by: Joshua Isaacson
Many days over the last few months I have been very guilty of throwing around the phrase “I’m so bored” without ever really giving any thought as to what I could be doing differently to remedy this feeling. As I take the time to sit down and hash out the implications and impressions that I give off while muttering those three little words I start to realize that there is a lot you can say about me.
Coming to terms with the persona that is being portrayed via bored Facebook updates and things of that nature is a little tough. I would understand why many people would rather not actually hang out with me if all they see me saying is how bored I am all the time and how I have nothing to do. Who wants to hang out with the guy that can’t think of anything to do but sit in front of Facebook and complain?
Also, I’m starting to see boredom more as a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts: Say you’re bored and bored you shall be. It is difficult to break that circle as a result of that prophecy. By repeating it, I am slowly just placing myself in this category of “boring person” a.k.a. uninteresting, basically. I wish someone would have called me out on the way I have been personifying myself to the public by quaking about how bored I am all the time. I will do the dirty work myself and call myself into the spotlight.
Now a shift.
I can easily come up with many reasons why I have been okay with being bored so frequently recently: lack of financial means, not feeling like anyone wants to be around me, certain things are not rewarding (or important enough in my eyes). I’m sure there are more, but those are the big ones that I know motivate my relationship with boredom. The first one is kind of an obvious one. If I had more money I would be more willing to get out and do things with people, or even alone, and not be content with sitting and watching the second hand tick away on my day.
The second one, however, has always been a little struggle for me to deal with. Feeling like people genuinely want to be around me has never really come easily to me. “Surely, they have better things to do, or more fun friends than me” typically runs through my mind whenever someone says they want to do something with me. It’s not that I discount their opinion or their ideas about me; it’s an internal thing that I just can’t seem to shake and say: “Listen, buddy, they want to hang out with YOU, and that’s that.”
Work in progress? Yes, please. This feeling of unimportance has led me to a lifestyle of second guessing attempts at social interactions for fear of continual second guessing during the social interaction. I have a hard time coming up with fantastic things to do with people, and it intimidates me to initiate a hang out session and then say, “I don’t really have anything in mind; I kind of just wanted someone to hang out with and do nothing with or see what happens.”
Last is the feeling that the things that I could be doing are just plain not important and no one has interest in the things I do anyways, so why do them? Combine that with the increased visibility of all the things that are getting accomplished by other people on a constant basis, and you can see where things would get pretty tough to get going. “Oh, you read a couple chapters in your little book about nothing? That’s fantastic. Meanwhile, I was busy being amazing and accomplishing numerous great things and making lots of progress in all that I’m doing” seems to be the vibe that I feel radiating off of my Facebook page. From many many people. It gets disheartening to pick up a book for enjoyment when I could be reading something that could be throwing me down into an intellectual breakdown. Critique something rather than enjoy something.
This feeling also emanates from within my self as well. I am eager to be reading and researching things that I am interested and that will help increase my knowledge of the world around me and of the many numerous disciplines I will encounter. However, I just can’t see the benefit of it personally. (Something I am working on very diligently in all honesty). I feel like I have illustrated the feelings that I get that seem to just invite the reaction in my brain of “Its okay, don’t worry about it dough head, just be bored, you’re better off that way anyways, you can’t compete.” So, I don’t.
In the spirit of essentially re-creating myself and re-creating my life in the vision that I want my life to be in, I am going to continue to work on pushing aside that voice in my head that defeats my efforts before they have begun. I need to work on being more self-encouraging and self-motivated to get the things that I want done and to try and make them relevant and important to myself and to others. Maybe I’m not reading deep heavy theories of psychological development in lab rats or in Alzheimer’s sufferers, so what? The things that I do read and that I do take interest in are just as interesting and thought provoking, and I’m going to make it a point to put those ideas from my brain and my knowledge out there for people to respond to. There will be profound things said (I hope) and some not so profound things, but they are getting said.
Starting…lets say yesterday.
Joshua Isaacson is a Psychology major in Minneapolis who wants to research LGBT psychological development and the causes and affects of homophobia on the mind. Joshua is also a volunteer for the Trevor Project, a Diablo III addict, an avid reader, a big music junkie and loves some salty goodness.