I’m super ADD, and it’s always been a bit of a hindrance for…
… sorry. I saw a bird.
Anyway, a part of me likes to think of it as a defense mechanism, protecting me from the forces of boredom and preventing me from engaging too long with things that have little relevance or importance to me. But the truth is that there’s more to it than that. It has been a constant foe to overcome, with extremely mixed results, since I was diagnosed in middle school. There’s medication, there’s learning new habits, there’s praying it away, but the truth is, there’s no cure for what I have. Only a constant effort to curb it.
Until I stopped trying. The following is the most mundane thing in the world, and yet it has influenced my entire life view.
When I was in college, I had to write a report about someone in the broadcast industry, and found myself shadowing a director at Fox News, who we’ll call George Michael. Now, this wasn’t about the politics of the network; it was just about his working life. George Michael’s was pretty hectic. He was constantly in motion, approving the rundown, preparing footage, handling his crew, and getting things ready for his different shows. He handled live on-air editing and behind the scenes work, and it all required his constant focus and dedication. He was the opposite of ADD and he was, and still is, damn good at his job.
Late in the day, before his first show of the evening started, he had to make copies of the rundown, but also had to go to the bathroom. So he set the copies up, took off for the men’s room, and when came back, the copies were just finishing up.
Most people might have blinked and missed it, but that moment changed my life.
I’m pretty impressionable in general, but my ADD went bananas over this. The idea of covering tasks that you wanted and needed to do at once was a revelation. To let my ADD be a guiding star in productivity, rather than fight a losing battle against it. To ride wave after wave of ideas and necessities, letting them coalesce into some crazy order of their own, was something I never considered before. I’d always thought I had to tame the beast. But in that moment, I realized I could hop on board.
Now, look, I understand you can’t just hop on and hope for the best. Even as I write this, I have taken a variety of breaks to make dinner and catch up on the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. But at the end of the day, I get what I need to do done. I hit all my deadlines because instead of struggling to focus on them one at a time, I embraced my abilities and trusted myself because I don’t need to fight who I am. I can just be it. And I implore everyone to find that truth in themselves. Even Mica.
As long as I’m not caught in her path.