Tuesday, January 4, 2011



Not the tired kind of yawn.  The bored kind.  Yesterday, as we were sitting down to watch DVD number 3 of the first season of Glee (which we bought for a child for Christmas, then decided was completely inappropriate and have been enjoying ourselves ever since), I asked Kathy whether she thought I was a genius, and if she thought maybe that was why I am so bored at work.  I said it as a joke, but she took me somewhat seriously.  "Well," she replied, "You aren't as bright as this one roommate I had.  But you're up there." 

I am smart.  Really, pretty smart.  School was always easy for me.  I catch on quickly to things.  And I get bored pretty quickly.  I can do things once and I pretty much have it.  This is the trouble I run into at work.  Once I do something once, I don't want to do it again, because it's boring.  This is not the way lawyers are trained.  It's probably not the way anyone is trained -- do it once, and assume you've mastered it.  (A side note.  This does not extend to driving directions in my own town.  I get lost pretty much daily within a 5 mile radius of my house.  I always either have to go home or to the McDonald's in between errands or I get lost.  Weird.)  For someone who catches on quickly, it seems weird, but it never occurred to me that my boredom and my smart-ness could be linked. 

In about third or fourth grade, I started an "environmental club."  The club consisted of my little sister and me.  I was the president.  She was the member.  As such, she had to do what I said.  And what I said was that we had to walk up to our school with garbage bags, and pick up all the litter on the playground.  I held the bag, and my sister picked up garbage.  Wasn't she a good sport?  After that, though, I didn't really want to be in the environmental club anymore, because it turns out picking up garbage off the ground is dirty, and hard, and boring, even if all you do is hold the bag.  So that was the end of the environmental club.

When I was a kid, I was also really afraid that I had no passion, and therefore would not be able to find a job that I liked.  This fear really hit home on garbage-picking day.  Even then, as a kid, I had this problem of changing my mind about my potential future career on a regular basis.  For a while I wanted to be Captain Planet (during the environmental club days).  Then I wanted to be an astronaut (until I thought about becoming disconnected from the space ship and slowly drifting off into space, all alone, cold, and having to pee in my space suit until I gradually ran out of oxygen).  I changed my mind all the time, and got really excited about each plan.  This has continued into adulthood, and is turning out to make it rather difficult to figure out what job I should do next. 

There are some things, though, that I have liked consistently throughout my life.  Or at least, what I can remember of it.  They are:

1.  Reading books.  I can read books all day for weeks and not get bored.  I know because I did this after I took the bar exam.  I read a lot of books during that period (and also did a lot of "swimming" -- see number 4).
2.  Exercising.  Pretty much any kind of exercising -- yoga, running, etc.  Just not team sports.
3.  Eating and drinking.  Good thing I also like exercising, since this makes the list.  I like cooking too, which feeds into this (haha).
4.  Being outside.  I like to do outside work, but I also like hiking and camping.  And "swimming," which for me involves lying next to the pool or on the beach reading a book until I get too hot, then getting in and immediately back out of the water to resume reading.
5.  Going to school.  I have always really liked school.  The learning part, not just the social part.

Is there any job that involves all of these activities, and has minimal boring parts to interrupt these fun aspects?  Probably not.

Anyway, who says that changing your mind because you get bored is such a bad thing?  I think the common stereotype is that someone who does that is a flake who can't commit.  I don't think that's necessarily true.  Maybe it's because you're a GENIUS.  Or maybe it's just because you're different, or don't have it all figured out yet.  Isn't it better to take your time and figure out what fits, than to stay in something you know isn't right, just because you committed?

1 comment:

  1. There are probably a few other things you've liked and will continue to like for your entire life, too. A friend of a friend was telling me how she doesn't know where she wants to live. She's lived here in MI and AK and GA so far. Her mother told her that she needs to settle down and grow up. That she was being immature and indecisive. But, as long as I've known her (for about 5 years now) she's been in dentistry and passionate about it. She went to school to be a hygienist and now works as one and loves her job. It is not that she is indecisive in general, it's that she just hasn't found the right place.