"Boring" Is Subjective
Updated: Oct 9, 2022
I have a confession.
I'm not a fun person.
At least, that's what I've told myself for several years.
I'm a homebody and prefer solitary activities most of the time. I don't like sports in any capacity, or really any outdoorsy things for that matter. I don't travel. I don't like board games. I don't go out drinking. I don't really have any special talents, unless you count bad screamo. Basically, I love spending my free time gaming, watching TV, listening to music by myself, petting cats, drawing fanart, and writing bad fanfiction that no one will ever see. These things bring me joy, though it's kind of a bummer that it's often looked down upon.
"What do you like to do for fun?" people always ask during small talk.
"Oh, nothing interesting. I'm just a boring individual."
I'd always say it jokingly, but as it would turn out, proclaiming that about myself constantly morphed into a form of self-loathing. A mindset of "why would anyone ever wanna hang when I'm so boring? Guess I just won't even try."
I'll frequently come across statements in books or on social media that say, "No one cares about video games or how much you like them. They're a waste of time. They make you an extremely boring person." The most recent time seeing that made me livid, especially since it was coming from a writer I really look up to. It made me internally scream: "Boring" is nothing more than a subjective opinion!
Obviously I don't think they're boring or pointless. Otherwise I wouldn't, you know, be so into them. There are plenty of people in the world who share in my interests and hobbies. I perk up with excitement when I hear someone talking about a game or show I like. Though it's not the popular opinion, I personally find things like sports and board games to be painfully boring. That doesn't mean it's an objective truth.
When I was at a work party a few weeks ago, my colleagues were going around sharing their stories about their recent vacations to different places. I was the only one who didn't have a fun story, and was instead asking, "What do people even do on vacations besides eat local food? Whenever I've traveled, I always end up basically doing the same things I do at home, just in a different location."
Mostly outdoorsy stuff, it turns out. Which is totally cool if you're into that. Most people are. I wasn't asking to be snarky, but out of genuine curiosity. Then it was my turn to share a story.
"...Yeah, I'm not exciting like you guys. My days are spent sitting on the couch watching anime."
"Oh? That's really cool, though!" one of my coworkers said. "Can you tell me more about the different kinds of anime? I've been wanting to learn more about it, beyond just Sailor Moon."
…You mean you don't find me dull? For real?
The conversation became more lively after that.
Though they don't live in the same town, I've made several friendships over mutual nerdy love for gaming and anime. We all find each other to be very interesting. They often share memes with me that send me into hysterics. We exchange gaming tips, headcanons, and theories. It's awesome. We likely wouldn't have become friends in the first place if I was too busy pretending to not be into that "uncool" stuff and trying to force myself to have more socially acceptable hobbies that I don't enjoy.
As an autistic, my interests are usually both intense and limited. There are some things that are socially acceptable, and even expected, but can actually be triggering for me. People are welcome to view me as boring. I won't argue. We just probably won't hang. I imagine that would sound agreeable to both parties in that situation.
If you've been given a hard time in these ways, take heart. You are not boring. You are not dull. There can sometimes be extra judgment from church culture, but God gave you passions and interests that aren't always going to look the same as everyone else's. He has given us outlets for expression and enjoyment as gifts. There are others out there who share your hobbies, even when it doesn't seem like it.
Here's to the journey of NOT declaring, "I'm not a fun person."