Active Reflection

Well now, this is something I don’t feel too often…

I’m usually full of stories and have plenty to say about plenty of things. Or I’m just brimming with emotion and have this unquenchable desire to express it.

But today?

I’ve got nothing.

Bone dry.

Zee row.

You can totally click out of this blog, I wouldn’t blame you… and it’s not like I’ll know. And even if I did, I don’t know where you live…

Still here?

Wow, you’re relatively persistent. But I just haven’t had a meaningful experience lately to write about. And I’m certainly not going to make something up.

*sigh*

Oh yeah, it’s just a venerable beehive of activity around here.

It reminds me of a time when I was at a party. At some point, everyone was talking with one another except for me. I was literally standing in the middle of the room, witnessing each person interact, and I thought to myself ‘it’s cool. I really have nothing to say.” So I just stood there for about five minutes, watching and feeling like everything was fine.

Then, I decided to join a crowd.

So when will I decided to engage after having nothing to say? I guess if you keep your eyes on this column long enough, I’m bound to say something. I can’t just not write… I mean I could but that’s more like a non-column… that’s not inspiring and not very clever.

Alright if you’re still reading then clearly you identify with what I’m saying. Let’s see if we can’t get to the bottom of what is going on inside to make us think we have nothing to say.

You first:

 

 

 

 

 

Really? No ideas?

I feel like I’m talking to a wall, here!

Oh, I have an idea, why don’t I go first and then you can think about it and then share, how about that?

Good, I’m glad you agree.

Alright, I’m at the party. And there are four groups surrounding me. Four groups of about four to five people each. And I’m standing in the middle of all four. Let me connect my ‘thought-process vocalizer’…

“wow, there are like no cute girls at this party. That one has a killer tattoo, wow, she looks like she’s hardcore. I wonder what it takes for someone to become hardcore? Are they beaten by their parents or are they just so angry at the world? I bet she has an interesting story but she’s talking with that guy…”

Well, the first thing I notice is my lack of desire to interact for, let’s use the term shallow reasons. I consider myself an attractive man and I like to keep the company of attractive women if I can. And once I acknowledge that, I can start noticing details. The girl who I was referring to had a huge dragon tattoo on her arm. And I can see my curiosity building to the point of wanting to engage but not feeling confident enough to approach. But as I remember, I did end up speaking to her and asking about her tattoo. She said “it’s a long story” and I said “well, I don’t have plans to leave just yet”. But she was not in the giving mood and I did not get to hear the story so it was a really anticlimactic moment for me.

What I can take away from this is that it takes a while for me to get comfortable in certain circumstances, like a party before I have enough of ‘myself’ to approach someone and interact. Which means that it wasn’t boredom that I was feeling, it was a less full me I was feeling.

Wow, I think I hit something.

Boredom is the feeling I get when I am uncertain of whom I am and it leads to indecision and stagnation. When I’m bored, I literally feel like I have nothing to do. But there is always something to do, including reflection and analysis. Once I reflect and analyze my situation, I make a choice to act in a certain way.

So, I’m not “bored with nothing to do”, I’m “not feeling so certain about who I am and would like some time to reflect and remember”. Oh wow. That feels great. I have spent so much time thinking “wow, I’m bored” to myself, this is such a complete change of mind.

And so much more productive, again I much prefer an active, romantic attitude to a passive, uninspiring one.

That is so cool of you. You really helped me with that piece. I’m so grateful that you listen well, not too many people can do it.

Ok, your turn. So tell me:  why do you think you have nothing to say?