The mind, dilated

Throughout my life, I’ve noticed alternating periods of cognitive dilation and contraction, that follow a random waxing and waning cycle.  It’s like my brain has its own calendar or circadian rhythm.

And so, every so often, I enter a phase in which I’m interested in way more than I can feasibly allot time to delve into.

I’m entering one of those “cognitive dilating” periods again.  My interests are fairly predictable (well, if you live inside my head 🙂 ). This time, it’s a potpourri of microbiology, sociology, US medical history, and the historical aspects of Asperger’s/autism.

I’m interested in microbiology primarily for its ability to flex its muscle and pose a threat to human health and life.  It’s tragic-yet-fascinating to me that a living being a billionth (or less) of our size can cause so much distress, can make such a significant impact.

I’m interested in sociology because I have gained a newfound desire to become more aware of various aspects of the human condition and the struggles faced by various segments thereof.

I’m interested in US medical history because, as a doctor, I want to know more about some of the shit we (doctors) pulled, how we used to perceive different health issues, how we attempted to resolve them, what methods we used, our “rationale” for using them, and how we mistreated people in the process (especially the gaslighting of women, which continues to this day).  In order not to repeat that history (or participate in doing so), and to know where we want to go to make things better, it’s crucial that we know that history–where we’ve been already.

And of course, I’m interested in the history of Asperger’s and the autism spectrum for similar reasons.  Being a fellow autism spectrumite, it’s beneficial to be aware of the history and development of the spectrum, the people on it, the treatment by the medical profession, the marginalization by society, and the previous (incorrect) association with mental illness, so that I can become more informed.  After all, knowledge is power, and I want to be powerful.  Not for my own gain or stroking of ego; I’m not power-hungry.  It’s not that at all.  Rather, it’s more of a “credibility” (in the eyes of the rest of society), having a greater impact, an ability to be taken seriously.  And I don’t want that just for myself; I want that for all of us–at least, those of us who desire it.  I want to reach a deeper and wider understanding, not only for the satisfaction of my own curiosity, but for the improvement of all of our lives.  I want to be a proper–and properly informed–delegate, representative, or at least, example.  I don’t want to spout off on impulse and look like a jerk or come off as misguided or ignorant.

Oh yeah, and I’m also interested in painting and Spanish lately, too.  And Southwestern US (New Mexico) architecture.  And maybe starting to study calculus.

These interests will change.  They’ll never go away completely, though.  They’re like the balls on the strings that form swimmer’s lanes in swimming pools; they take their turns bobbing up and down through my field of attention.  As some rise up, others dip lower…for the moment.  But if you’ve ever stared into a swimming pool for a while, you know that the water isn’t usually completely placid; there’s almost always a ripple or a wave, even if it’s covert.

Last year, it was Pantheism, Islam, schizophrenia, law, and forensics.  The year before that it was trying to find out where on earth Jesse from Breaking Bad got his clothes because–ooooh!–I had found my next persona idea (a female bad-ass Jesse, sans “The Blue Stuff” or the underbelly element) and I was determined to make it come to life.  And the year before that it was the potential dark side of the organ donation industry.  Next year’s topics of choice will probably be sculpture, how to formulate nutritional/herbal supplement formulas, exploring more literature, and collecting cover art by bands like Rush and Yes.

To most people, I might seem really weird.  That’s OK.  I’m wasn’t put here to impress anyone, especially members of neurotypical society.  But having plentiful and varied interests keeps life fun and fulfilling, and my brain occupied.

***

(Image Credit: Android Jones)

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