Reflection on my Aspie obsessions

I’m currently training to be a TEFL teacher during the summer break. This certification allows you to teach English abroad. I got an email in my inbox the other day from the company I am getting this certification from; about internship programs they are doing from September onwards. And there it is was, a 9-month internship in Italy teaching English while getting paid. It was legit, a good enough salary to live on in Italy and by the time I had finished reading it I was ready to pack my bags.

Then reality kicked in, I couldn’t even consider doing that for another two years, I had college to finish. Right there and then I realised my interest in college had subsided a lot during the college break. I’m still interested in the course work just not so much the let’s be tied down for another two years because Italy is waiting for me.

For me I can never seem to do anything for more than a year, after that I am ready to do the next thing. I always thought I was fickle, had commitment issues the list goes on til I got my diagnosis of Asperger’s. When I was learning about Asperger’s I learnt about aspies having special interests. For my non aspie readers, people with Asperger’s generally latch onto something that becomes a special interest to them. It could be getting to know everything about dinosaurs, psychology, animals, tech etc the list is endless. Rather than using the term special interest, I rather the word obsession because that’s what it feels like to me.

After a lot of reflection, I realised college had become one of my obsessions. During my first year of college I was always watching videos, reading articles, and tried to read one or two books how to study better, how to do college etc. I was stressing myself out to do well and always doing maybe just a bit more study than was necessary. In hindsight yes it seems college has become an obsession. However, I wish it hadn’t become one, that I had separated it as something I had to do so I wouldn’t be running out of interest in it so soon. As I mentioned before my special interests only ever really last a year max.

For me anyway when I have a special interest that’s really all there is, I don’t have much else going on in my life. And when a special interest runs out, I’m usually just done! I don’t want to know any more about it. I have a fear now that by the time college starts again, my obsession in it will be gone which means I’d have no interest in it anymore which would make completing my degree a lot harder.

For some aspies, they have permanent special interests and they are able to make a career out of it. I knew another aspie who always had a strong interest in video games and technology. He combined these two interests to go on to do game development in college and had no issue in completing his course and going into the workplace.

For me I don’t have that. I only have one strong interest that has lasted for a long time, travel. And the want to travel is what drew me to my course, Digital Marketing and Public Relations. From reading blogs by digital nomads, on how they travel and work Digital Marketing seemed to be the job for it. And as I learnt about TEFL, I saw I needed a degree if I ever wanted to teach in Asia. I didn’t want to close doors on myself, so I went to college. However, by tying myself to something for three years I realised I have scarified a lot in terms of not being able to do my special interest, which in turn affects my Asperger’s a bit.

However, I have to keep the end goal in sight. As Oprah Winfrey once said, ” do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do”. And I have to keep this in mind as the work I am doing now in college could led me to years of travel to come.

So for now Italy you will have to wait.

Have you ever lost interest in a special interest that affected your career/ future? Let me know in the comments below!

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