Tuesday, September 2, 2008

thoughts on blogging + ADHD + veggiemobile

I'm sitting here strumming on the guitar, spinning this expansive melody and getting totally frustrated because I have no words for it. I don't know why it's so dang difficult for me to write lyrics.

I'm also frustrated because something about this new blog isn't sitting right. I was archiving my old xanga blog and rereading some old posts. My thoughtfulness surprised me. It seemed, while not much was going in my outside life there was a lot more going on inside my head. The reason I started blogging was because I had this impulse to journal, but there just didn't seem to be a point to writing something nobody would ever read. The idea of an audience, even the nebulous notion of some possible readership somewhere in the world, was enough to get me writing. And yet, I realized ("don't expect" about 1/2way down the page) that I wasn't really writing for anyone but myself, so I didn't really censor or edit myself. I didn't think "if I write this, they will think I am that kind of person" or "that will bore people" or even "they might not get my reference here I should explain it." Looking back, I find that me-person more interesting than the me-person that's here so far.

There it was more like I was a bodiless mind floating in a great expanse populated by other minds that may or may not drift near enough to pick up some brainwaves. From the start, here, it feels like I am standing in front of a roomful of people, particularly Spartanburg people, talking to them, trying to be interesting enough so they won't walk out. I'm overly aware of an audience and it's giving me something like stage fright. I've been reading other people's blogs too, which are fascinating to me as a reader but crippling as a writer. All of the sudden I'm weighed down by all these expectations which may or may not even exist.

Shake it off, Lydia.

Today, I locked my wallet and keys in the car, because I was late to work, because I slept too long. After work, even after psyching myself up to work on this new article for the Spark, I ended up sleeping most of the afternoon. Then, when I finally did wake up and get on the computer, everything else came rushing in...it's amazing how much work you can get done while avoiding the work you're supposed to be doing. Generally, I allow myself a little leeway on matters like this - might as well do it while the doing's good. I know from experience that ignoring the impulse and trying to force my concentration on the task at hand usually results in unproductive, frustrated hours, then, when I go back to the thing I'd wanted to do earlier, I find I am so exhausted from trying to ignore it I no longer have any energy for it. But at least today I eventually got around to the article and got a good hour or two on it. If only I hadn't slept...I could have run out of other things to do much earlier in the day and had more actual work time.

I've been reading a lot about adult ADHD lately. It's interesting how in the medical community, there's a lot of "without proper medication, this disorder will likely cause significant problems in your life." And then there are people who say that it isn't a disorder at all, it's just something unique about you that you learn to work with, playing on your strengths and accounting for weaknesses. Sometimes I contemplate medication...it would be great to stop unintentionally tuning people out and having to get them to repeat themselves three times. It would also be great to finish more of what I start, not interrupt people or finish their sentences, not fidget, be able to focus in a noisy room, etc... But I have this fear that it might take away my motivation or lessen my creativity or my ability to come up with non-linear solutions to problems. It might be messing around with who I am - and I'm generally pretty happy with me.

I'm learning how to arrange my life so that I function best. Sometimes, I adapt my environment, sometimes I adapt myself. Homeschooling and college synched nicely with my modus operandi - lots of choice, innovation welcomed rather than stigmatized. I'm wondering (and a little anxious) how it will be different in the work world. A lot of bosses have little patience for employees doing things their own way.

Hmm. I really didnt expect to be writing about that tonight. Oh! but I just thought of a story I read somewhere, about a little girl who was doing poorly in school. Her parents were very concerned - she was always fidgeting and having trouble focusing in class, and her grades were suffering, so they took her to a doctor. They thought she might have some kind of disorder. The doctor talked to her and her parents for a while and then said to the girl "We're going to have a private word in the other room. Please stay here." As he left the room he turned on the radio. He took her parents to a one-way glass window and they watched her. Less than a minute passed before she was on her feet, moving to the music. The doctor turned to the parents and said "She's fine. She does not have a disorder. She's a dancer."
They enrolled her in dance lessons, and not only did she begin to flourish, she grew to become one of the most renowned dancers and choreographers of her time - Gillian Lynne, choreographer of Cats and Phantom of the Opera. You can't help but wonder what would have happened if they'd decided she was ADD and put her on Ritalin.

Oh! I just figured out where I heard about her! Sir Ken Robinson's TED talk. Go watch it, it's good.

And now, presenting this week's Really Awesome Idea:

The Veggiemobile.

Yesterday, Chang discovered his brilliant idea had already been set in motion.


  1. I like this blog. You even name-dropped the Spark. What more could I ask for? By the way, the article was awesome.

  2. ~ Thanks for digging my vegetable van idea, I'd love to see someone get it going around here.

    ~ That's interesting about the ADHD stuff, I was diagnosed but never medicated as a kid. I hear now it's getting to where kids have to undergo a psychological evaluation to start school, and if they're diagnosed they have to take the medication in order to go. That and vaccinations, it's just crazy.

    ~ I've seen other TED talks but that was a good one, that guy was pretty funny, and made some great points. How our education system was set up for the advancement of the industrial age, and the focus being on academics rather then encouraging creative thought by teaching kids how to learn in their own way, that opens the question to what kind of a world are we entering into, as it does seem we are coming towards a crescendo of some kind, and are faced with having to rethink a lot of concepts we've taken for granted for so long, in general terms.

    ~ The world is a stage, especially in these times of online people zoos like myspace and the like. One step closer to digital singularity, which can go either way I guess. I see no need to worry about anything given that they're turning on that Large Hydron Collider sept 10th, which could create a blackhole that consumes the Earth, some say. If nothing else at least it gives me a reason till then to be completely stress free.

  3. Hey Lydia,
    This was the post that I wanted to leave a comment on. I had one all typed up that day, but then I hit the create a blog button and...

    Anyway. I don't remember exactly what I was going to say but it something about how much I love you and how much we think alike, so very very alike, without really being that alike. Though, compared to some people we're very alike, of course... but the differences between us are very marked as well.

    What I was going to say before was much more eloquent and thoughtful, so of course I can't remember it.

    Hopefully this will lead you to my blog as well. I read the two posts you'd made since this one, but since this was the post that wooed me to such a kinship frenzy I wished to post, I thought I'd leave the comment here.

    I hope you actually read it and don't just not notice it since it's not near the top anymore!

    I won't sign my name, since I'm keeping my name out of my own blog and this and that are connected. But you should know who this is... and if not I'll step on your mind again next time I see you... squish. ;)

  4. My name is Nathan Finch and i would like to show you my personal experience with Ritalin.

    I am 32 years old. Have been on Ritalin for 2 years now. This drug has saved my life. I have seen drastic differences between times in my life when I was taking it and when I was not. I failed out of one school and graduated top of my class in the next. Floated from job to job and then became very successful. I don't like the way I feel when I am taking it (I'm boring -- no personality) so, I time my doses to help me in the office or when I have to focus on mundane task's at home like paying bills, taxes etc. and then go without it when I'm recreating.

    I have experienced some of these side effects-
    Initially some apatite suppression, insomnia and slight gitters. This was corrected by reducing my afternoon dose.

    I hope this information will be useful to others,
    Nathan Finch

    Ritalin Prescription Information


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