My ADHD Brain, Episode Three: Late to the Party

This is about how I just don’t pick up on things if they’re not immediately in my sight. Or in fact they might blatantly, obviously in my line of sight but I just haven’t seen them because my brain is tuned to a different frequency. 

The biggest one of these I can think of from recent years is the Arctic Monkeys. Apparently they hit the big time in 2006, when their first album came out. When did I become a fan? In May 2020 when I saw their set from Glastonbury 2013 on iplayer. I knew nothing about them except that I had vaguely heard the name. I watched that set and was like “OH MY GOD, they are brilliant, how did I miss them?”

What the hell was I doing in 2006 (and in fact in every year since) that so distracted me? I do remember mid-00s thinking that music wasn’t really very good anymore. The 90s were so brilliant, but things had really dipped. I mostly contented myself with listening to REM, Nirvana, classical music, and waiting for the next Radiohead album to come out. In 2006 I was living, working and studying in Sheffield and moaning about how shit most music in the charts was. How did I miss that there was a Sheffield band making exactly the kind of music I like and doing well in the charts? 

I have even since discovered they played at the Olympics Opening ceremony in 2012. I watched that. I can picture us sitting in the living room, watching the ceremony. I remember Kenneth Branagh, and the clever bit where the Olympic rings were raised, and I can picture the big torch thingy. And I remember feeling sick again, and getting a positive pregnancy test later that night. But I do not remember the Arctic Monkeys. At all. 

Anyway… I have thankfully now caught up after 15 years, and can say I am blown away by their brilliance. I am in love with the Sheffield-ness of them. Seriously, ‘summat in your teeth’, ‘You’ve got the face on’, and, my favourite ‘mardy bum’. My favourite album is still “Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not”, every song conjures a vivid image in my mind, and I am transported back to my teens, my childhood even. According to family legend when I was about six I called my sister a mardy bum before dumping a box of lego over her head. 

What is the purpose of this post? I am aware I have strayed off on a bit of a tangent (I do this a lot)! I guess what I’m trying to demonstrate is my inability to pick up on things unless they find a particular way in. Whilst my radar can sometimes pick up on things nobody else notices, and ask the questions nobody else thinks of, I frequently miss what’s right in front of me (sometimes literally, you should see me when I lose my car keys…).

It’s weird really, as I crave variety and new stuff. The thrill of discovering a new band, artist, writer for the first time is one of life’s great pleasures so you’d think I’d be constantly on the lookout. I am also pretty good at horizon scanning and seeing the bigger picture. I would count these amongst the positive traits I attribute to my ADHD. But maybe sometimes I am too busy scanning the horizon that I miss whatever’s right under my nose.

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