Some days the photography goddess goes with you. Other times she hangs out with the real photographers. Such was my Saturday. After deleting almost half of my photos I felt like the wolf in this great graphic adorning a bakery near Flax Art & Design. What the hell happened?”
Immediately mantras sprang to mind. “The worst day spent [hobby] is better than the best day working.” “If you at first don’t succeed, try, try again.” “You learn more from your mistakes.” Fill in your favorite cliché. But the pounding in my ears sounded too much like “grab some pine, meat.” [A shout out to my fellow SF Giants fans.] Certain photos [like this fire hydrant] caused this familiar taunt to grow louder.
Initially I pushed the article aside because I approach the world like a battleship (invoking the strong women running through both my blood lines). However, closer reflection — notably an apartment littered with failed hobbies and the frustrated voices of exes/friends past — chastened me. I remembered how quickly I dropped things I could not master in an afternoon or [being fair] not ever given certain of my limitations. Not only did it prevent me from perhaps one day mastering certain subjects (hey a girl can dream), but it cost me respect (both my own and that of others). These are losses I no longer want crumbling my foundation.
Then I read a great Lifehacker post urging readers to adopt a Buddhist approach to life. It advised making one’s life goal to remove unhappiness rather than chase happiness. You can find this provocative piece at http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/what-do-you-need-to-let-go-of.html
Frankly it deserves a blog post of its own. It still runs through my mind like a waterfall: beautiful but beyond grasp. It’s incredibly empowering but also seemingly dishonest. What if you owe an obligation to the unhappiness? (Ah; the neglected child and first wife lament – time to put this puppy [post] to bed soon). Too many things are whirring in my brain, much like the mural excerpt below. I real sleep more than blogging absolution.
Besides not everything becomes a total loss. You end up with the parent best able —and most willing— to care for you. Both you and your ex grow inwardly stronger after you part. [Plus you get to litter your new apartment with anything you want. Evil grin.] Finally it’s virtually impossible not to come home with at least one or two nice pictures in San Francisco (as hopefully shown below).
Good night and thanks for hanging in with this post.
Although many tout Ginger Rogers for doing everything Fred Astaire did “backwards and in heels,” it’s generally not the world’s greatest strategy. After all it requires strapping on ankle breaking footwear and attacking a situation with your eyes closed. However, those of us with ADHD live a similar strategy, which I describe as an homage to “Wrong Way [Douglas] Corrigan” (a 1930’s era pilot who attained celebrity status by mistakenly flying to Ireland instead of New York). Unfortunately, unlike the publicity-savvy Corrigan, most ADHDer’s fill our lives with missed appointments, unpaid bills, and broken promises rather than celebrity endorsements.
Even though ADHD entered my life as an unsolicited burden, I now view it as a unexpected gift both for those of us with it and society as a whole. Despite popular cultural attacks – yes I’m talking to you “South Park” – ADHDer’s are not lazy, stupid, or defiant. Our sluggish cortex may impede our efforts to focus on things lacking an immediate payoff, impede our listening skills, or weaken our impulse control. But conversely it frees us to hyperfocus when it matters, see things others miss in their rush to conformity, and take chances on outsiders (be they people or ideas). None of the above is ever a popular position to take, notably in a time of seemingly shrinking resources and unstable political outcomes. Yet without the “fully aware”(aka non-ADHDer’s) who possess great courage and us ADHDer’s who stumble blindly along, society would often miss potential solutions.
Mind you these potential solutions don’t succeed every time. Nor can they erase the societal and personal damage an undiagnosed or undisciplined ADHDer causes. However, to paraphrase both Hegel and Act-Up, “no motion (silence) equals death.” Less poetically an unwillingness to seek out the new coupled with a refusal to diversify dooms both societies and organizations. Maybe its our eternal status as outsiders or simply our head-blindness but most ADHDer’s lack those fears.
This theory jumped at me (again) when I examined my last set of photos. I could have — and maybe should have — tossed them due to the bright midday sun. Further many lacked focus because once again a migraine muddled my brain. However, looking closer I saw the shots behind the shots (play of shadows, reflections in windows, or just unusual look of items). Part of handling ADHD involves a lot of self-forgiveness. Hopefully this will explain the indulgence I displayed by posting this latest slide show.
Sorry to have been out of touch. Sometimes real life has a way of painfully intruding. Making it worse my particular interruptions bordered on the boringly banal rather than the particularly profound.
Even within this banality I gathered important life lessons. Real loved ones (be they family or friends) step forward to help (if only with constructive criticism) . Those merely skirting the edges of your life run for the hills (making the whole process almost worthwhile). You best show strength with restraint (besides driving your enemies crazy). Being able to face a mirror with both your sense of humor and inner conscience intact is priceless.
Still I designed this blog to bring me joy and hopefully amuse my occasional readers. Thus no matter how exhilarating I may find certain battles, none will enter here. Instead I plan to plaster my pictures, blather about my web-based journeys, and ruminate on my obsession de jure. All best to satisfy my ADHD riddled mind.
My impulsive need for disclosure requires me to conclude with the following. Staying true to all parts of my personality – including the creative side – only strengthens me. I urge you all to nurture all your favorite parts as well. Feeding our strengths and happiness allows us to more easily stand by each other. Having achieved almost a half-century (gulp), I now realize the only thing we take and leave behind is love