I get bored a lot and then I do nothing with my boredom. I think about what I should do to make my life better—and then I don’t do anything. I think about what I could be writing or could be making or could be doing to remedy the situation—but then I don’t do anything. Boredom instead becomes an uncomfortable blanket that is tolerable only because it’s so cold outside that you require self-smothering to forget about the temperature. That’s why I liked this story about boredom: it feels like there’s hope beyond the strangulation of nothingness.
Mary Mann wrote the piece, detailing how being bored at a kayak shop during the Recession helped her find her calling. She actually got so bored that she’s writing a book about boredom. Can you believe that? Talk about taking your boredom lemons and turning it into lemonade, thanks to the Internet. So how did she arrive here? How can you shape your boredom? Here’s a taste:
So what turns doing nothing into creative fuel? While there are no conclusive studies on this, therapists and psychoanalysts I’ve interviewed tend to agree that the best way to really use boredom is to allow our bored minds to wander freely and to pay close attention to where they go, like watching a Ouija board supply answers under our own fingertips.
She goes on to wisely point out that “boredom serves as empty ground on which to build new ideas” which is a very beautiful way to look at it. It also can be your “guide to our true desires” (which I also love). “You have to wait and see,” she concludes. “Above all, boredom is the master of the long con.”
I’ve been bored for so long with so many things: guide me home, boredom. Make me make you lemonade, bored ouija board.