Anyone have a hobby? Most people do. Ever people so obsessed with a hobby that it jeopardizes your studies? Your job? Your relationship.
Most Aspies know this all to well and I am no exception. I usually don’t have much to say but if you start a conversation with me about whatever my interest is at the time, you might not get me to shut up.
Obsessions can last a long time and they can become all-consuming. Thankfully, these days I have people to answer to and people who depend on me to get up everyday and take care of them. I have been able to regulate myself to get back on track whenver I start to lose focus on whats important for too long.
Here’s my personal recollection of my topics of interest from childhood until now.
Age 3-9 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers : I know it’s normal for kids to have a favorite show but this lasted for many years and I had hundreds of toys that I would line up and bring everywhere with me.
Age 9 Dinosaurs : I don’t know what triggered this but I would copy text from every book and encyclopedia I could find into compositions books…dozens of them. The internet was not a thing back then and I would sit and study each page. Memorizing every pronunciation, every detail of each species.
Age 10 Football Cards : I would beg my mother to take me to the local card shop and drop big bucks on packs of football cards. Certain players or card styles appealed to me. I still remember my favorite year and company. Score 1996. I would study the stats on the back of the cards. Fascinated by the numbers and what they all meant.
Age 11 Sharks : Same as Dinosaurs.
Age 13 Pokemon Cards : I have no shame in admitting it. It was a little past my age group. But that’s a common trait in people on the spectrum. They are overly mature in some areas and overly immature in others.
Age 15-16 Wrestling : By this time I was working and my hard-earned money was spent on wrestling VHS. My off hours were spent watching and analyzing the various matches.
Age 21 – when I stopped becoming and just and employee and started my career in management, when the results became “my results” and whole new oppression began. I have fought workaholism for the better part of ten years. Frequently blurring the lines between “driven” and “crazed” when it comes to my performance.