The Bend in the Road

Has anyone else felt just a tiny bit gray lately? Or maybe blue – sort of a hazy azure, a shade of blue that is satisfied but maybe just touched with melancholy.

It’s pretty rare for me to get blue-gray, but it happens from time to time, and I can almost always attribute it to a certain number of things.

1) My movement disorder. This didn’t used to be true until I developed full symptoms, but these days if I happen to cycle into an unpleasant phase, it usually begins with feeling very tired and weak, and like the world is a lackluster, relatively uninteresting place. A few days later I realize I felt that way because my body was preparing to shake, rattle and roll impressively for awhile.

2) Obsession. I admit it freely – I’m the kind of person that just gets certain ideas and spins them around and around and around until I’m all dizzy inside and cranky from not sleeping. Usually I do pretty well, but every so often I hop on my hamster wheel. Sometimes this is for good reasons, like an amazing new book idea or exciting plans approaching, other times it’s over the fact that I turned an assignment in five minutes past the technical due time, or I saw a spider go creeping along the wall and don’t know where it went now.

3) Boredom.

This one is the focus of our chat today. All of us are vulnerable to sheer, unadulterated boredom, but many of us can’t always recognize when it’s on us. Right now you would think that between school, work, and two internships, plus writing, I shouldn’t have much chance to be bored. That’s what I thought, until I really sat down with myself and realized that behind the grey-blue atmosphere was a distinct boredom.

Your routine isn’t enough.

I can already hear you all screaming at me about laundry, children, homework, piles of folders and emails at work, trying to find time to exercise, meals to cook, bills to pay, miles to drive – and I get it. I really do, life is extraordinarily busy and sometimes it seems like even if you never closed your eyes you wouldn’t be able to do it all. But boredom doesn’t stem from how much you’re doing. It comes from what.

You need to have adventures, my friends. They are the stuff of a creative life, plain and simple. You need to remind yourself what it’s like to watch the stars come out over a winter field, where you can find gyros at ten p.m., how to scoop up your sleepy babies and hold them in your lap as you have breakfast by the lake at dawn. You need to take the time to find the ugliest dress in the thrift shop, cook a recipe you barely understand, dance before bedtime. You have to make messes, take chances, risk routines, step outside the daily grind.

Yes, I think you should still pay your bills, wash the dishes, and feed your children. That’s very important.

But I think you should remember that life is a very big thing, and in every road is a bend around which anything might be. Don’t be afraid of it. Don’t be disappointed in the life you choose to lead.

When I was in ninth grade, I transferred into a k-12 school and began a very big adventure that was not always easy. I was blossoming at that time, from a shy and quiet rule-abiding budding academician into a person capable of both good grades and a conversation. I usually made my own lunches, but one day my mom fixed mine for me and left me a note which I still keep on my bulletin board. Take it with you today.

“Remember to look for ways to rise above the mundane.”

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2 thoughts on “The Bend in the Road

  1. What a beautiful article and one that addresss the fact that most people, exist way more than they live.

    Although, as you said, it is important to maintain the status quo of life etc. this is only a fragment of what life is truly about.

    If we don’t absorb the beauty of life and we starve ourselves of the opportunities of new and exciting experiences, then we become nothing more than idle viewers of the film that is best known as, our life.

    1. I like that phrase – “idle viewer”. I think everyone has that fear deep inside them, that somehow they’re going to “miss it” and it can become this desperate thing because if it’s true that life is a one-shot deal than we have to make it the biggest and best we can. If we can let go of that desperation, life can be a pretty amazing adventure!

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