“I don’t have anything to do.” This is a common plaint of the nephews when they know exactly what they want to do but know it’s outside their reach. This is usually an activity involving a screen. It’s a version of the “I’m bored” whine I used to serve, sans cheese, at my semi-regular ennui parties. It was a very exclusive guest list, no plus ones. Just me.
These weren’t pity parties, they were highly choreographed dances of ennui. The ennui never bothered me – I am a certifiable Francophile, it was french ergo romantic and poetic. And then one day, I was shamed out of my atelier of boredom. The rant went something like this,
“Boredom is for losers. There is no reason, living in a First World urban center, to ever be bored. Especially if you’re a creative being. If you’ve got time to be bored, you’ve got time to be creative. Stop being a fucking baby -“
Full disclosure: the rant came from deep within moi. It’s the voice with the buzz cut and a penchant for camo fatigues. It is harsh but it is also effective. I don’t indulge in the ennui pas de deux anymore, although sometimes my feet itch to tread on foreign soil. Wanderlust doesn’t’ sound quite as poetic in french; passion du voyage, but passion is the key word. When I’m feeling antsy and restless I know passion is lacking in whatever I’m currently focused on. Hoping on a plane might be out of reach, but creative solutions are not.
Do you wish you were on a beach? Make a beach! In your backyard, in your living room, on your roof. Turn up the heat and break out the blender. You don’t feel like producing something, fine, ingest a little culture. There are museums and libraries and pockets of the city where you can walk blocks and hear little english. You can literally ingest a new and/or foreign experience; travel via your digestive tract. Pack appropriately.
Can’t get to Thailand? Go to Broadview and Gerrard (Toronto), Hollywood and Normandie (Los Angeles) or Elmhurst, Queens (New York). Maybe you’re not craving Thai crickets, maybe it’s Brazilian barbecue you fancy. It’s your choice.
And here’s the beauty, if you are reading this, you can have access to the adventure you crave. Thank you Al Gore.
Wherever your travels take you this week, I hope they are delicious!