Why we need obsessions

I’ll be the first to admit that “hardship” to me is so mild compared to what a lot people have experienced. I had a happy childhood and continue to have a wonderful family, close friends, and a steady job.

But everyone’s entitled to feel sad every once in a while. Or stressed. Or pissed off. I think it’s healthy to feel those emotions. And I won’t lie, maybe I allow myself to feel upset more often than I should. But every time I can’t seem to get out of a funk, there’s always a tiny light somewhere in a corner of my mind, saying, “At least I have _____” (fill in the blank with whatever my current obsession might be).

At least I have the new Mountain Goats album to listen to.

At least I have Buster Keaton movies to watch.

At least I have Star Trek episodes waiting for me at home.

Sometimes I feel silly for liking some of the things that I do, and sometimes I try to downplay my somewhat obsessive tendencies, but the truth is, I don’t care if it sounds silly. One of the few things I know for certain is that these things make me happy, and I will straight up listen to Simon & Garfunkel for hours on end because that’s what I feel like doing at any given time. To the outside world, these obsessions may seem trivial, or amusing at best, but anyone who has ever geeked out over anything knows that it’s much more than that. In all honesty, it’s a reason for living.

I hope everyone has the equivalent of this. It could be a hobby, a video game, a sports team (obviously I’m talking legal and non-harmful interests here). I hope you have a growing list of “favorite things of all things.” And I hope you never feel ashamed for liking something or someone.

Here’s to to the however small—but constant—good things in our lives.

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