I know a lot of my autistic blogger friends have been writing about special interests lately. I have thought about doing a sort of post about it for awhile, but one has never materialized in my mind, or at least not in a way that has produced results. I think about things to write about all the time. So much so, I have considered trying to make it into an actual career. I am always flowing with ideas to and topics that I want to discuss. This is because I never stop thinking. My mind goes and goes.... So, what leads to this? What does this feel like to me?
It is like I have a deep need for knowledge. It's more than a passing thought of I'd like to know more about X, or Y. No, it is way more than that. I feel a drive that is not containable. When something peeks my interest I feel such an overwhelming desire to know more about it that it is more important than most things to me. It is a constant battle for me to get things done that I know needs done, while allowing myself the time that I need for researching and reading. These interests can last a day, or years. Sometimes, I have mini-interests that I research for an afternoon. I will spend a couple of hours, or even a few hours over a course of a couple of days looking up information about an obscure topic that really has little bearing in my life. At least, not enough to warrant that much time spent, according to most people, anyways.
I collect all of this information in my mind and it sits there, interconnecting with all of the other information that I have learned. Once I read something, I rarely forget it. I will remember it forever, as well as have the ability to link it up with new information in a way that allows me to have a broader understanding of how everything works. Sometimes, I have facts that I know that I don't even know how or why I have that knowledge. I just know it.
Examples, of some of my search history on my computer,
*BMI charts, weight loss programs, and exercise programs. I know way more than any average person about all those things.
* Topographical Agnosia and well as directions to get to anywhere I ever have gone.
*ICD code for Aspeger's and autism-Autism is another big one, as well as other related disorders.
*Craft project ideas for Halloween treat bags
*Dog related stuff. Hours and hours of research about what kind of dog we have as well as how to train him.
*Post mordem photography- an afternoon of research into this little tradition.
* Lyrics to songs I like- lots and lots of those.
*How to prepare squash, and every other thing I've made recently
*How to....get glue off of jars, train a dog, tell if _____ food is any good, cook _______ food, make _______ thing, fix __________, Just endless How to's in my google search bar history.
To be clear here, I know that other people look up stuff on line. I know that's not abnormal or odd. What makes it a bit so for me is the time I spend doing it. I almost never go to one Google page of results and be done with it. No. I read pages upon pages of information, sometimes, even taking it on a long string of unrelated topics, eating up my time and filling my brain with info that us probably not all that useful in a practical sense.
But, in truth nothing makes me happier than when I am learning. It is the thing that makes my day good. It is the substance I crave. I always need to know more. I am thirsty for information from that minute I wake up till the minute I go to sleep. I can't think of how awful life would be if I suddenly couldn't read anymore. If I suddenly lost my ability to be able to explore every little nuance that gets my interest. My mind doesn't stop. It's always absorbing and needing more to digest. It is an obsession, but one that is happy and harmless. In this bliss I often forget that others don't feel this way. It's hard for me to comprehend that others find learning difficult, or boring when I look forward to it everyday with a childlike sense of joy.