The word bored has never been in my vocabulary. Whenever someone says he or she is bored, I feel as if I’m suddenly hearing a foreign language spoken. Although I understand the concept of boredom, my emotional reaction is “Bored? You’re bored? What is that?”
At the same time, if there is such a thing as genetic loading for curiosity, then I am loaded with it in spades. Watching a roly-poly potato bug could hold my attention for hours as a child. I would poke and poke and poke until I could hear my mother calling for me to come in for dinner.
My mind is seriously wired to wonder, and I’ve never been able to do anything to quell that. Even in moments where what is happening does not catch my interest, my wily brain will find something else to occupy itself with. It won’t let me be bored! As great as this may sound, to be honest, there are times when it has been exhausting, and I thought I’d prefer the relief of a bored mind.
My sister used to make fun of me for the intensity with which I approached the things that caught my interest. She would say, “My God, can’t you just do something halfway? What is your problem? Why do you do things to such an extreme?”
I didn’t have answers to her questions. In fact, they made me feel there was something wrong with me. I would wonder, “ Why am I the way I am?Why does my curiosity force me to mine deeply for more than what meets the eye? Why can’t I relax and take it easy and approach things with moderation, like other people do?”
It wasn’t until I started studying psychology in college that I stopped blaming myself and began to glean some compassionate understanding about the way my brain is wired, and the temperament I was born with. Today, my curiosity continues to follow me wherever I go, even in the most superficial situations. Every day, I can listen with fascination to people for hours on end, sway in rapture to music 'til the cows come home, watch movies until I’m bleary eyed, and read books into the wee hours of the night with a delicious hunger—all with the enthusiasm of an overly excited, hyperactive child. I am in awe of the world around me and can find depth even in the most inane.
I’ve consulted with some smart shrinks, asking for the diagnosis that would match me best. They all came to the same conclusion, which was in a nutshell: “You aren’t crazy, Bev, you’re just very intense. Learn to live with yourself and love it. Because unless you want a lobotomy, this is who you are!”
Today, I’m older and wiser. I no longer anxiously wonder what is wrong with me for wanting to go deep while also exploring the edges, or living with a mind that is always eager to investigate. I’ve grown to appreciate the intense brain I was born with and my intense temperament. After much soul searching, I feel blessed to be who I am, and given the choice, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Besides, after realizing that everybody has to be some way, I figure it’s probably better to happily accept the way I am than to spend a lifetime fighting myself.
I would give you the same advice: get on with living your life as you are, and not as someone you weren’t born to be!
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