The Value of Boredom

- 1 min

This summer, I’ve felt something I haven’t fully experienced for a while: boredom. It has felt incredibly liberating, even exhilarating, to have all this time on my hands. Maybe it’s the increased sleep, exercise, and sunlight I’m getting, but I feel happier than ever. I’m returning to my natural state—relaxed, curious, caring, and active—and not what I’ve sometimes been like in the past few years—anxious, sleep-deprived, and irritable. I find myself thinking more, wondering more, imagining more.

I think back to the times before high school (or even middle school) when I was young(er) and bored—how I used that to channel my boredom into creative endeavors. I read about everything and anything that I was remotely interested in. I drew, raised butterflies, looked through telescopes, crocheted, ice-skated. I did things on a whim, and I did things that made me happy. I didn’t care if I was good at something, I just did it.

What I’m realizing now is that there is a tremendous value in boredom—in exploring life at my own pace with no real destination in mind—just as there is great value in focused determination. I now see that after every summer being “bored” as a kid, I actually developed some unique interests and grew so much as a person—away from my friends and teachers who thought they knew me—and towards my true self, whatever that was.

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