As this new adult (not like I wasn’t mature when I was 20 or 30) , I’ve developed ADHD — though not diagnosed officially. My mind will wander from item to item in a frantic pace, afraid is missing out on something. Wondering what others are thinking of me, mainly. But also – who is doing something better. FOMO – an acronym I really can’t stand, but there it is. And instead of me taking joy in the energy and using it to be curious – I’ve been putting it to use like a bloodhound, sniffing out more work, more responsibilities, more things to do to be this super hero in life. The truth is though, by trying to be a super hero – I’m now seeming more like some pushy know-it-all who is unwilling to flex or bend.
A few weeks, maybe even a month ago, I had for some reason chose a random book via Audible.com to listen to during my long drive to work. This time, it was The Celtic Twilight by William Butler Yeats. And as I listened to the words, the world shimmered. Something in my blood sang shimmered with it. It sent up a deep longing to be back in that mystical world again where wood and water, leaves and flowers showed their secrets — the joyful world that would make me smile and laugh.
I started noticing the hiccup of energy or the poke of the world that I was looking for attempting to be seen and felt. I myself had been doing unconscious things as well in my own attempt to have the fey back in my life. It all seemed so silly. But I felt like there was no time. No time for anything anymore. And that’s when Peter Pan’s tale came bounding back into my life. If you’ve ever watched Steven Spielberg’s version of Peter Pan, Robin Williams plays this middle aged man who (spoiler) IS Peter Pan, though he grew up! In this tale the crocodile clock and Captain Hook seems even more poignant than ever before. They are adulthood. They are the symbol of aging, of time moving ever forward, creeping up on you. First it takes a hand, then a foot, then bit by bit – you are swallowed whole. And you reside now in the belly of the masses. You swim in the juices of peer interaction, flashy iterations of yourself, watching as you and your friends change over and over again to fit into the clockworks without getting squashed.
This weekend, as I spent some rare quality time with my wife, after a rather emotional experience from someone younger and unstable left me in tears and questioning everything I was working for that year, I asked us to go through yet another exercise. Can each of us write down that thing that we miss? That thing that has been tapping politely at the back of our brains, trying to get our attention. The purpose was first to see and name the thing. The second was to make space for it.
Now, I’m not a physics major having never taken a class ever — but I do know what happens when you try to pour too much of one thing into another. Eventually things either overflow or you break the receiving object. …And to tell you truthfully, I’m getting damn sick and tired of being broken. Especially when the end result isn’t even something I was looking forward to in the first place!
So take heed my friends, because the crocodile is lurking always nearby. You can hear it’s ticking. “[Peter] sat down on a large mushroom, and now there was a quiver in his voice. “Smee,” he said huskily, “that crocodile would have had me before this, but by a lucky chance it swallowed a clock which goes tick tick inside it, and so before it can reach me I hear the tick and bolt.” He laughed, but in a hollow way.