Some thoughts on obsession

There are so many things I’ve wanted to blog about – so many! – and regrettably just no time. My last semester of law school is proving no easier than the earlier ones, but fortunately I’ll be done at the end of June and back into the regular-blogging swing. I will try to provide a report on the symposia and conferences I’ve been to recently, as well as other thoughts, soon.

However, on my walk home today I was thinking about obsessions, and it raises an interesting question. Do adolescent obsessions disappear when we grow up? Or do they just fade into something more “mature?”

In my late childhood/early pre-teen years, I was obsessed with that paragon of literary merit known as the Babysitters’ Club. Then around the age of twelve I moved on to the Backstreet Boys, followed by NSync and lesser known boybands. Around fifteen, I shifted out of that (and started liking girls – coincidence?) I had a dearth of obsessions for a little while, which perhaps had something to do with getting better in school, and then at the start of college became obsessed with a local band, some of whose members became friends. They broke up a few years later, and my obsession became Lord of the Rings for a year or two. All of those obsessions came with corresponding friends, and sadly I lost touch with a lot of them as the obsessions themselves faded. However, I do note that the older I get, the more friends seem to stick around.

On my walk, I was trying to see if I could think of any current obsessions. I think you could say that early in law school, food was an obsession, considering how important it was to check my favourite blogs, stay current on recipe-copying, etc. I now have a database of thousands and thousands of recipes thanks to that obsession. Now, though, that’s dwindled a bit. I suppose you could say that I’m obsessed with law school itself, or at least my GPA, which is a little depressing (but would kind of make sense if you consider the lack of obsessions in the part of high school where I was more engaged with learning). You could say that I’m obsessed with feminism or LGBT issues, but that’s also depressing in that I certainly hope those things are lifelong interests, seeing as how I’m planning to make a career out of them. Or maybe it’s reading – I’ve become almost compulsive about trying to finish books, keep track of what I want to read (kind of like the recipes), and read more and more and more.

I’m curious what others’ experiences are, especially those my age (24) and older. Do you still have the kind of obsessions you did when you were a teenager, just more “mature” ones? Do you become obsessed with things like work, school, or family instead? Or do those obsessive tendencies fade over time?

About Avory

Avory Faucette is a queer feminist activist, writer, and public speaker. Zie graduated from the University of Iowa with a JD in 2009, focusing on international human rights and gender/sexuality issues in the law. Hir current work focuses on queer identity, policy, and marginalized identities under the queer umbrella. As a genderqueer person, zie comments frequently on non-binary identity, transgender and genderqueer issues, and media coverage of these populations. Zie also speaks at colleges, universities, and events on transgender and queer issues and conducts trainings on related topics.

Posted on March 21, 2009, in pop culture and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I bounce from obsession to obsession – always have. I’ve found as I’ve gotten older this has subsided, mostly because I’m too busy for them. After working all day and then making dinner, I only have a few hours. Sure I’d like to spend them relaxing, but I still have to clean the kitchen and do laundry and oooh, there’s a tv show I like. I’d love to go tinker on some things, but oops – have to mow the lawn or shovel the walk.

    Sometimes being a grown-up sucks. Losing the time to obsess on things is definitely a part of that.

  2. I was HUGELY obsessed with the Beatles in high school – since then every other “obsession” has paled in comparison. But I had the local band thing for awhile, too. And a short-lived Harry Potter obsession. Currently I’m obsessed with the TV shows of Jack Webb (weird, I know, but I’m enjoying them a lot). Nothing terribly intense, nothing that will lose me friends. I always figured I had my big obsession early in life, and now I have a sense of control over any other obsessions.

  3. Research indicates that adolescent brains are not fully developed. A plethora of studies show that they have substantial functional and structural organization that is happening….there is a lot of brain development going on.

    Adolescents have the increasing ability to think abstractly – which contributes to their social awareness (and maybe focuses), and cortical inhibitory control is not fully developed (which makes basic urges seem more immediate and necessary – like the deep appeal of the backstreet boys as soooo sexy). Thrill seeking and immediate gratification are more attractive.

    Anyway…So…my guess is that the obsessions just take different forms as we age, and are tempered by our structural brains and experience. also…your genetic vulnerabilities and nervous system structure would play a role in your tendency toward “obsessions.”

    Though they will not be the “same” as adolescence, depending on who you are, how you are “wired,” etc…you can experience obsessions. Likely not as strong (unless you have tendencies toward a disorder, for example) due to brain maturation, but still present and driving.

    Just my guess. You’d never guess I write for a pop culture website, eh?

  4. If you ever want to hear a reader’s feedback 🙂 , I rate this article for four from five. Decent info, but I just have to go to that damn msn to find the missed parts. Thanks, anyway!

  5. The style of writing is quite familiar . Have you written guest posts for other blogs?

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