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  • By the impressionable age of six, I was obsessing over patterns. On road trips, I felt compelled to look out the windows and study the earth. I couldn't help but trace the outlines of cornfields and mountains or telephone poles and electrical lines as I rode along while my brothers were glued to old DVDs. If I, for some reason, messed up my process even in the slightest, I would be overcome by panic and harbor it until I could find the perfect place in time to correct my fault and start again.
    During that time in my life I also obsessed over numbers. I avoided even numbers because they made me uncomfortable (unless they were doubles such as 66 or 88). Intervals of 5 were so unsatisfying to my psyche. Three, however, had to be applied to every aspect of my world, whether I was knocking on a door or scratching my mosquito bites. It was placed in my passwords for every account I made (to this day, it's the pass code on my phone), it was the number I would choose if I had to guess which one my kindergarten teacher had picked at random to decide who would become the line leader that week.
    Over time, these specific impulses have diminished, although they remain prevalent. Now, even stronger ones have surfaced and they encompass me to the point of insanity. The single number three has progressed to the sequence one-two-three-four. I set alarms so I won't miss 12:34 on the clock because when I do, I get a burning knot in my chest that lasts all day.
    Following patterns I saw through glass has morphed into an obsession with the imperfections in my drawings- my inability to perfect straight lines, my inability to sketch a perfect circle in math class, my obsession with the idea that two-dimensional objects cannot truly exist- and it produces crippling anxiety, an illogical fear as if having to draw a perfect circle in my math class is a life or death scenario.
    Brand new obsessions have blossomed and taken over my life as well. I lose sleep thinking of words that I should have used instead of "love" hours, days, months, even years ago, thinking that one simple word could have altered the entire conversation. Maybe even my entire existence. I'm engulfed by rhythm in music. Songs will play repeatedly in my subconscious and I will follow every note and beat and lyric, causing me to squirm with anticipation of what comes next even though I already know exactly what will come next. I've only replayed it a million and three times.
    I obsess over theories and concepts with no liable or feasible answers. I obsess over all the things I'll never become in this lifetime because I'll be too busy being something else, someone else, somewhere else. I am aware of these obsessions and I acknowledge that they are unjustifiable by obsessing over why I'm obsessed with my obsessions.
    And, as I wrote this, I couldn't help but obsess over words and spelling and grammar. I'm obsessed with the thought that I have left something out. Something important. So far I've re-read my writing eight times.
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