I’m moving across the country in a few months in order to start a new life of sorts. The Midwest has been the keeper of my chains for far too long. A few of my friends are making the journey with me to the coast and they have, foolishly, decided to look to me for the planning and execution of this trip. As the reader can probably guess, planning is not a strong suit of mine. I am a nomad and, more importantly, I act on impulse. The extent of planning that I intend to make is to unwrap a pack of cigarettes, unravel a map, and drive as the bird flies.
I went from a state of feeling content to my present whereabouts to a deep-seated feeling of discontent in the matter of hours around a month ago. This discontent led to a burning impulse to move and I immediately fixated on a city that I have never been to in my life but that seems apt for starting over in many ways. I suspect that the neurotypical would be disabled by torturous feelings of whether the move was the right thing to do, whether leaving friends and family was worth it, and so on. Me? I picked up a map and a pack of cigarettes.
This wanderlust is a microcosm of my larger desire to act on impulse. I do not think things through to the extent that an NT would do. I merely act. I may not even fully understand what exactly that I want. I just know that I want “it” now. It is interesting how many psychopaths make such excellent leaders given that we often drift from thought to thought and plan to plan without careful consideration of the logistics or consequences at hand. There are exceptions, of course, such as with the grand schemes of blackmail and vengeance, but in general it seems that we often are like little children, reaching for anything in sight that seems to make things “better.”
In computer science, we refer to this approach as a “greedy algorithm.” Simply put, at every moment, take the next step that leads to the most immediate gain at the time without considering any previous or future decisions. Such is how I live my life and, I suspect, it will be how I always live my life. My friends may want to consider their own past and future with their decisions to move with me, but ultimately they are leaving their lives and their dreams to one who is merely (and selfishly) acting on impulse. They may know of the best places to visit, the population of the city that we are moving to, and any number of worthwhile facts. Me? I’ve my cigarettes and map and I’m just ready to drive.