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“Another Year Older and Losing Hope”

Attention deficit seems to keep me from finding lasting love – and with a birthday and a class reunion on the way, my happily-ever-after seems farther away than ever.

Travel does terrible things to a person. I know that this sounds funny, even ironic coming from me, the girl with the travel bug, but the bug has been dying and replaced by a desperation to settle down in one place. I am not sure if it’s age or exhaustion catching up.

I went away for two weeks back to the States with a bunch of the students, an educational trip. Great for these kids since they had never seen America before, and awful for me as it just made me feel more homesick than ever. Not just homesick but desperate to live the sort of life that I’ve always longed for: one home, one man, one relationship, one child, a vacation a year. I am now convinced that it’s never going to happen.

Increasingly during the trip I found myself getting angrier and angrier, cursing myself for deciding to become bi-continental. It sounded really cool for a while, and the flying back and forth was exciting, but now the excitement has worn off. In a month I will celebrate my 37th birthday, which is a milestone of sorts. My 20th high school reunion is around the corner and almost every classmate is married with kids, almost everyone except me. I have the feeling of sitting on the sidelines, waving my arms and screaming, “Pick me, pick me, I want to play!” So why not me?

The father is convinced that the real root of the problem lies in my wandering mind, shifting goals, and impatience. Most people stick with one thing – maybe two or three, but certainly not 20. Besides, I talk to too many people and say the same things, he said.

“You are too easily swayed by others’ opinions,” the father said. He compared me to the guy who got in trouble for punching someone else out when he got fed up with the gas line after Hurricane Sandy. “You can’t use brute force to get your way,” the father said.

If anything, I am very lucky to have such a wonderful father, especially at my age, but I keep trying to explain to him that my desperation is tied in with the knowledge that we are all getting older. “I want to be independent and have my own family and life,” I tell him.

“If you’re a bit more patient and you think of others more, it will happen,” he says. I am tempted to use ADHD as an excuse again. As much as I want to believe, on many days I just don’t see it happening.

Updated on September 6, 2017

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  1. I wish that I could help you. I understand some of the feelings. I don’t have the travel bug (although I’ve always wanted to but my anxiety keeps me from taking the plunge) but I am 33 and getting older. I feel like I’m not dating anyone right now and I’m not sure when I will be ready to date since I have so many problems to work through. But for a woman who is my age I’m thinking of my internal clock and if I will be able to do the things that I’ve always wanted to do like own my own home, get married and start a family. I feel like the clock is ticking down and I’m losing my last chances to grasp any happiness for a a future with a long term partner. I could settle for a few who are wrong for me but I refuse to hurt them and myself in that way since I already went through that in my long term relationship. Right now I’m focusing on myself and doing things that make me happy. I can’t solve your problem of finding a long term partner and settling down but, if you’re unhappy doing what you’re doing why not do something else? Maybe something that is more stable as far as being in one place. The truth is, you don’t have to live up to the expectations of others (as hard as that is especially when it’s family) and in fact, doing that can make you miserable. I say, take a chance to try something different if you can and if that doesn’t work out, do something else later. I know it’s easier to say but harder to do when we might feel the pressure to have something secure for the future and financial stability but I’ve been reading the stories of other people with ADHD recently and it seems that we are happiest when we are true to ourselves and forging our own path through life rather than following the roads most people travel by. Also, if you feel that there may be some truth to what your dad and others are saying about your personality, maybe devote some time to working on smoothing out your edges a bit. Or, just accept yourself as you are. No one really knows the right answer for us, we have to discover it for ourselves. It can be scary and confusing when there are several right answers but the simplest advice is that if you aren’t happy doing what you’re doing find something else. We ADHDers, despite our sensitivity, are surprisingly resilient. I’m sure that you’ll find yourself back where you feel happy before long. Don’t let that anxiety get the best of you, give it a healthy does of truth if needed.

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