Greetings, earthlings! My new tattoo is awesome and painful. My sleep schedule is all wonky because of Pokemon Go and I can’t keep living like this. I’m thinking of taking a couple of days off the game so I can reset my sleeping. It kind of sucks because I’m pretty much limited to play only during the wee hours of the morning or it’ll fuck with my asthma too much. Oh well.
So, I noticed I have been veering off onto little side-trails in regards to having a Life More Worth Living. Not gonna lie, it’s a bit of a relief and a bit annoying at the same time. That said, I do have a decent topic for today. Mainly how it’s important to have fun, but not to let your hobbies consume you.
I have what I call Tunnel Vision Projects. In the Autism community, they’re often referred to as ‘Special Interests’ but I find that to have a bit of a negative connotation to it. ‘Special Interests’ just seems reminiscent of ‘special needs’ and ‘special education’ and I have always hated having those labels. It seemed like it was the adult’s way of saying that I wasn’t good enough or that I was too different to be treated like the other kids. That’s my personal take on it and I won’t berate any other person for using it. To each their own.
In the past, my Tunnel Vision Projects have included anything of the Paranormal or Supernatural variety, all things medieval, role-play sites, parasites, psychology, tattoos, Japan, the Japanese Language, Latin, and currently Pokemon Go and most recently this blog. A Tunnel Vision Project, for me, is learning and doing anything and everything I possibly can about a specific things. It will take up most of my time and by the time I tire of the topic, I’m quite a savant on the topic.
I feel it’s important to say here, Tunnel Vision Projects, while lifting my spirits and making me feel productive, tend to make me more reclusive than I am when I’m between projects. Whenever I start research on a new TVP, my relationships, eating habits, any sort of social activity and pretty much all but the basic hygiene rituals tend to decline. All I can talk about is the TVP. All I can think about is the TVP. My entire world revolves around the TVP.
Charon once asked if I could change or control what my TVP is. The answer is no. It’s seemingly random and it’s pretty much whatever sparks my interest. If the TVP is interesting enough or I can’t learn enough to satisfy my innate curiosity, I make sure the TVP is incorporated into my daily routine. If I switch TVPs and the one I’m still learning on still has a lot left or has become something that I’m interested in more as a career or life goal, I keep doing it, just at a much lesser intensity.
Case in point: I no longer spend all my waking hours studying Japanese. I spend maybe 6 hours tops, but the average is probably 2-3 hours. I eventually want to be able to move to Japan and knowing the language and culture is a must if I do. Habitica also fell into the TVP Turned Daily Objective wastelands. It’s still something I do, I just don’t obsess over it like I used to.
I think it’s important for everyone to have a TVP. Maybe not the the extreme in which I and other Autists go about them, but as a hobby to do when you are stressed might be nice. Having fun things that peak your interest, especially as an adult, is super important. We are no longer allowed to just ‘play’, everything has to have an objective. That’s such a boring and sad way to live.
TVPs make me happy. They give me something to do every day. They force me out of bed and require focus. I don’t go to school and I don’t have a job, so that’s a totally valid reason to be obsessive over something random. And when I did go to school and worked, it was great to have the positive enforcement of “if I manage to get all this shit done, I can read and research my current TVP”. It’s amazingly motivating.
My Tunnel Vision Project mindset is also a type of Mindfulness Exercise, in my opinion. It forces my focus onto a singular activity where I’m in the moment of my new discoveries. I think that’s why, once I figured out what Mindfulness actually was, I got so good at it. Yes, it took a little practice, but I think it’s by far the easiest thing in DBT that I’ve learned.
A bit off topic, but I find the fact that I started DBT as the necessary treatment for my Borderline Personality Disorder (misdiagnosis, doctors just love labelling women with it) because that’s what Exacerbating Ex said I had to do as hilarious. Well, while I can’t really put it to practice on weird Borderline traits, I find DBT useful for meditation and for learning how to be a person. In all honesty, DBT may not be a TVP for me, I do incorporate it into my spiritual practices and my spiritual practices are a minor Side Cave Exploration. Which is kind of like a small-scale TVP.
As always, I wish you can experience the joy and fulfillment that a Tunnel Vision Project can provide. The subjects for a TVP are only limited by your own curiosity and sense of adventure. Onward to your own adventure, lads! (and lasses!) To a brighter tomorrow full of endless knowledge and satisfaction!
To the joy of a Tunnel Vision Project incorporated into a daily routine. To the happiness and satisfaction it brings. And to you, my dear reader, for putting up with my randomness and sometimes off the wall weirdness.
Thank you for all your support thus far and for the support you’ll give in the future.
-The Sarcastic Autist