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“What’s Next? Living In Tomorrow, In My Head”

When managing my ADHD symptoms gets difficult, I obsess over what comes next – tomorrow, this summer, next year.

This was a good morning. A gold-star morning. A lay-out-your-stuff-the-night-before and get-up-when-you-should morning.

All of this despite last night’s nagging dream of a wedding – not mine, of course. I cannot feign surprise or confusion about the dream’s psychological origins. As my cousin’s big day nears, my singleness has been bothering me greatly with no solutions in sight. Sadness is my reality lately, with occasional glimmers of hope.

Life can be very unfair, I thought, as I passed a woman in a wheelchair passing out pamphlets, and heard news of a distant and former colleague dead of cancer in her 50s. Stop to think about these things too much, and you’ll go crazy. Believe me, I know.

Are we destined to play the cards in our hand? Or can we shuffle the deck? This question of fate versus self-determination has driven me batty lately. I’ve been loading up on books about great suffering and endurance lately – the athlete who became a paraplegic, the woman whose face was erased by battery acid thrown by her husband. After reading, I feel inspired…if only briefly.

Also on my mind: Where will I be in one year? That is when my teaching contract runs up and this adventure is supposed to close. I know, I know. If I lived in the here and now I would be okay, but my mind is always wandering to what’s next. I’m like a shark always moving to the next prey. The grandmother says I just need to focus on doing a good job now on what is within my control.

But for now I dream of surfacing and inhaling what is most familiar to me – packing the bags and leaving. In less than three months I will board a plane and return to my Gotham family and friends, whose lives have moved forward and on, obviously without me. I should not have expected otherwise.

But I do still hope that boarding a plane will reignite the spark and spirit that has fizzled over the past couple of months. That summer surf and sun will speed up the healing. It may be an overly simplistic remedy for deep-rooted problems, but at least it offers hope against a backdrop of fear.

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