Throughout my existence, I have always considered myself to be a cautious person. Let's even say "a very cautious person." Yet, in recent years, a series of events has revealed the fragility of my initial belief.
As a result, I have sharpened my eye so that it critically examines every decision-making process of mine. And no, I'm not referring to the choices that follow big changes, those that shake the soul. I'm talking about the smaller everyday decisions, the ones that are usually taken for granted as belonging to the realm of habit: eating, sleeping, brushing teeth, getting dressed.
From the shadows of what I once perceived as prudence emerged an enigmatic object, an origami of crumpled metal finally ready to unfold like a rose of epiphenomena. It was as if the core held an imperative engine, like a Cartesian god, and finally I was able to perceive its existence. Do you have any idea what I am talking about? Perhaps not; perhaps encapsulating this experience in a metaphor is not possible or, at least, I am not able to do so.
So, from now on I will run my fingers on the keyboard, trying to transduct the marks left on the spread-out plates.
Who knows, someone might relate.
Contrary to prudence, I discovered that I am driven by a great impulsivity. If someone were to provide me with paper and pen and ask me to represent its trajectory on a graph, I would doodle continuous spikes going up and down, fragmented peaks of desire, with goals not always clear, but that push me towards a restless thought: to finish that essay, to read a book, no, a documentation, no, to immerse myself in lines of code, then write my own and not be able to refrain from communicating the flood of ideas, thus ending up building a blog and buying a whiteboard; but the space on the whiteboard is bound to run out, so another one must be purchased, and then the blog requires too many steps to be updated, resulting in a stall that causes anxiety, hence the urgency to intervene on its code to minimize friction in writing, and feeling suffocated by the narrowness of the taxonomy, questioning the hierarchy of content... all to free and build these new nodes of thought on an external, organized yet flexible support, semicrystalline like an RNA filament, capable of helping me give fixity to this uncontrollable flow of thoughts.
Every potentially fruitful experience, reflection, connection flows before me like lines of text on a terminal. And, just like raw information, I try to interpret them, wondering if they deserve to be historicized, tabulated, and scrutinized in order to improve or expand a system, so that I can communicate more effectively with others, in a constant exchange of meanings and ideas that, clearly, I don't have the time or cognitive resources to maintain; nor could one ever have them. It would be necessary to split oneself, leaving a part living and the other part archiving.
And if describing the invisible turmoil is already difficult, let alone pretending it doesn't exist, living with denial. At this level, a multitude of strategies, adopted and refined since childhood, come into play. Among these, a conceptual device: by imagining will as a flow, it's possible to channel it into an atomizer and thus scatter its stream radially, into many small particles, like in a spray-dryer.
Being individually suspended on air the drops can be observed: "Does this unity of desire align with a relevant goal?" In case of a negative answer, let the drop shatter and hope it evaporates away. The guiding principle is arbitrary, just as the boundaries are blurred: in the absence of an unequivocal answers, days hardly proceed, amidst a thousand uncertainties and attempts.
Often, I find myself paralyzed by the relentless torrent of desire, unable to move a muscle. I look around. Dinner looms, and stares at me, but the number of steps required for its preparation surpasses my ability to enumerate them: eating? It seems an unattainable ambition. I should study for the approaching exam, but how can I, if I am not even able to care for my own body and survive?
If a benevolent eye were to float outside my window for several weeks, casting its scrutinizing gaze upon me, it would quickly discern the patterns that govern my existence. These patterns reveal alternating days of intense work, wherein multiple objectives are pursued with firm determination. However, these days are followed by periods of inertia, which, at times, border on real depressive crises.
An illustrative example of this wavy pace can be found in the phenomenology of a small botanical project that caught my attention just over a month ago.
After propagating many aromatic plants through cuttings, I meticulously recorded the treatments in a notebook. I monitored the daily developments, sometimes even hourly, nurturing and duplicating the plants until they occupied an entire table. I tried to maintain optimal light and humidity conditions.
But one day, I was forced to interrupt my routine and venture into the outside world. Upon my return, I had forgotten how to proceed. I was unable to change the water in the pots or move them to better positions; the right moment never seemed to come. The priority of these tasks had seemingly plummeted from first to last place. However, I had not forgotten. I could only reflect on all the efforts and progress accumulated.
[TRANSLATED:] This thing with the cuttings is getting out of hand.
— @gicrisf, June 1, 2022
Sitting in another room, I contemplated for hours the idea of intervening: "maybe go add just a little fresh water", I said to myself. But contemplation did not translate into action.
And so, I allowed most of the plants to die, one after another, dry in front of my eyes. Like enveloping myself in an imaginary exoskeleton, entirely brain-controlled, to mobilize my arms with imprecise and clumsy in movements, I tried to save the strongest and most vital basil plants, upon which I had placed so many hopes for future experiments. Yet, as I write, I still struggle to keep at least one of the surviving plants alive and I have not managed to pot them. Why?
Meanwhile, the responsibility remains pending, like a sword of Damocles that I would have the power to wield, and yet let dangle over my head, breathing anxiously. Premonitions of death and images of withering intrude into my thoughts even when I try to focus on something else, depleting my precious energy. I wonder why I can't perform such a simple operation, I suffer from it, I empathize with the dense root system left to suffocate in a now too narrow vase.
Like this little plants, many projects and relationships in my life.
After many years of rough interpretations, and insurmountable obstacles, and feeling worn out, I was diagnosed with ADHD this summer. Exactly one year ago, I was trying to convey the new image I had of myself through the analysis of my desire. These words are the outcome of my early attempt, the embryonic expression of my innovated understanding.
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