my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

February 24, 2011

i am obsessed

i used to read all the time. i still own stacks of books that i read through and just couldn't put down. now, i'm not saying they were all great books, though i did enjoy most of them. still, even the ones that i didn't like i couldn't put down. my problem has always been that when i start reading most anything, i need to read all of it. it feels strange to me to read a chapter and save the rest for another time. which i suppose is also why i feel like i have no time to read books anymore, because when i start i just can't stop.

i'm like that with a lot of things, actually. i used to frequent various message boards, but i had to stop when they became too time consuming. or i let them become too time consuming. i couldn't jump in at the end of a long thread or topic. no, i had to read it all from the beginning, even if it was months old and 1000 or more posts long. i had it in my head that i had to read the topic completely before adding my own reply. and then if i actually did say something, i would check back obsessively to see if anyone had responded to me. obsessively like i would sit and refresh the page, just waiting. i eventually learned that i was unable to use message boards in anything approaching a normal fashion, and so i forced myself to stop posting on them. i still read them, but because i'm not saying anything myself, i don't feel the need to check them so often.

i don't know why i become obsessed by things. why i feel the need to immerse myself in something to the point that it takes up all of my time. not just my free time, all of my time, even the times where i'm supposed to be doing other things. a terrible confession here: there was once that i was so wrapped up in checking on an online community that i was actually late to pick up bumble from the bus stop. i consider that the exact moment reality slapped me right across the face and i realized i had a problem.

i do consider myself lucky that i was able to mostly stop. the temptation is there, but i'm fighting it. the temptation is always there, though. before it was books, for awhile it was writing stories. the access to all this information online has given me other obsessions now too. there are people that i've become obsessed with. and with a few mouse clicks i can find out all the information that i'd ever want. so i keep looking deeper and deeper, trying to find out all that i can, i want to know everything about them, read everything they've written, watch every video they've made, check out every organization and group they even mentioned in passing.

and usually, just as quickly as i'm swept up in my obsession, i am over it. i move on to the next thing that catches my eye. now i believe i have learned to be more careful. i know there are more important things in my life that i need to be focusing my energy and attention on. and i'm beginning to understand that it's ok to put the book away for awhile, because it'll be there later. and to shut down the computer, because sometimes sleep is more important than the latest reply. and it's ok to be interested in someone or something, but i need to draw the line at internet stalking.

i'm like a cat with a shiny bit of string. it's my whole world, all consuming. but if i'm not careful in my playing, i might end up running head first into a wall.

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