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  • Writer's pictureEmma Norton

The Upside of Boredom

I have had a lifelong problem. I have a rich inner world. Engaging with reality doesn't always appease me. Mostly because my brain goes at the speed of a cheetah on the African savanna.

It is in the boredom of the present moment where I have always faltered. I always wanted to be somewhere else. I felt a yearning for more, with the inability to appreciate the simplicity, because again, I was bored. My mind is constantly going. I see things in a unique way that has been hard to explain over the years. I have a mind that is creative, emotionally intelligent, ethereal at times, and diversified in its interests. But if you are an engaging person in some way to me, I can focus on you. I can relate, I can adapt and I can learn.

After years of burnout, being conditioned to work that way from years of events, I realized that boredom is not only waiting for things to happen, but it's also the relief of things ending. It's always that state of limbo that we admonish and perceive as unproductive. When we get caught up in cycles, like a production cycle I will use as my example, it's the gearing up in anticipation, followed by months of living like a zombie, a slave to the vision, then the peak comes from the event execution. All for it to be over so quickly.

You stressed and toiled for months over this moment you may be partially drunk during or too panicked to enjoy. But when it's gone and your breathing resumes normalcy, the burst blood vessel in your eye heals and you can eat and sleep comfortably again, you are missing that adrenaline. It still doesn't fill you up like you thought it would and another round isn't going to cut it. We have to learn to sit in our boredom to recharge, but also that's where the next great idea comes from.

I strive to achieve a balance between this existence of work and rest. I can find that solace in the moments I perceive as boring and find their usefulness. Sitting here typing, I have to yell at myself internally to stay focused on this singular piece. My mind has already jumped to another idea. But if I don't finish this thought, I will inevitably bog myself down, so here we are turning over a new leaf.

I have learned the value of every moment but also am testing out different writing protocols for myself to follow. Taking the stress away from doing nothing has been something I have worked to incorporate. Not as in meditation, but rather taking a few minutes to divert my attention and training myself to shift back to see the entire process through, even if my brain lacks the stimulation. To stop over-functioning and prevent burnout, these little tricks are starting to prove their efficacy.

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