Embracing Chaos

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.

Work

Photos

Documents

Newer Photos

Important Documents

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?

Who knows?

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.

Still nothing.

Ten years ago, I would have made a checklist to troubleshoot this problem.

Today?

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.

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