By Hannah Wisterman
Blog Content Contributor
It’s been a little over nine months since I made a pact with myself to be more interesting. This New Year’s, I was convinced that was the best resolution I could make. See, I have a long history of being pretty boring. I’m something of a homebody, I don’t party or go on thrilling trips, I don’t even follow TV shows. I’m the kind of person that does one kind of notable thing once, and then tells stories about it for months afterwards. The adjustment to college, when all of a sudden everyone seemed so much more interesting and exciting than me, was tough. Suddenly, I was convinced that me being boring meant I could never be charming, funny or worthy of being someone’s friend. Who wants to hang out with a humdrum hermit, after all?
But therein lies the issue. By making that resolution, I committed to changing my day-to-day decisions based on the opinion of others. It’s something I usually would never do, but I didn’t see the harm in it—at least at first. I didn’t immediately start taking every drug I could find and backpacking across the country or anything. I just started saying no less, and yes, more. Sure, it made me feel good about myself to think that I had a “real” social life, but something was missing. I knew I wasn’t feeling fulfilled. This is something we see time and time again, especially with millennials: performing something doesn’t make it so. Having Snapchat stories with late-night timestamps and a self-congratulatory tale to tell as if it was no big deal—all of that means nothing when you’re doing it for others. I wasn’t being more interesting. I was finding more opportunities to brag and polish my suffering ego. I’ll call it like I see it: this is what a lot of us do.
By the time summer rolled around, I was burned out on trying to be interesting. I wanted to stay in my room and read Lord of the Rings, and not speak to a single soul for as long as I could get away with it. This lead to a weird, slow summer, but it was just the reset button I needed. I knew my life wasn’t going to impress anyone like that, but I wanted to do it anyway, so I had to come to terms with it. I had to let go of my need to impress others to do what I most wanted to do. It was a complete change in perspective: look, world, I watched House Hunters for four hours in the comfort of my own home without saying a word to anyone. And I am glorious.
Because I was so comfortable being boring, when I started going out and trying new things again, it was because I wanted to. I wanted that experience, I wanted to make memories, I wanted to step out into the world. I didn’t want or need people to think I was lively and exciting. I just wanted to have fun. That’s what it comes down to: you owe it to yourself to find enjoyment in life. You do not owe it to anyone else to be entertaining. You do not exist to be interesting. You exist to exist. You can do that however you’re most comfortable.
The funny thing is, as soon as that revelation struck me, I started achieving everything I had meant to achieve in the first place. I started saying yes more once again. I’ve always known I’m a low-key kind of person, but now I’m comfortable with it, so I also feel more comfortable going new places and trying new things. It’s like I know I’m only visiting a strange land, and seeing the sights purely for enjoyment. Loving my boringness takes the pressure off me to be interesting, so I can really appreciate every little adventure when it comes along. And because I appreciate the little adventures more, I’m more willing to go seek them.
It’s easy to blur the lines between living for others and living for ourselves. When so much of our lives are performed for social media or our reputation, we quickly forget how to enjoy them. Some people are just born exciting and interesting, but for those of us that aren’t, it’s absolutely vital to learn that there’s no obligation to be that way. Go enjoy your life on your own terms.
Featured image by Brooke Vega.