Word of the Day: Ennui

open-book
By: Emma Levin
en·nui
/änˈwē/
noun

a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.

I was watching Midnight in Paris earlier this week. A magical escape is offered to a moany, trepid, white writer and this made me yearn for a delightful life lesson of my own. One review called Owen Wilson’s character an “Old Ennui” and after looking up the definition, the word stuck with me.

It described my current situation so aptly. If there was a noun for my past month spent at home it would be ennui.

As some of you may know, I recently began meditating to deal with insecurities and anxiety. Part of meditation is realizing it’s not your outward circumstances that are the problem, but your inward circumstances. Have you ever heard the saying, “you follow yourself wherever you go?” Welcome to the problem and the solution: you.

It’s not a kind sentiment to be faced with. Sometimes harsh realities are necessary, but facing our emotions head on isn’t something humans are experts on.

I’m paralyzed to a halt, but I dream of constant motion. I crave to be in a place very different from my own, which is still living at my parent’s house. I hear the nearby city and I dream of tipsy happy hours, hidden alleyways, and making waves with thousands of people in the world. I dream it vividly, but I do not live it.

Right now, I work an internship my family helped me get. I rearrange my happiness from within my childhood bedroom. My days are spent moping and scrolling through Instagram. My bed is a vacuum which sucks me in deeper each morning.

I know reality is never as glossy as we dream it to be. I know my fears are unwarranted, but they are fears nonetheless.

The ugly reality is that I’m unhappy

and I’m scared.

I used to harness fear like a driving force. I’d grasp at life’s inconsistencies and laugh at playground insults. I’d shake off my mind’s groundless insecurities and work through the pain.

But the fear of rejection seems to be the one keeping me in place.

I need to stop avoiding my writing. Every single time I refrain from writing I chip away a little bit of my happiness. But every single time I type a word I put a piece of myself into history.

I plan to change my life. Even if it’s one cover letter at a time. Even if it’s as simple as taking a new way to work. Even though I know the imaginary monster will rise again and tell me I’m not good enough.

We are our own worst enemy, but I want to be my own best friend.

I’m starting today. I’m making myself the happiness I know I deserve, today.

New word of the day:

zeal
/zēl/
noun
great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.

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