Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Hitch of The Easily Distracted

I was able to catch up with a very close uncle of mine today. We are only twelve years apart, which means that while he is adult enough to get on with the older members of my extended family-slash-clan, he is still pretty young and relatable to me and my siblings.

In my last post, I mentioned that I fell from first honors in our class rankings to second place, and he did not take this lightly. He has always been the person who pushed me the hardest- or, rather, pushed me the most vocally. Being someone who lives far away, I don't think there is any other way to motivate people but to give them pep talks through chat messages and during the rare occasions that you do meet personally. My mother tells me that grades don't matter as much as attitude does, but she also pushes me to be more studious with subtle actions like reminding me to study, or asking me about my homework all the time. My uncle, on the other hand, has to be direct and clear.

Back to the story, he isn't too pleased about my current standing, and he wants me to change a few of my bad habits (and he doesn't like to use the word 'weakness')- namely, being easily distracted. Why does he put so much emphasis into trying to control this? Because being easily distracted means less study hours and more... distraction hours.

This is where the problem comes along. Basically, this weakness of mine is inborn. I'd like to think I don't have ADHD (no matter how many times my mom says that I do and despite not ever having tried to get diagnosed before). Maybe I just have too many strings of thought at once. Whatever the case, it isn't something I can turn off whenever I want to. People notice it, too- during the times I talk to them and my eyes flit away for a quarter of a second, during the times they catch me blanking out and daydreaming. I get bored easily. I am fond of multitasking. I write and draw and play instruments and google bits of information on paradoxes and other things during my free time.

That being said, this horrible trait of mine needs to be changed, or that's what my uncle was getting at, at least. The next big problem I'd have to deal with is my stubbornness. Honestly speaking, a huge part of me doesn't even want this 'weakness' to go away. These side-activities and habits are where I get my creative juices from. Losing this semi-ADHD-ish quality I posses might stop my mind from wandering. If there's anything can be sure of in my sixteen years of existence, it's that I love exploring, imagining, and visiting realms through my mind more than anything.

Of course, I couldn't say any of this to him because he just wouldn't get it.And it would look like a feeble excuse from his perspective. He'd rebut it immediately, and I'd have to bite my lip and keep my own counter-arguments at bay, because there would be no way he was going to back down, and we'd probably reach an impasse. Too much energy wasted for nothing.

What I did tell him was that I was built this way, and that school didn't challenge me enough. He rebutted this of course. He said a few things ( like how it will affect me not only now but later in life) but I kept quiet because they didn't bother me that much. College would be a different ballgame- that was for sure. I will definitely step my game up. I am ready for the sleepless nights (ha! As if my nights aren't already sleepless...) and am prepared to dedicate more hours to studying.

These are my plans, and I hope I won't eat my words when the time comes. For now, I'll try to see what I can do for myself, and how to minimize this trait at the very least. I don't want another 'I told you so!' from my uncle.

There is no revelation at the end of this post; no answer to this problem because I simply haven't figured it out yet. Is being easily distracted a disease, and can it be cured? Will I be able to turn it into an advantageous thing? I really hope I would.