Fearless Journal – When Freedom means Chaos – What to do?

I think I must be the prototypical ADHD adult – the Queen of Scattered attention.  It isn’t just that I have a multitude of interests (everything from world politics to tango to astrology to corporate culture to holistic medicine and Islāmic art and … and ) , and that my mind gets enthralled for hours in one diversion or another, but I have a low tolerance for boredom, and being forced to do one or another activity.  I am the child of the illusion of choice – that I don’t have to do a thing – unless I choose to do so … which is a bunch of malarkey, because there are plenty of things one has to do, without wanting to – It is part of growing up, or just living on the planet, if one never grows up, like yours truly.  But I still like the challenge of creating an existence that feels as “free” and as “committed to the moment” and as “intentional” as possible – all based on that American mythology of “choice” and “freedom”.  (The child who was nursed upon 60’s tv – when cigarettes were cool and alcohol was a beverage used in the office)

Marilyn and Rules

But the dark side of freedom, which the world has been witnessing for nearly a decade now – is that a companion of freedom to freely go against convention – whether they be cultural mores attached to sexual relations or social niceties attached to returning phone calls or correspondence or political participation or non-participation (Shall I attend the revolution this evening?) … the dark side is that we start to losing grasp of any sort of structure at all.

And let me tell you, as one who has had a phobia of structure, which to me signified a loss of my personal freedom and control of my own life, that it has taken me a LONG time to understand that a beautiful structure depends upon certain rules of construction.  I remember about 9 years ago, being ENTIRELY confounded in my first design school program – where I was introduced to the idea of RULES to be used in designing a solution to a thing.  I remember muttering to my classmates – RULES, the nerve of her … why do I need RULES to create something beautiful?  I mean I wasn’t totally ignorant of design principles which were, as I understood, guidelines one followed more often than not … but rules.  Let’s just say – I am not a big fan of “rules” unless I make them myself.  How very American of me … just a spoiled bratti-americana.

Anyway … I can go on about how I felt oppressed by having to force fit myself into one social culture after a next, just so that I wouldn’t be socially annihilated by my peers in one new school after the next; or how my mother taught me the conflicting values of independence and social-autonomy, while insisting that I not question or challenge the big decisions she made which often disrupted my life; or that my past years of dealing with years of chronic depressions which interfered with me following normal schedules … I could go on and on about this – but what it comes down to is … that I evolved into a creature of NON-Habit, and my biggest Habit to break is my phobia of Habits and routines.

I KNOW this is a problem … how does one build something lasting, like careers, relationships, etc.  if one doesn’t adopt regular habits, routines, schedules and so forth?  It isn’t that I am flakey, or irresponsible, but just that my life rhythm, rather than being a well-structured symphony, is more of a interpretive jazz session … So in my effort in creating a sense of order in my prismatic perspective …. I have started using TODOist … and making order and prioritize my many interests and activities.

Todoist – is basically a glorified Todo list which is succeeding in  harnessing my scattered attention, and prioritizing my day’s activities which are free-form unless I impose some sort of structure.  Check it out –



I wish I were getting a kickback for this promo, but I am not … take it from me … from a person who hates routines and rules, but appreciates the importance of a TO-do list.




2 thoughts on “Fearless Journal – When Freedom means Chaos – What to do?

  1. I am not quite sure what the answer to this one is… How to build lasting relationships / careers / etc. when you are “flaky”.

    Then again, people don’t really change all that much, so as long as you are true to yourself and you did not hide who you were from the start, a partner should allow you the freedom to live who you are – provided you reciprocate and do the same for them. In a relationship, the answer may be as simple as full disclosure and regular (although not necessarily constant) communication.

    With regards to a career, I think that you lose a great measure of your flexibility when you choose to work for a boss. You yourself have written extensively about the evils of large corporations, so I am sure you will share my view that the answer for most of the world’s ills lay in individual entrepreneurial spirit. The great thing is that, although your levels of service / quality of your output / product should remain consistently high, being an entrepreneur means CONSTANT change and adaption.

    I hope that you will decide to join us for the debate challenge.
    The November motion is here: http://paddastoel.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/november-devils-advocate-motion-announcement/
    There are still three days to sign up since you will be the Devil’s Advocate if you join 🙂


  2. I think you may have misunderstood me. I am not a flakey friend, but rather one that lives a somewhat unpredictable life. I mean it is predictable in the sense that I do make plans and have goals, but those plans and goals vary more than most people’s. Mainly because I have no one to answer to, except for myself. I have no specific longstanding commitments – to anything or anyone at this point in my life. What I have are intentions … to make the best of the relationships and opportunities and life gifts that I have as long as I have them.


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