How might you finish the sentence “I get so bored sometimes…” ???
Yesterday, I was supposed to meet a friend at a cafe for a quick bite to eat around 4:45 pm. Meeting people for dinner can be tricky sometimes, because being in recovery, I am not supposed to let more than 3-4 hours pass before eating. Well, I ate at 12:30 pm, and I thought, “what’s an extra 15 minutes?” Somehow, my appointment that was before my dinner with my friend got over at 3:30pm, and I had an hour and 15 minutes to kill. Hmmm ok, this doesn’t seem like such a challenging situation However, I also had a horrible headache, there was snow everywhere and I was freezing. (I was also a little grumpy, I guess)
So, I parked my car and decided I would “walk around.” Text from my friend states he is running a little bit late, ok that’s fine…I can wait…
I walked into Crate and Barrel despite having no need for any home goods and also not needing to spend $2000 on a headboard I really liked. Ugh…..I sat down on one of the couches in a corner, resting my head on one of the perfectly placed pillows.
This realization washed over me…I was extremely bored. In addition, all of these perfectly displayed living rooms were depressing me a little. My mind scanned my mental data bank for things I could do to pull myself out of this state of boredom…
Some things I came up with were: I get so bored sometimes…
-I want to modge podge everything I can find in my house.
-I want to get on a plane and fly to Italy to go wine tasting.
-I want to go to an arts and crafts store and buy all of the art supplies.
-I want to start singing and dancing just to see what people do.
As, I watched other people pick out things to buy, I realized I absolutely buy “stuff” when I am bored or trying to fill some need. Interesting…I also had no inclination to do this at that moment.(Progress? I think so) However, what came to mind was…I knew that there was a cute 1920s era pub near where I was. I fantasized about going and having either a perfectly prepared coffee drink or some other cocktail that would surely transport me back to the 1920s and take away any boredom that had been stirring. I had the fantasy that a handsome stranger would see me there, alone, looking so philosophical(because that’s apparently my look), and strike up a conversation about something funny and meaningful. Mind you, I was dressed in polka-dotted yoga pants, a striped top, huge black men’s snow boots, and I hadn’t really “brushed” my hair that day. But in my fantasy, this lack of concern for what’s considered “a socially appropriate public appearance” is part of my charm.
I realize I use distractions like fun coffee drinks or all sorts of foods to escape my real feelings and avoid discomfort. Sometimes, this is ok and natural, and sometimes it really isn’t. I decided to test this out in my mind, what was I feeling? (BOREDOM). However, what was this boredom really about?
I practiced my centering technique in my mind. (Still on the couch in Crate and Barrel) I took a few deep breaths and noticed my feet on the ground, the colors I saw around me, and other sensations I felt.
Learning how to tap into myself and what my true needs are has been a huge part of my healing journey. Trusting and accepting the feelings that come up has been another part as well.
Ok so I’m bored I thought…I feel bored a lot and this is sometimes one of my biggest triggers. However, what the heck is this boredom? I have a friend that says she never gets bored…she’s also a unicorn…just kidding she’s very real and very wonderful.
So, I began to notice, “I’m really hungry!” I’m also feeling a bit unsettled. I began to notice that all of the perfectly arranged furniture was reminding me of situations in my life that were far from perfect or of moments or relationships I wish were different or more fulfilling. I began to notice my boredom was not boredom at all it was a yearning to be heard, to experience life fully, and to be able to express my inner self in an authentic and meaningful way. Sometimes when I am bored, I can’t figure out what I actually want to be doing. I think it is because underneath the exterior there is an internal dialogue about self-expression going on. So, then I realized going to that pub around the corner wouldn’t actually help me, that I needed to eat something sooner than later, and I was already doing something very important. I was learning about myself and my needs. That might not sound as exciting as wine tasting in Italy, but it might be just be even more splendid. For the rest of the night, I was not bored. Boredom was replaced by a new feeling…deep and authentic gratitude.