On Boredom and a Newfound Love for Humanity
© Michael Fenton
We are now in week five of the lockdown. In the beginning everything had sort of a romantic feel to it á la “We are in this together and together we will prevail.” I was actually looking forward to reading the books that were waiting on my shelves and trying out all those recipes I always wanted to cook, bake and create (everything food is one of my main hobbies).
But now, very slowly, things are taking a different shift in my mind.
I am, by nature, a very positive person, but since last week I can feel a certain heaviness weighing me down. I am tired and bored. Even my dreams are boring! Last night I was dreaming what kind of risotto I can create with just the few things I still have in my fridge. My husband had a nightmare. Oh, how I envied him. Leave me at least my nighttime shenanigans, dear brain!
About Silence and Desires
So I began asking myself WHY. Why am I so bored? I still have my job, my sport, my movies, my books. Not much has changed in that regard. So what is so troubling? After much contemplation, I found my answer:
It’s the silence.
We are so used to all the hustle and bustle that this silence can be deafening. But now we are forced to be solely with ourselves, constantly and without the usual distractions. By the way, this is the moment, where I could spin this article into a self-development piece and talk about something like:
“We are forced to stillness and in this lies a chance for new growth.”
But I won’t. I don’t think that we constantly need to evolve and be “better”. This would be exhausting, don’t you think?
By definition boredom is a specific mental state that is perceived as unpleasant: a lack of stimulation that leaves people craving relief. Or as Leo Tolstoy puts it:
Boredom: The desire for desires.
In my opinion, we are simply not made for this silence and loneliness. We are no hermits (well, except for some of us) who like to spend their days solely on meditation and self-reflection. We are social animals.
So here is my desire: I miss people! Seeing other people, touching other people. Usually people are not my favorite thing; considering that one of my go to sayings is: “The more people I know, the more I love my dog.”
But boy has that changed! I miss them. I miss you, dear reader. And I miss sitting in cafes. Fantasizing where this woman is going, what kind of a life this man has. Creating stories where I can reflect my own life on. This is what humans do: We love talking about other people and we enjoy to gossip. In a way, we are creating our worlds and world views through reflection and contemplation. And unless you are an enlightened being you need other people to do this; to hold up the mirror so to say.
So in my boredom I actually find a new love for humanity. I love how we are doing this together, how we are watching over each other as a family. But I miss you guys! All of you.