t think too much. Did it in a few seconds.
Upon reflection, they are pretty good choices to describe me. In my earlier days I was a mover and a shaker. I belonged to clubs and committees. I was committed. Sometimes I also went to clubs. I always worked– ever since I was about 12 years old I earned much of my own spending money. I made a difference to myself and to others, hence the shaking. The shaking also in reference, in retrospect, to the things I did not know. The choices I could have made but didn’t. I was young. It’s forgivable. The places I went and the things I did were not always under sound direction. There may have been wise and/or experienced people around me, but I was not yet wise and/or experienced enough to know how to learn from them.
Moving. Shaking. Pausing. Pausing is what happened around the time I got married. I was on a path to somewhere but my husband’s path at that time required me to redirect. I don’t regret it, but whenever I have tried to forge a path since then I’ve only had modest success, if any. Over the years, it’s gotten worse. I am now at a point where I am trying to gain some traction to fuel the motivation to get me back on any track at all. It’s like having to start from threshing wheat when you’ve been eating white bread all your life. So that’s the pause.
Now I’m thinking: Maybe I don’t like white bread. Hey, maybe I can use this threshing machine for some other purpose. What path can I walk down without having to jump over too many fallen logs but that is still beautiful and interesting. I see lots of roads. I guess I’m kind of lucky that way. The challenge is also choosing one that I won’t have to walk back down from and start again.
So I need to start moving again. That’s the future or maybe the early present stage that I summarized on that post-it. On some level we can’t help but learn and grow, and in that sense we will always be moving forward. I just don’t want to keep circling back to the same place.
*So if you ever want to know how the ADD mind works, it’s like this. Though thought thought (diversion)thought (diversion) diversion diversion(thought … what was I thinking?) Aha. Thought. Thought. Distraction DISTRACTION (oooh. Birdie!) (birds birds lalalala birds…)THOUGH THOUGHT. MUST THINK. Write. Concentrate. Focus, focus… (distraction).
Can you find the pattern? Neither can I. At least when I’m writing I can go back to wherever I was before the distraction train (usually enclosed in brackets) takes over the tracks. Distractions in my writing can also be identified by asterisks. That’s when I you know that I know that I’m getting waaaaaaaay off topic. What high school novel spoke of the beauty of distractions by some other name….?
Or was it Good Will Hunting? No.
Catcher in the Rye? Abundant readers, help me out here. It’s late and I’m distracted and….
digression? Tangent? Aberration?? A guy in my high school class had business cards printed up that said ‘intellectual aberrations’ and then his name and phone number. That’s where I learned that word.
Found it! Wikipedia.
That digression business got on my nerves. I don’t know. The trouble with me is, I like it when somebody digresses. It’s more interesting and all. … Oh, sure! I like somebody to stick to the point and all. But I don’t like them to stick too much to the point. I don’t know. I guess I don’t like it when somebody sticks to the point all the time. The boys that got the best marks in Oral Expression were the ones that stuck to the point all the time — I admit it. But there was this one boy, Richard Kinsella. He didn’t stick to the point too much, and they were always yelling “Digression!” at him. It was terrible, because in the first place, he was a very nervous guy — I mean he was a very nervous guy — and his lips were always shaking whenever it was his time to make a speech, and you could hardly hear him if you were sitting way in the back of the room. When his lips sort of quit shaking a little bit, though, I liked his speeches better than anybody else’s.… It’s nice when somebody tells you about their uncle. Especially when they start out telling you about their father’s farm and then all of a sudden get more interested in their uncle. I mean it’s dirty to keep yelling “Digression!” at him when he’s all nice and excited. I don’t know. It’s hard to explain.
No, I get it. I totally understand. Except that I love public speaking. I am a total ham. And I don’t necessarily love OTHER people’s digressions. Found some other interesting ‘digression’ quotes on my search, though Positive and negative ones.
** This is the digression that originally appeared in the double asterisk-ed area above:
The staff people (who I consider to be very cool people ipso facto their opinions as well. Liking my new Latin? I am. Can you tell?) thought it was a really good one, or at least really different. Stood out in whatever way, I guess. Not that that was the point, though it is. I imagine myself to be outstanding (don’t we all?) in certain aspects, creativity being one of them. Ipso facto (ipso facto ipso facto ergo facto ipso facto shmakto packto poopsy doopsy. Latin is fun!) and writing another. Outstanding, that is, (let’s be real and also present ourselves modestly) compared to the Average Joe who anyway… doesn’t matter. Off topic. Toot toot. That was me blowing my horn.
That’s how I write. Find paint, throw it all over the canvas, carve it away slowly and carefully to reveal…. hopefully a masterpiece. But sometimes just a stick figure. Mostly something in between.
In my defense, I am just going to post this without further editing bc I really need to move on to other things. I love stream-of-consciousness writing, but it can be a huge distraction for me once I get into it.