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I'm a Winnie the Pooh

I often describe myself as a Winnie the Pooh.

I’m not big on plans. I like to pick a general direction in life, and then wander that way, detouring at various stops that seem interesting.

I don’t always get where I’m going. Sometimes, I stumble upon something unexpectedly more interesting, and my direction shifts.

If you have ADHD, you probably feel a strong pull towards things you find interesting.

Often, there’s no clear outcome or purpose to taking that detour, other than that it seems interesting. If you’re surrounded by neurotypical folks, you’ll probably catch shit for it sometimes, too.

You need to plan. What are you doing with your life? How is that degree/hobby/activity going to help you reach your goals?

For folks who thrive on planning, those are fair questions! But that’s not you (or at least, it’s not me).

A long time ago, I heard some advice from author Dan Pink, that I’m going to paraphrase here…

Career success happens when you find the overlap between things you enjoy, things you’re good at, and things people will pay money for.

Often, you don’t know what at least some of those things are until you start doing them for a bit.

I changed my major five times in college, before settling into Anthropology, simply because it was the only thing I found interesting enough to actually stick with.

Senior year, I realized I didn’t want to teach Anthropology or do field research, and stumbled into Human Resources (something something, study of people, corporate culture). I liked it well enough, for a while.

I started an HR blog, which got me into front end web dev, and eventually I changed careers (again).

It took a lot of meandering, but I eventually found the overlap of things I like, things I’m good at, and things people will pay for.

If I’d never majored in Anthropology, I’d not have gotten my HR job. And if I hadn’t gotten a job in HR, I wouldn’t have started the blog that turned me into a coder.

But I couldn’t have really planned that path ahead of time. Maybe some people could have, but not me.

I’m a Winnie the Pooh. And that’s ok.