Feminist Aspie

Optimist About This: Ramblings on special interests

So I’ve spent the last couple of weeks preoccupied with two things. I’ll get the bad side out of the way first. Recently, a certain phenomenon has been happening massively in the UK; I’m trying not to bring it up every ten seconds, but it rhymes with “feet cave” and for me it means “sensory worst nightmare”. (EDIT: It’s “heatwave”. At the time I wrote this post, that was fairly obvious given the state of my Twitter at the time, but since then several people have read it out of context and got really confused, so I thought I’d add it in.)  I really don’t help myself, either, because I sort of become a little bit (read: very) obsessed with it and then the actual problem is 90% due to the vicious circle created by me being really anxious and generally “on edge” making my sensory issues worse, making me more anxious about the whole thing, etc. Not nice.

On the plus side, especially as it’s mainly a “pointless worrying” issue, distraction works wonders (hey, why do you think I’m actually blogging for once?) and that’s where the much more positive Part 2 comes in. Introducing my shiny new special interest!

…Yep, rather predictably, it’s yet another band. (I, erm, quite like music…) I genuinely thought I’d grown out of the band obsession thing, but there you go. In fact, almost all my special interests from the age of about 13 onwards have been a variation of this. Even my non-band-related special interests are fairly “mainstream” (Doctor Who, anyone?) and to be honest I’ve always seen this as a privilege; for example the number of times at uni that I’ve ended up making friends by striking up a conversation about Doctor Who or, to a lesser extent, Muse. These days, it also means there’s already a ready-made fandom on Tumblr just waiting to be explored!!

That’s the upside of being in the early stages of the interest – the sheer excitement of knowing there’s so much out there. (In this case, I dived into the Internet expecting one album and maybe a few more videos, and ended up discovering not one but two free covers mixtapes, as well as LOADS of live sessions, acoustic versions, that sort of thing. You should see my YouTube history…) The downside to this early stage is being ridiculously shy about it, at least offline, for no apparent reason. For some reason, it seems to be my (neurotypical) brother who’s always the first real-life person to get all the infodumps; I have no idea why, maybe he’s just sort of around more often. I’m still not entirely sure where this odd secrecy comes from; I don’t really “drop” special interests when new ones happen so they end up being a pretty big part of my life,  so I guess it’s natural to be apprehensive about introducing it to the world! I also worry that yet another band obsession seems a little childish, especially after the whole Muse thing because I’d assumed I couldn’t possibly be that obsessed with another band, particularly a relatively new one like Bastille. It genuinely feels a bit like I’m having an affair (especially as I saw Muse back in May and guess who the support act was?!), which is really silly because for crying out loud you can like multiple things at once, but I digress.

Anyway, I’ve just decided that there is a point to this rambling post – special interests are awesome. Especially when you take situations like that thing I can’t talk about into consideration; honestly, I can’t think of any other logical reason why I haven’t had a bazillion and one meltdowns over the last couple of weeks. I’ve had my moments, believe me, but it hasn’t been too bad; I suppose I at least have an escape route. It’s become a defence mechanism to the point that I’m worried I’ll end up associating my shiny new special interest with the other thing and totally ruin it for myself (unlikely…). It’s made me realise,  all over again,  just how powerful and joyful special interests can be. And I have no idea what I’d do without them.

(P.S. In particular, I absolutely love this, because harmonies and drumming beats from literally nothing and layers and details details deeeetaaaails)

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