24 January 2009


I'm sure, 15 years later, that she said it in passing, but her single sentence has overtime become one of the paramount principles in crafting my character and personality today.

We were smack dab in the middle of the 6th grade class Spelling Bee, whose top finishers would go on to represent the two classes in the school-wide Spelling Bee later that week. Class sizes had not yet been legislated smaller, so when we were all instructed to line up our chairs in a row, there were close to fifty of us. Mrs. Steinmann went down the row, one at a time, giving us a word to spell while the others waited; some in restless anticipation, others in restless boredom and disinterest. As you can guess, I belonged to the former, but we'll focus on a member of the later.

"I'm bored," Jim Bennett said while kicking his legs underneath his plastic blue seat. "This is taking for-ev-er."
"Only boring people get bored," Mrs. Steinmann replied to him, and went about her business of letters.

Again, I'm sure it was a phrase she had perhaps heard from someone in her life a multitude of times in her childhood, but it was the one and only time I've seen it used. Only boring people get bored. It started in sixth grade as a matter of marketability. Boring people are not cool, I reasoned, and I want to be cool, therefore, I should not be boring. It's formulaic nature appealed to my deepest core. It didn't go well those first few years, however, because (1) this moment was bookended by junior high, and (2) my approach to the principle was erred from the onset. I sought to be "exciting" by trying to reflect "cool," which as you'll remember in 1996 was ridiculously baggy pants, plaid shirts or giant t-shirts, and long hair parted down the middle. And I did far less than excel at reflecting. But my failures in posing were moot. (ed. note: I didn't find out until today when perusing freerice.com, but who knew in 8th grade that when a girl called me a poseur, which I would have spelled as "poser," that she was using such an impressive word?)

Not being boring, is of course, not about copying the un-boring, but in finding a passion within that drives you to action. It's about finding a niche in your life to be extraordinary. Discovering an obsession in your life to thirst for may give you heartache, but it will never leave you with nothing to do.

Go be extraordinary, because only boring people get bored.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for sharing!