Saturday, January 31, 2015
I've been thinking a lot about boredom lately. About how to enjoy it. How to acquire the right amount of it. How some people avoid it, which I think is fine if creativity is not a priority. Looking around, it's apparent that smart phones are keeping the general population from ever feeling bored but for me, the city is a bigger temptress. Some days I think I would be much more at home somewhere smaller, with less noise and more open land. A place more conducive for moments of boredom.
At the same time, I'm living in Chicago and so I might as well indulge in citylike things like free improv shows and dance classes and live music while I can. But with all of this, along with get togethers with friends, along with working full time, along with listening to podcasts, a pile of New Yorkers on my desk, a library nearby, and the desire to at some point sit down and write this blog (among other things), I'm never actually bored.
Last weekend, I visited my friend in St. Louis and she told me something that stuck with me. She said that living alone for the first time in her life, she feels a lot like she did in high school. It reminded her of her days spent hanging out with herself, alone in her bedroom, enveloped in books, music, and self-contemplation. Sometimes you're bored and antsy, but sometimes it's also nice.
I suppose that's why reading has always been a constant in my life. Even though I read for the stories, I also read for those moments when I start to think of something else, put the book down, and follow my train of thought to wherever it leads. That's always been the best part about it. Reading so often lends itself to mind wandering.
I know I also wrote about how I'm happier these days to be doing, acting on my musings than daydreaming, and I stand by that but I guess I'm still trying to keep the city at bay when I can. Being a twenty-something single person, I have more time on my hands than I'm used to and rather than filling my schedule up, I'm trying to spend days doing little else but wandering to a new neighborhood with a library book and a journal, indulging in free time while I still have it, and realizing as Greg McKeown puts it, the joys of missing out.
Pictured above: the Chicago Public Library, some overpriced plants in St. Louis, and a Pilsen avenue