Guest Blogs

“Learning How to Stay Put”

When I was younger, I moved so often a date asked if I was working for the CIA. Now, I’ve found a better balance between settling down and shifting around.

It has been too long since I took the time to sit down, reflect, and write. I moved to a new city and started a new job after my husband and I split up in February. But this transition is all too familiar. Moving is my norm. As my favorite aunt tells me, “This is you. Where is the longest you’ve been someplace and stayed?”

It takes a while to rack my brain. “Yes…when is the last time I’ve stayed for more than 2 years?” That seems to be my ADHD brain’s maximum threshold for one location. Settle, move and shift. Settle, move, and shift. I’m ok because I’m familiar with the patterns. In the last 20 years, I’ve probably changed addresses and cell phone numbers at least a dozen times — to the point where one date asked if I was working as a spy for the CIA.

The thing is, I don’t actually like the moving experience: packing, tracking things, losing friendships, and saying goodbye. Now that I’m entering middle age, each transition becomes a little harder, a little more exhausting. It’s always been my routine, but I’m finding a new way to satisfy the urge to get up and go.

Instead of picking up and embarking towards a new city, I plan a short trip – it could be a day at a nearby spa, or a long weekend someplace I’ve never been. I’m energized by the excitement of an upcoming trip. The airport or the bus depot is my oasis. Or, if I have a business trip, I’ll add on an extra day or two, go on a local tour, and see the sights before heading back to home base.

These getaways don’t come free, but they’re much more affordable with discount airlines like Expedia and Kayak, and they reenergize me. They’re – perhaps – a solution to the even-more-costly and exhausting itch to change jobs and addresses.

I’ve recommended this strategy to other adults with ADHD who have wandering hearts. And, I’ve stopped being apologetic for who I am, and my tendency to try new things, open new doors and yes, move when boredom takes over. “You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole,” my father says.  I’ve stopped trying and it feels liberating.