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Bored

Jeff Bell

There was a time when I actively rushed home after work just so I could take off my shoes, change into something more comfortable, make a quick dinner, and sit on my balcony watching the clouds or work on a side project I was doing.

This went on for quite a few years actually, sometimes letting myself slink away from the rest of the world and just enjoy the silence that was my life. I loved it. It was calming and relaxing. It was peaceful and rejuvenating. It was lonely but I didn’t care because it was everything I wanted.

I saw a few friends from time to time, usually only on the weekends and the occasional Friday night. I enjoyed my time away from other people. You see, being around other people is exhausting to me. Sure, I can sit and talk to an individual in a work setting for a while, you can put me in front of a group and told to give a talk impromptu and I’d probably be okay, but it takes a toll on me.

And not entirely physical, but mostly mentally. I hit a wall at some point where my brain starts wanting to just walk away and be alone, but the courteous side of my personality says to stay put and politely┬ákeep the conversation going until there’s a “natural” break. So I do, and I get more mentally exhausted, which causes me to start shifting in my shoes, my legs start feeling week, and suddenly I actually find myself feeling tired physically.

Then it’s like my brain starts shutting down completely and the next thing I know, I’m having a hard time keeping the conversation going, let alone staying interested in said conversation. I can’t explain why I’m like that, but over the years I’ve found quite a few people who suffer from a similar feeling.

We didn’t always want to be alone. We liked going out and talking to people, hanging out for a few hours, have a good meal and some drinks, but we’d hit a point where we would just be done with the world and wanted back into our own private space.

And a few years ago, I took full control of when I’d go out and when I’d stay home, and often times found myself just staying in instead of going out and seeing things. At the time, it was what I felt was best for me.

But now, that time has ended.

Now, I’m bored at home. Work ends and I find myself looking for something to do and somewhere to go. Over the last two weeks, I’ve started to have this itch that I need to be out and about. Doing what? I don’t know. There’s not one particular thing that I have in mind that would crave this need inside me.

When it started, I found myself coming back to my apartment and standing there for about five minutes. I looked around at my stuff, looked at the clock, realized I wasn’t hungry, and went for a bike ride thinking it would tire me out and quench that need I had to get out of my place.

An hour later I returned and, still the same feeling. I showered, threw on some gym shorts and a shirt, grabbed my keys, and just drove. I needed to get out and go somewhere but where I didn’t know. I drove around for a few hours, stopping at places I had never been, going for a walk by the lake to watch the sunset, and enjoying the night’s fresh air.

I thought maybe it was just a temporary thing but it came back the next night and the next night. Luckily those following days I had plans already that got me out of my place and took me elsewhere.

The feeling came back during the weekend, where I found myself wandering around the city stopping at places alone, having a few drinks, listening to strangers talk and go about their lives, before finally heading back home. And when I got here, I immediately left to go to a bar nearby where I met up with friends to have some drinks and talk.

It’s so strange how sudden and drastic this shift has been. The need to be alone and by myself suddenly has become this unquenchable desire to NOT stay home, to go out and see things, be places, experience other people going about their lives. It’s like my mind is trying to make up for all those years at once.

Even now, I’m writing this article as a way to distract myself from realizing I don’t want to be here right now. The sad thing is, I don’t know if this new desire to get out and experience things is healthy, or if at the quantity and rate that I’m needing it, is actually a bad thing.

I guess time will only tell.

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