Disorganized lifestyles often receive unfair representation


Raghav Sriram

A messy desk. Possessions everywhere in every place possible. In one corner is a tissue box, in another a pencil cup holder holding anything but pencils. To one side you will find a water bottle and to the other is a lonely mouse pad without its mouse. Textbooks, notebooks, and papers galore cause the true color of the desk (black) to only appear in certain pockets of space. 

To many, circumnavigating a desk of this nature is a difficult to near-impossible task with the desk holding no other qualities than being messy, but for me I see this desk as an opportunity. An opportunity to thrive amid chaos.

Before entering high school I would have found this hard to believe. I thought success was correlated to preparedness–that the more amount of time I spent planning out my life, the more I would be able to achieve. Because of this, on one Saturday evening during my eighth-grade year, I sat down with my parents and my brother to outline my course work for the next four years. After hours of discussion and debate, we finalized my high school schedule on a piece of paper, but it felt like it was written in stone. I genuinely believed that I was going to follow this schedule down to each and every individual course; I couldn’t have been any more wrong.

Like many other aspects of my life, my high school schedule changed throughout the years as my passions shifted and transformed. If you were to look back at the schedule I created three years ago and compare it with my schedule today, you would think you were looking at the schedule of two completely different people (which is true). The person I was three years ago is not the person that I am today, but this simple enough fact took more than enough time to manifest.

This might be due to how disorganization was unfairly presented to me. According to a 2013 study published in Psychological Science, a messy, disorganized environment (like a desk) encourages out-of-the-box thinking. While it is difficult to quantify and measure ‘out-of-the-box thinking, not confining myself to an idealistic mold, schedule or desk has allowed me to explore various interests and passions and given myself time to grow and develop.

While I have yet to find my one true inner-calling, by letting myself explore and not restricting myself to a particular mindset or a schedule I have realized I can achieve all I want and more while maintaining a disorganized lifestyle. 

There is beauty in the undecipherable. There is elegance in the unknowing. And there is grace amidst the chaos. 

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