When I was 17 and struggling with my emotions and completing homework, my parents took me to a psychiatrist to be evaluated. After a few therapy sessions and a computer test, I was told I had ADHD. "Oh, so this explains everything!" I thought. It was exciting to find out that maybe my problems at school were due to a treatable learning disability. With my diagnosis, I was given a prescription for a drug called Stratera, which came in the form of a patch that stuck on my skin. The slow release of chemicals into my blood during the day was going to make me a better student, which would ultimately lead me to feeling like a normal person. After a year of taking the drug and never achieving my fantasy of being "normal", I threw my latest prescription away and decided to walk on a different path.
I was lucky enough to start an organization after high school that I have been working with since. In the beginning, my role was very connected to physical work that used my hands and demanded the attention of my mind to solve problems. I loved it! Since then, the organization has grown and my role has demanded more planning, emailing, and general computer time. A year ago, I began hearing about the CoLab. The CoLab is a dedicated work space where professionals join as members and share a beautiful office to focus on their work. When I joined the CoLab, I was immediately impressed with how efficient I was. With people around me showing so much dedication and focus, those same traits were being inspired and cultivated in me. After years of working at home, feeling like I wasn't always making the most use of my time, I am continually impressed with how fulfilling and efficient my work performance is at the CoLab. By sharing and collaborating with other professionals in the space, I feel "juiced" by their work and energy.
My environment has a huge effect on me. In order for me to be focused and efficient, I need to be in an open, clean, friendly, and passionate environment. I need to feel connected to the people around me and to the work I am doing on a deeper level. I'm not the type of person that can do work simply for the money or because I have to. I have to feel inspired and to be my authentic self. Working for an organization I'm inspired by and getting to work at The CoLab with other dedicated professionals is just the right combination for me-- and I don't even need a prescription.
Chauncey is the founder and Chief Biking Officer of The ReCyclery, a non-profit 501(c3) organization. For more information about The ReCyclery, visit www.ptrecyclery.org.