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  • Writer's pictureBerto Centofante

How Hobbies Can Become Obsessions


Over the past two-plus years since graduating college, I have become increasingly self-aware of my own habits, good and bad. I've had many hobbies growing up, some have petered out, and some are still very much part of my life. I have realized when self-reflecting that I get into something as a hobby; I quickly become possessed with it. I must figure out the ins and outs of whatever I am interested in; the hobby becomes an obsession. I realize the negative connotation of the word obsessed, but I tend to see it as a typical human trait. The only way to truly learn about anything is to become obsessed with it to some degree. I may just be saying that because it's one of my habits, but I believe there is truth to it. I think anyone who is considered significant in their fields has a healthy obsession with their profession (time to make my confession with no suppression and correct my comprehension. Ok, I'm done with that intersession). My downfall is I have too many interests turned hobbies turned obsessions to ever master any of them. I recently came across the saying "circle of competence" coined by Warren Buffet, making it less astonishing than if some artisan or author came up with it. Never the less it is a brilliant way of narrowing down what your field of knowledge is and should remain. It is a good way of doing your best to cut out all of the news and things that grab your attention but add nothing to your life.

So as I tried to create my own circle of competence, I realized I had gathered a lot of random obsessions in my life. The first obsession was college football; back in 4th to 6th grade, I knew every player and stat in the country, but that quickly faded and is now officially dead. A dead obsession is bittersweet; I'm not sure why my interest has entirely left, but it has. I have other past obsessions that still sparkle and can reclaim their spot in my limited brain capacity from time to time. The best example of that is pocket knives; those beautiful slicing tools held a firm place in my obsessions for a good 5 years, until my collection was to the point where I realized I have no use for 20 high-end folding knives. But ever so often, if I spot a shimmering new blade on the web or get a newsletter from my past life introducing a new product, the sparkle can ignite once more.

I planned to use this preface to lead into my first essay of hobbies turned to obsessions, but it seems too long. This will be its own piece, leading into an essay series of my obsessions. Why am I writing about my own obsessions? I am not sure yet; I may be once I am finished. Part 1 "I've watched 685 movies since 2016 and have logged every single one. How I became obsessed with films."

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