Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

October 27, 2016   |   Ithaca, NY

BlogsActivism 101

The Benefit of Being Bored

I am currently sitting on my bed starting and restarting this blog post. Blogging, writing, putting words and my feelings down on a page is something I’m good at, something I love.

So, why is this so damn hard today? Lately?

I have pages of blog ideas—even whole posts— scribbled out in my journal that I wrote under the table during class (sorry mom), in cafés, on speeding public transit. So what’s been stopping me from clicking on the WordPress app on my taskbar? From pressing upload?

Over the past few months I’ve filled out many applications for internships and jobs—putting all my energy into cover letters, selling myself, marketing my skills on the page until the energy was gone. I spent a lot of it wondering if I even have skills and narratives worth sharing.

It can be easy to get caught up wondering if we’re good enough. It’s such a waste. I wish I could get that time back.

You’re going to have to deal with this haphazard post, this mesh of paragraphs until I work through this brief spell of non-creativeness (is that even a word?) that I’m going through—because I don’t want to waste any more time.

I got back from London three days ago. I just had the best four months of my life. My experiences abroad warrant a separate reflection post—but what I’ll say now is, I’m grateful for the things I saw, the new friends I made, and the adventures I embarked on that were completely out of my comfort zone. Writing during that time was difficult. I kept a journal; but I was so busy doing things and being fully engaged in my time abroad, that I didn’t take the time to fully write them down, to do those narratives justice.

But now I’m back home. Nothing is walking distance anymore. Adventure, events, memorable nights are no longer lurking around the corner and throughout the streets of London, waiting.

Back in upstate NY, I’ve already finished the entire final season of Parks and Recreation.

This shift in speed, in proximity to my friends, in the amount of things available for me to do is jarring. Maybe soon I’ll grow comfortable with this new free time and boredom and loading of the next Netflix episode. I’m not used to being bored. I’m used to, and more comfortable with moving from one thing to the next. Even one town to the next.

This is the longest stretch of time I’ve spent at home since summer 2014. I’ve gone from home, to Ithaca, to DC, to work at a summer camp up in the Adirondacks, to my grandma’s house in South Jersey. Repeat.

I think there’s something valuable in this though—something valuable about being bored. Maybe this is what I need to restart my creative energy. Maybe not having a million things on my plate, applications to fill out, and having the chance to slow down will help. Maybe it will give the ideas that spin around inside my brain until I forget them to ferment into something more concrete.

If you’re feeling stuck, unmotivated, in a state of non-creativeness just like me, maybe slowing down is the answer. That’s what I’m going to try. I’m going to embrace this state of boredom, this free time, and hope it resets my maxed out creative energy back to zero.

All the best,