Growing up, “Bored” was an ugly word in my house.
If my good Mama ever heard the phrase “I’m bored” come out of my mouth, she would take great offense. Usually, she’d respond with something like, “Well, there’s no such thing as bored, there are only boring people. So you must be boring.”
Of course, I’d take offense at that and would generally poke out my bottom lip, puff up my scrawny chest and go find something to occupy my time. I’m sure, in her great wisdom, she knew exactly how I’d respond.
I’m also pretty sure that as soon as I stomped off, she’d let a quiet smile slip across her face.
I learned pretty quickly not to use that dreadful word or else I’d just end up feeling like a boring ole goof. And to add insult to the injury, if I did lose my sanity long enough to press the issue, she’d hand me the broom or dust rag and that would clear up my boring problem post haste.
So instead I read books, I wrote stories, I painted pictures, I went on hikes and climbed trees and had adventures.
My Mama was onto something.
I am a bona fide grown-up now, and I still do those things to occupy my time and my mind.
Coincidentally, I am never bored.
This lesson also taught me to enjoy conversations with myself—and others—inside of my own mind. I am constantly writing stories in my head. I can solve world problems with imaginary conversations between myself and great leaders—sometimes there are even raised voices in there. I have wonderful visits with fanciful people I’ve never met, delightful dead people, and enchanting people who aren’t even born yet.
Sending my mind off into the clouds has, ironically, helped me to keep grounded. It has helped me endure long, homesick days when I was a young soldier in South Korea. My mind ramblings have kept me company on solitary hikes, camping trips and drives across the country. I have learned to talk myself through tough times, through sorrow and loss…and even to pat myself on the back when I really needed that.
These conversations have kept me close to people I miss and in touch with loved ones whose spirits are fueling the stars in the heavens now.
I have traveled great distances, literally and figuratively, while nurturing my twisty whirlwind ideas, developing my spiritual awareness, building a deep sense of consciousness—all because I was taught at a very young age that being boring was, well, a boring thing to be.
Below is a poem I took from an old journal. I remember when I wrote this: I was twenty-something and living alone and traveling, spending lots of time behind the window in my Jeep wrangler. I was seeing the world, meeting beautiful people and calling my own shots, and often finding myself a little lonely and starved for good conversation.
I believe, that by having hypothetical conversations, entertaining ghosts, taking your thoughts out to play, I believe this helps a person to discover what she’s all about, what the world is all about. It helps us develop empathy and connectedness. I think it also answers profound questions and can even walk us through lonesome times.
And it absolutely keeps you from being boring.
I can take me to places
I usually can’t find
I can slip in the window
Of any locked mind
I can sip heavy liquor
With pirates on ships
I can bathe with poets
And hear art from their lips
I can solve great riddles
When no one else knows
The answers are screamed
Like the songs of crows
I confess to sins
I never committed
I lie to hear silence
And never admit it
I converse with great minds
Inside of my own
I lick at their wisdom
Like an ice cream cone
I feed my hunger
And satisfy thirst
With conversations imagined
In comfortable verse
Author: Tauna Pierce
Editor: Renée Picard
Images: via the author