Obsessive Patterns

One of the comments Jake’s brother made at our wedding was about Jake’s tendency to obsess about things. He mentioned how he had a thing for remote control cars. And then he had a thing for something else and he’d obsess about that endlessly. We all laughed at the time, mostly because it was so true. Jake does obsess about things and delve into them wholeheartedly. So much so that it’s as if nothing else exists. He gets to be a complete expert on that particular thing. And then he moves on to the next. Cars, comic books, computers. While this is definitely true about Jake, I’ve been noticing that it’s slightly true about me, too.

I spent five years trying to write novels and short stories. I studied Japanese non-stop for six months and then continued regularly for two more years. I learned to knit and knit anything I could get my hands on. I picked up wire jewelry and made earrings I never wore. I picked up photography and that particular obsession took me all the way to starting a small business. I have always been more breadth oriented than depth, but I still find myself obsessing about things. I find that the initial excitement of learning something new is so intoxicating that I momentarily become unable to think about anything else.

This is also true when I meet new people. I want to know all about them. Their life, their thoughts, their preferences, their ideas of right and wrong. I can talk to them nonstop for several weeks before the newness wears out and I prefer to come up for some air.

I am wondering whether this is a trait particular to people like Jake and me or does everyone experience it to a certain extent. Are we crazy obsessive people or is it just human nature? Does your brain actually secrete something different when you have a new experience or learn something different?

I hope so, cause that way makes me sounds a lot less crazy.

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