July 30, 2004

Productive ADHD

My sister Kaly the other day suggested I might be ADD, which I wouldn't totally dispute. Mostly because I rarely finish novels (I have started about twelve in the last one year and have finished none. In fact, I haven't gotten past page 40 for about ten of them.). This is why I love reading dictionaries, encyclopedias, how-to's, the way things work, travelogues, atlases, cookbooks, collections of letters (that's as close to the novelist as I can get), and picture books. I absorb bits at a time, though the absorption is constant.

But also because I can't warm to one job for more than a month (six is when I reach my threshold, and two years seems to be just about the time I end up quitting). I think the 18 months beyond the six-month threshold demonstrates quite a bit of determination! When I'm in my vacationing periods, I come up with about a zillion ideas. Design invitations? Go back to working public schools? Tutor? Take people on tours to Vietnam? Train old people on computers?

Maybe my friends' ideas might work. Mike Doheny thinks I should be a lawyer. Actually, he really thinks I should be a CIA agent but we decided I could never get Top Secret clearance because of my twelve previous addresses, six jobs, three names, and "shady" months abroad. Dad's doctor asked me if I was pre-med and Lori is convinced I'm going to make a lot of money really quick and retire. Since Intelligence and Espionage are no longer options, I would probably be a poor non-profit lawyer, a volunteer doctor for MSF, or well... I won't make a lot of money (seriously, who cares when you get to live like I do?). I make what I need and then I run like hell. But I'm getting really good at the retirement part.

The fact is, this supposed ADD has allowed me visits to plenty of places, explore an amazing range of jobs, meet thousands of incredible people and live in too many apartments to count. This is why I write a blog and not a book, why I studied seven languages and barely speak three, volunteer (short term work!), and relocate every 24 months. My Uncle Mike says I have commitment issues... I can't commit to a continent. In fact, I can't commit to a frequent flyer account. In all my years of traveling around the world, I've only ever cashed in on a 25k ticket from NYC to San Fran. I think I have a lot of thinking to do. I think I have to commit to United Airlines. I just hope they don't go by way of PanAm.

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