I’m so bored! Sometimes it seems like the older I get, even though I’m doing lots more, I’m also bored more often. There are times when I’m even immersed in an activity, then realize I’m just plain bored of whatever it is that I’m doing. Need to learn to stay in the moment more, or maybe just to find a way to do what I love and avoid the minutiae.
Does anyone else remember being bored as a kid? I do, but it wasn’t often that I was allowed the time to wallow. Also, I was a pretty quiet and crafty kid, so it didn’t take a lot to keep me occupied – scrap fabrics, glitter glue, even a box full of different kinds of buttons would safely amuse me for hours. If crafting didn’t seem quite the thing that day, my mom could always tell me to go get a book – I loved to read then, probably even more than I do now. I could get lost in books, and when I say lost, I mean swallowed-alive-never-to-be-seen-again lost.
Every summer from 8 until 17, I read the entire Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery. Every year it made just a little more sense to me, but the story of Anne and Gilbert tugged my heartstrings from the very first time I set my mind’s eye on them. Then came the summer of my 11th year, when I stumbled across The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, and my life was never again the same. The series is five books long, and puts such an entertaining spin on classic Welsh mythology that a little girl could be excused for being absolutely inconsolable at the turn of the final page. I was so devastated after that first read that my mom, at her wit’s end with my moping about, suggested I start reading the series over. Thank goodness, it did the trick. That summer marked the first of many that I marveled over the adventures of a foolhardy assistant pig-keeper, a wise and precocious pig, a head-strong magical princess, a kind-hearted and regal bard, a battle-sharpened dwarf, and their mysterious hairy companion. For those of you who have never read the books, there was also a pretty popular Disney movie that covered the first book of the series, but I’d advise against it.
When I’m bored now, I usually end up watching a television program or eating. Sometimes I read, but not nearly enough, and I can’t remember the last time I endeavored to complete (or even start) a craft project. I do write a lot, as evidenced by this blog, but the two actual books that I’m working on move at a crawl. Unfortunately, boredom and inspiration seldom intersect in my world, and even though probably 25% of my day is spent thinking up plot points for one of my book projects, I haven’t put pen to paper for that purpose in over a month.
I think that a lot of the feelings I automatically assign to the ‘boredom’ category are not necessarily just boredom, but also loneliness. I spend so much of my time alone. Work is 8+ hours at a desk where I receive no visitors, seldom get phone calls, and only leave to go to the bathroom or cook my lunch (never at the same time, of course). Occasionally I speak to my coworkers, but only one of them is truly friendly. We talk about our cats, and share our weekend plans, which is nice, but it’s still pretty superficial. There are no inside jokes here, or secret escapes to grab a cup of coffee and discuss existential conundrums, or even after-work adventures that help to make coworkers more like partners in crime. I’ve never worked somewhere where I didn’t have ANY friends. Typically I even have more than a few, and end up keeping them afterwards. It makes me even happier to be leaving here in August, and going back to a city full of people who share my love of odd people, awkward situations, magical solutions, and strange occurrences. Oh, and let’s not forget costumes, public imbibing, fresh seafood, and dancing. Oh, dancing!
Which leads me to the rest of my lonely, boring day. I never see anyone! I go from work to yoga (where I speak to no one), then home to eat and get ready for bed. Most of my Chicago friends live in far-off (20 minutes or more away by car and much more by public trans) neighborhoods, and even if we had plans to meet up, I couldn’t afford to go out anyway. Even though I relish living on my own, I’m tired of it now. I want to live in the same city as my boyfriend, and to have family (his family, but very much like my family too) nearby. I want to get out of work on a Friday and know I will run in to a girlfriend or two at Pravda, sipping martinis and dishing the dirt. I want to decide last minute to go out dancing in costume on a Thursday night, and not only not receive any strange looks, but also get a few friends to join me. I want to sit on my balcony sipping sweet bourbon, daydreaming about a late dinner and a few laughs.
Somehow I also have a feeling that once I’m immersed in New Orleans culture again, I’ll start feeling more creative. I’ve been fighting to not return to that city for so long, but I feel like maybe now is the right time for me to head back. Before this boredom takes over and rolls through, obliterating everything like The Nothing in The Neverending Story. Not that I really see that happening, but if we’re all being led toward some discovery we know not what, and part of my discovery is going back AGAIN to that damned city, then perhaps The Nothing could be a possible side effect one of the many mes in existence could experience if straying from the Universe’s ascribed path. Btw, if you think that was out there, click here for the most thorough and thoughtful film analysis I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading…bet you never would have imagined The Neverending Story was so deep.
Oh, and it’s 4:56, and I’ve decided against going to yoga today. No worries, the challenge allows one to go twice in one day to make up for a missed class. I’ll probably go to two classes tomorrow, which would be poetic since it’s Day 8, and 8s are my thing. Now I’m going to finish up with work and go home to play with my two beautiful cat children, who are probably much more bored than I could ever be. Cats always take everything to the extreme, you know.