I believe in the power of boredom.
As I’m sitting in my art class on a rainy Monday morning, waiting for everyone to slowly roll in the door, most still half asleep and barely coherent, I often find it entertaining to simply observe my surroundings and peculiar behaviors of fellow classmates. The kid to my left is swiping through Tinder, seeming almost too desperate for a match, the girl in front of me occupies her time by stalking her favorite celebrity on Instagram and obsessively liking way too many photos, the international student has his face buried in a math book that I have no hope of ever being able to understand. We are all waiting. Waiting for class to start, for the teacher to arrive, for class to end, and for a good sandwich at the end of the day… always waiting. Waiting is such a common practice, but I’ve found that many times, my greatest fear of waiting too long is becoming bored, God forbid.
I believe that most people are afraid or uncomfortable with being bored. However, it’s hard to even tell whether or not boredom actually bothers us because, few people allow themselves to become bored. When I’m waiting for a friend to get dinner and not even 1-minute passes by, I pull my phone out to mindlessly occupy this brief period of waiting. Taking just a second to slow your roll and breathe, even for just a second, is not as scary as it may seem, but can lead to some incredible thoughts and creative ideas. In fact, I developed my best ideas for this essay when I was laying sick in bed this week, completely and utterly bored. Even allowing myself to be bored at least once a day without any distractions can help me to become more centered and comfortable with my own thoughts.
Boredom should not be a state that one needs to escape, but rather treated as an opportunity for escape, an environment that breeds new ideas and an open mind. Once you can be comfortable with your own thoughts and not have a panic attack when the phone battery dies, there is a great feeling of comfort which translates into all parts of life.
On my never-ending journey to self-improvement, boredom is one skill I hope to master, and I don’t mind waiting.