On Being Boring

On Being Boring

Am I boring? It’s the 6th day in a row I’ve spent cooped up at coffee houses. My internet is down you see…

The pressure to be interesting is weird. Seriously, think about it.

I’m not the first one to talk about this, and I won’t be the last. However, I spend a lot of time being boring for someone who puts such a lot of effort into posting an insane variety of travel photos and living edge-of-your-seat WTF stories.

I caught myself feeling actually guilty about the whole thing today. It started when I realized that I haven’t had any objectively interesting stories to post on Facebook for weeks now. It’s all been me and my little coding projects. *yawn*

But go back for a second. Why on earth should I feel guilty for being boring? What is that?

Well, here’s how I answered myself.

The Pressure Is All in Your Head

Unfortunately, I can’t even say that with confidence.

You see, I’ve got this really nagging feeling that people only care about me because I’m interesting. I go to foreign countries, experience things no one else could even imagine, meet bizarre people, and generally find the weirdest situations to be in.

What happens when all that goes away? What happens when I’m not actively traveling all over the world, flying in helicopters over glaciers, getting detained at borders, or going on solo bicycle tours?

Do people still care about me?

Yes. I think so.

(At least, I really hope so.)

Everyone Is Mostly Boring, Even the Interesting People

Even in the lives of our favorite celebrities, athletes, artists, let’s be honest: Day to day life is rarely truly notable. And when it is off the beaten path, even the most strange rituals become boring after the novelty wears off (more on that in a second).

The same things people are all obsessively reading about in gossip and the news are the same things they make fun of young girls for posting about online.

It’s like we’re in Hollywood’s version of high school.

We’re all adults acting like children, talking about unbelievably pointless stuff to ignore the fact that none of us are actually comfortable with who we are and we’re not sure why we feel so isolated.

My theory? We all expect things to be interesting for no good reason. So, maybe start accepting yourself and everyone around you for the great, boring people they are…? (Anyone? Help with words?)

Personal side note: Stop making fun of everyone for expressing themselves. If I have to hear one more person complain, “No one cares that you ate that” about a food photo, I may scream. It’s not that offensive. No one cares that you don’t care. Give it a break.

Not sure where I was going with that. Moving on.

Honestly, You’re Probably Still Doing Something Interesting

You just got used to your own life. That’s why they say that you’re your own worst critic.

This is the magic of meeting new people all the time (which is why when I stop meeting people regularly, I start noticing how boring I am). All your stories are new, the craziest of them sneaking out at the least expected times. You wind up creating some big weird legend that builds on itself, and you feel like you need to constantly be living up to this epic past at all times.

Then suddenly, you run out of stories. And you can’t keep topping them, especially not on purpose.

These things don’t happen on demand. I can’t tell you the last adventure I had that went anything how I expected going into it. Really, pants-less on a beach in Croatia and getting in a boat with an octopus fisherman? You can’t plan that stuff.

But lately, all of my experiences have been adventures to me, and me alone.

I’ve had to do a lot of paperwork, a lot of waiting, more paperwork, and more waiting while I try to get settled in Germany. I was attending the same language course for 3+ months straight. I’ve been working on my programming skills and launching little side projects.

When people are accustomed to asking you “What’s up?” and getting back some whacky story in return, answering with “Yeah, the same as last time” feels like a let down.

On the other hand, in one year from now this is an interesting story. Because it is. I moved to Germany temporarily. I picked up a new language. It wasn’t tippy-toes thrilling every single moment, but it sure has been a roller coaster. Yet, it’s going to be easier to talk about as a cohesive story after the fact.

You have to remember, all the interesting things you’re doing aren’t interesting anymore because they’re habit. That doesn’t make them less interesting.

The story simply isn’t over yet.

Am I Boring? Daily, Yes. Regularly… Not in the Slightest.

So, yeah. Maybe some days nothing interesting happens. I watch a lot of movies, or spend a lot of time on my laptop sharpening my skills, or whatever not-so-universally-exciting things I’m doing.

My life has been more normal in the last few months (barring the visa process) as I settle into a “regular” life. Adventure is trying a new salsa class, learning coding skills in German-only lessons, and generally getting used to the ins and outs of daily life in another culture.

Overall, what I’m doing is actually pretty exciting. Several people have already asked me many questions about all the steps I’ve had to take.

I’m just sorry that I’m not jetting off to as many new cities or taking as many beautiful photos as you were all waiting for. Or, I guess the point of this is that I’m not sorry. They’ll come when they come.

Meanwhile, I’ll do my best to keep writing down what already has happened. Eventually, I’ll actually be able to publish a complete work about all this stuff.

(And you know what? The writing process is long and boring. But the result is going to be amazing.)

How Do You Deal With Feeling Boring?

Just curious, because I know I can’t be the only one.

How do you cope when you feel boring?