Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Intensity of Hobbies

Many of the experts of folks around those high-functioning along the spectrum know that there are so many true hobbies for people like me.  We have this intense interest in some 1-3 subject areas where we know minute details and could bore any average person for hours on the subject.  Well, that is true.  However, it's not like we don't follow anything else.  I have a passionate interest in my music collection...a very passionate interest.  It's alphabetized and fully cataloged via spreadsheet and on the rateyourmusic site. One of my worst habits is going past listening and into intense digital collecting.  I get the temptation to pay attention to what patterns of albums I have by an artist ("I can't own the second album since I need to have one artist where I just own the first and third albums") or sometimes want to be different ("I will make this the only album I like by this band just to say that I think their best one is overrated" which is something other hipster types do...yes, I admit to being somewhat of a hipster).  However, music  is something I love more so for sonic reasons, and it became a fixation as I grew up, even to the point that I have dabbled in composition.  Granted, it was worse when younger.  During my elementary school years I had a fascination with reading TV Guide.  I also used to keep track of the movie theater listings, including what two theaters could not show the same movies, and would come up with my own scenarios for fake movies.  Screw plots; I just wanted to picture the biggest blockbuster ever playing on the most screens.

There are smaller term interests of mine that most people would either find boring or just totally ridiculous.  I sometimes like to pay attention to school curricula, whether it be high school or college.  It's almost as if I want to build my own prestigious high school and choose what courses they would offer.  If I ever asked a friend about what AP classes he or she had as the topic came up in conversation, this was why.  I actually find that sort of information fascinating because of the patterns.  I also could go on about the history of distribution company logos, but I realize that no one is going to give a crap with the exception of people in a Yahoo group.  I'm cool with it, too.

One the other hand, I have interests that are common.  I am a guy, and I love sports.  I'm devoted to all the Philadelphia teams, and I especially pay attention to football, baseball, and basketball; difference is I sometimes analyze them differently than others do.  I have some interest in philosophy, politics, finance, and live plays.  It's not that I don't have the same hobbies as others...I have friends who share in my love of 'tortured intellectual' topics, sporting events, independent arts, and nerd culture.  It's just that many of us take these to extremes...I can rattle off enough NBA records to make your head spin.

Reality is that I cannot pinpoint why I get interested in the minute, beyond my remarks about patterns earlier.  I am very oriented towards hard numbers and sequences, which is why I get drawn to the interests that I mention above.  They all involve this sort of hard data.  Even music to me is about the sonic experience, as I will sometimes pay extra attention to chords.  However, a lot of that love is the same love of music as NT folks would have, so that's only so good an example.  It's essentially that I get caught up in some data that really amazes me, and then it translates to my own pretend world.

While I get consumed with my hobbies, sometimes more than I should, it's really because of the Aspie personality...getting fixed on the details of a couple interests in particular.  Now that I have shared some of my interests, I bet I have either inspired people to read on confused people...I'd put my money on both.

Since it's so gorgeous out, I have to focus on another occasional interest that is shared with everyone...the outdoors.

No comments:

Post a Comment