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Why My Special Interests Matter So Much to Me as an Autistic Person

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We all have things that are important to us in life. For some it’s family, their career or friendship, but for me the most important thing is my special interests.

I have more than one special interest, but the one I’ve had for the longest is writing. I remember being told to write a short story at school; I instantly fell in love with it and discovered the power of imagination. I was never pushed in a certain direction when it came to my writing. Some people thought I would “outgrow” it, but I never did.

When I was writing as a kid my mind would be in a completely different place, filled with characters, adventures and ideas. It was a way of escaping reality. When the real world was tough or overwhelming, I could easily get lost in my thoughts.

My special interest was important because it gave me the ability to focus for long periods of time without moving on to something else. My special interest killed any boredom I had; it never got tedious for me. It filled my time when I had nobody to play with as a kid. My special interest meant the whole world. It filled with me so much choice and passion; it made me driven too. When I got older, it turned into a career opportunity. People constantly said things such as “most people do that just as hobby,” but it went over my head. I wasn’t about to give up on a career choice which brought me such enjoyment. I kept a notebook with me on my travels to write whenever I got an idea.

I’m quite good at writing because it’s one of the few things that’s captured my attention, and I’ve worked hard at it. Writing seemed easy when other things such as math seemed so difficult to grasp. I have been told I’m articulate and have a good vocabulary. I’ve always liked words; I’m eager to look up any word if I don’t know what it means.

When I feel down or have a particular thing on my mind, I use my special interest to my advantage and write. I always feel better afterwards. As I always say, you can find beauty even in the darkest of places. For me writing was the vibrant and brilliant light at the end of the tunnel that kept me going. Writing got rid of my lonely thoughts. Because I have autism it’s taken me years to make friends, and in my early 20s I didn’t have any real friends at all. It might sound weird, but I developed relationships with my characters and writing about their lives eroded my lonely feelings. I felt like I was there with them.

Writing gives me passion and drive. It gives me a reason to break through any obstacles life throws at me. I know it’s the right choice when it comes to careers. I feel as though it’s what I’m destined to do. It’s a career I won’t ever abandon and something I love deeply.

Another of my special interests is makeup. I have a huge collection of eyeshadow palettes. I’m creative and love to experiment, especially with bright colors. I like makeup because I enjoy the whole process and I enjoy sharing my own creations, plus being inspired by others too. As an autism advocate I want to inspire others in some way.

I love the way makeup has the power to transform. I find it relaxing — after a long day I apply makeup until I like what I see. I feel as though makeup for autistic people is a bit similar to Marmite — you either love it or hate it and I definitely love it. My special interests are truly wonderful and help me get through life.

Getty image by Alexeg84.

Originally published: September 30, 2019
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