Help with a 12 month attention span?
February 25, 2013 1:56 PM Subscribe
I seem to get 'bored' with everything in my life - friends, relationship, job, country - every 1-2 years. I then make major life changes and it is starting to seriously affect me. Has anyone else experienced this situation? Does it get better? If not, do you have some good coping strategies?
posted by Isn't in each artist (7) to human relations (18 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
Since finishing university I've noticed that I can't stick to anything for more than a year or two. Jobs that I've been really enthusiastic about, hobbies that I've enjoyed and mastered, new places, new people (both friends and SO's).
This is affecting me adversely in several ways:
- I don't feel like I've achieved much. I'm currently looking for a job and my CV reflects my life; a bit of a mess with no narrative.
- I don't bother committing myself to things wholeheartedly, so e.g. I won't learn a new language in a new place, or take up a time-consuming hobby. 'Whatever, I probably won't be here next year anyway!'.
- I'm starting to feel dishonest making commitments to others. This is the biggy and applies in my professional and personal life. Becoming aware of the trend, I'm increasingly cautious about making big commitments like 'of course I'll deliver this multiyear project!' or 'let's be flatmates!'.
I'm concerned that I'll never shake this... and therefore never be in a position to have kids, as I'll be all enthusiasm for a couple of years and then lose interest. (I've already missed one opportunity and regret it keenly several years later. I still think it was the right decision.)
- Towards the end of a cycle, I lose all motivation. I start to know that I'll be moving on and I find it hard to maintain any pretence that I'm not. Work and relationships suffer and I let people down. This is happening to me now, particularly at work.
- I miss the places and people I leave behind, but I find it awkward to stay in touch. My 'old friends' are really the ones who persevere with me for reasons that I find pretty unfathomable. I've got a lot of funny anecdotes involving people that I'm no longer in touch with and wish I'd got to know better.
I'm asking this here because it's hard to discuss all this with the people in my life:
1) it's a privileged problem to have and I'm embarrassed explaining it face-to-face. It's the kind of thing that 17 y.o. me would probably have been proud of and it comes across like I'm trying to cast myself as a mysterious globetrotting loner. And of course this lifestyle is only possible because my appearance, education, accent, etc makes it easier to find jobs in new places.
And 2) it's basically putting them on notice that I will at some point be disappearing and will probably not stay in touch. This makes people understandably uncomfortable. Oh, and it seems like I'm inviting them to persuade me to stay.
Is this something others are experiencing or have experienced? Should I expect this to change? I'm already starting to dread my next 'fresh start' this summer, having to pull up the roots I've put down where I am - that's a new feeling, and hopefully positive. But I'm still perversely excited about it.
If it isn't going to change, what are good coping strategies? Should I just run with it and be more open about probable consequences? ('I'm super-excited about [X], but I should warn you that I will almost certainly find it boring in a few months, even though I find the idea unimaginable at the moment!') Or should I try to stick it out and make smaller changes at a time? (New job, but in the same place, or new hobby? ...I have tried this to some extent and it hasn't really worked).
POSSIBLY IRRELEVENT / OFFENSIVE SPECULATIVE MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS:
I was never diagnosed with ADHD as a child or medicated, but it seems probable that I had it to some degree (description of behaviour from family members plus family member who is a paediatrician telling me, unprompted, that they're sure I had it). I work with young people with ADHD and ADD now and find it very easy to put myself in their shoes. Assuming I did have it, the hyperactivity part disappeared during adolescence but I still find it difficult to concentrate on tasks for more than a short time. Possibly connected?