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[personal profile] ltgmars
I have what I'd characterize as a focused and obsessive personality. What that means in general is that I'm very stubborn about quitting in the middle of things, so I rack up long, long to-do lists that I can't get going because I need to do them in a particular order (and stalling at one point halts the entire process). What that means in terms of daily interaction is that I get incredibly focused on specific things I'm doing, and I tune out everything else (which is why sometimes it takes a very long time for me to respond to IMs if I'm working on something else, even if it's on the computer, because I don't have room in my brain to respond to anything else until I've reached a good stopping point). Extend that to interactions in person, and if something grabs my attention in a forceful way (a loud or sudden noise, something coming into my line of vision that wasn't there before, basically any kind of shift in my spatial understanding of my surroundings), I get really startled. Like, intensely, jump-out-of-my-chair-and-yelp startled. I'm really into a sensory status quo, so when something appears that I'm not expecting, even if it's coming from far away and isn't affecting me, it throws me off. (Some people (Will) have used this to their advantage and just stood where they weren't supposed to just to scare me, and those people are, frankly, the worst.)

I remember one day in college when I was thinking about something with my door open, Will came walking into my room where I was looking, but I didn't notice him. I saw him, but his presence didn't register because I was concentrating on something else and my brain wouldn't make the connection. So when I finally did notice him, actually comprehend that he was approaching me, he was already a yard or so into my room. I yelped, and he moped, "You were looking straight at me." And I was, see, but that didn't mean I'd allocated enough of my consciousness to understand what it meant.

Another time, a bunch of us were standing in the hall talking, and I'd heard Gabe's voice in the conversation, but I hadn't actually looked at him yet. I ended up looking up and seeing him there -- he'd been there the entire time -- and for whatever reason I hadn't registered that the Gabe voice was coming from the Gabe person, and I was so startled that people came running from downstairs to make sure I was okay.

There's no point to this entry. It's just something really curious (and I'd like to think endearing) about my personality. It makes multitasking difficult only inasmuch as I get really irritated when I have to stop in the middle of something; I'm organized enough to be able to keep track of everything I need to do, so it all gets done. I just like working on one thing at a time, given the option.
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