ADHD and Dreams of an "Adult" Life

At an ADHD group I participated in, I set the goal of buying an apartment. A year and a half later, I have yet to take any of the steps I mapped out.
ADHD & the City | posted by Jane D.

With the 34th birthday rounding the corner, I wish I had something called stability.

Jane D., ADHD & the City Blogger

The sister is moving out of our parents' house. She has her own place now and the moving day is marked with a finite red "X" on the calendar.

At the age of 27, she's acquired something very adult-like that I have yet to imagine attaining -- a mortgage. The irony here is that I am seven years her senior, and am a real estate junkie who combs the pages of the real estate sections dreaming of the dream apartment. The second irony for me is that it is just that -- a dream.

Okay, I'll admit it: I'm jealous, in the same way that I wish for Eva Mendes' figure or Iman's height.

The sister is a homebody and as stable as a sphinx. In her spare time (which seems very spare since she she's as focused as a hawk), she goes to farms and picks pumpkins and apples for a homemade pie. She's kept close touch with friends from kindergarten. She's had the same job for four years now at the same company, and she has been blessed with organizational savvy.

She is seven years younger than I, and I am envious, but there's guilt attached to envy, too. Just doesn't seem right if I were to admit that I'm rather bitter, at times, that some things just don't come that easy to me, and that with the 34th birthday rounding the corner, I wish I had something called stability. I remember the ADHD group I participated in more than a year ago. There was a session about the challenges of attaining long-term goals, and how we ADHDers can overcome those hurdles. One woman wanted to write a book, another plan a vacation overseas, and I popped up and said I wanted to buy my own apartment -- hopefully overlooking the water and in the heart of New York City. "We're dreamers," another group member laughed. The group leader, a kind-hearted psychologist, mapped out the steps -- research neighborhoods, take first time homeowners' course, start looking for places to live, make a list of brokers, get finances in order. The plan made sense and even seemed obvious. A year and a half later, I have yet to take any of those steps. What is wrong, I don't know. Now the reality of the inaction and the pipedream stares me straight in the eye as I watch the sister pack. She has lived in one place her entire life, and now the room that she's grown up in is almost empty. The boxes are packed and ready to go.

My room remains packed with suitcases, boxes, books, clothes, and what could be labeled clutter. This "clutter" is the result of many years of moving jobs, homes, cities, states, countries, and its very existence is crucial. In some ways this is home base and a portal.

When I'm not home, the sister has occasionally moved or borrowed something. Something that one could easily label "clutter" shifts, and I am left searching for it. The sister's argument is that the room is a mess and someone needs to clean it. Over this holiday weekend, I finally explained the anger to the sister.

"I've never had any stability in my life, so the place might look like a mess, but it's still my stuff and I know that whatever other insanity happens in my life, it will still be here," I explain.

Okay, she shrugs. I won't touch your stuff, and plus I'll be moving out soon, she says.

I feel the sting. Why am I so upset? When the moving trucks come next week, it will be clear. Like most other people of our generation, the sister has moved on to mortgage, perhaps marriage, and a family. I wish her good luck and am really happy for her, but in the end, I can't shake off the anger and streak of envy in my voice. Will it ever be me?

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