I am probably the most unorganized, organized person I know.
My desktop is neatly sorted with folders that are labeled to sort out the various things in my life.
It goes on and on. We all do this (right?). If a person were to take the extra step and actually open one of the folders, they would reveal the heart of who I really am.
I’m very disorganized. In an organized way.
I don’t set an alarm because I naturally wake up at the same time every morning, give or take 15 minutes. So some mornings, I make myself a cup of coffee, peruse the internet, and drink at leisure. Some morning, I make myself a cup of coffee, swallow it whole, and I’m on my way.
I’m the same at work. Everyday, I go into my office, sit down, open up my laptop and go straight to the notes app. There, I spend 10–15 minutes creating a checklist of things that need to be done that day. I never actually use it throughout the day until the end, where I happily click all the check boxes, highlighting all my accomplishments.
Even now, as I write this article, the tabs on my web browser read as: Medium, Pexel, ESPN, CNN, and Google Sheets.
I don’t know why I do this. Check that, I’m pretty sure why I do this, but just living in denial.
This is who I am.
I’m not quite clear how I ended up this way, but at this point, I don’t really care to know.
It works for me.
For almost a decade, as I waded through college and graduate school, I attempted to become one of those people that plan everything out. I would outline what needed to be done for a certain paper. I would organize my notes for upcoming exams. Only to find out that I had wasted my time in preparing and gone about it in the same disorganized, organized way I did with everything else.
Maybe I have ADHD?
Maybe I’m lazy?
But it works for me.
I always thought that presenting yourself as being on top of things would garner the respect of your peers. It doesn’t. Especially for someone like me, who presents with a facade, only to crumble after people inquired for longer than a second.
What I did learn from all of this was every time I tried to checklist my life, or make great plans, I’d become ruled by those plans.
I hated that.
I still hate it.
To be completely transparent, I’m writing this now in the same exact way I do everything else. I’m hoping that by the time I stop typing, I won’t just have a point for writing all of this, but that I could make sense of why I do things this way.
But here I am.
Ten years ago, I would have made a checklist to troubleshoot this problem.
I’m ok with it.
Steve is a program director at a residential facility in Southern California. He is aspiring to become a fighter of stigma in mental health, by sharing personal stories, stories of others, and what he (believes) he has learned through his work.