Undivided Attention

Sunday, January 30, 2022

 When I am engrossed in something particular, my eyes widen and everything around me temporarily fades out of existence. My peripheral visual field shrinks and the volume of life dial down to zero. My mind decides to spend the majority of its faculties taking in the information that has caught its attention. My attention is entirely undivided. The difficulty arises in getting my mind to focus on the “right” things. When topics interest me or I am working on a task, that is all I can do at the moment. I am not the best multitasker for this reason. Surrounding noises and distractions do not bother me when I reach this stage because I drown out life around me. It is an interesting phenomenon because when I return from whatever had taken an intense grasp, I suddenly become acutely aware of what’s happening beside me.

This talent enabled me to study anywhere if the situation was right. I actually enjoyed the hit of reality when my brain tried of focus so I would pick bustling areas as my study and learning spots. This probably arose from my conditioning of accepting the noise of a large and loud family. There was never quiet in my home and during public school days, I was not allowed to study anywhere other than home. Actually, most of the time, I would try to complete as much of my homework during my classes so that I would have little as possible to bring back home.

Although this sounds like an ideal situation, at times I had to plead with my brain to focus on the task on hand. I usually didn’t win this battle. During class, I sometimes drowned out the teachers and lessons being taught instead of listening and learning. I was a daydreamer after all and my mind conjured up fascinating scenarios instead and time would fly. Before I knew it, the class would be over and I missed everything! This loss of power of my will to pay attention lessened the older I grew and as life present more attractions and distractions.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

By the time I reached college, I completely lost control unless I was really interested in a subject. Passive learning became my worst nightmare. I begged to return to the days I could recall entire lessons just by listening in class. There was too much stimulus bombarding my senses at once. I also happened to taste freedom and some form of independence around this time. I did not have the capacity to absorb everything all at once.

Time and time again I would choose wrong when it came to where I spent my time. This meant less homework and studying at a time I needed to hone my study skills as my courses became more challenging. Everything took twice as long. Completing my bachelor's degree became a nightmare since I wasn’t able to pass my courses as easily as I thought I should. I wanted to seek help but my parents didn’t believe there was anything wrong. Their advice was to stop being lazy and spending my time on useless things. Everyone in the world was doing this so why was I complaining about it? I am making excuses.

It was a while before I learned to handle my focus in a way that wasn't detrimental to my present and future. Although there are days I struggle with it, I have learned to tap into it when I have needed it. What I learned was that high stress made it difficult to maintain focus because of the millions of thoughts running through my brain like a freight train hurtling at the speed of sound. All avenues point towards healing as the cure. Achieving that state requires trial and error. However, acknowledging what is hurting is always the first step towards healing. 

Until Next Time,

Intro photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

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