I am currently sitting in a rolly chair backwards, one of my legs over the side, the other leg trapped between the back of the chair and the arm. When I tried to get out it was rather painful, so I will avoid doing that and write a bit first.
Please don’t think I’m blaming the chair for my predicament; in fact, I like this chair a lot. I got it last year from Bed, Bath, and Beyond and it has served me nobly and well for my perpetually-working-in-room needs. No, friends, the problem is not with the chair.
The problem is with society.
So much of life is doing the same things over and over. We work at computers day in and day out, our keyboards and desks becoming familiar in all their quirks and idiosyncrasies. We write—the same old things every day. We’re forced to be creative when we’re drained and to do busywork when we’re bursting with ideas. I write and research and read and do math and sleep all within about 129 square feet during the school year; others’ boxes might not be quite as literal, but they’re equally confining.
So we try to vary things up. We change routines around. We add new projects; we try to erase as much of the drudgery as possible without falling behind. We try sitting backwards in our chairs, because maybe that way writing the same old articles won’t feel quite as crushingly boring.
And we reach out: the first thing I did after trying to leave the chair was try and write about it. But writing while stuck in a chair proved similar to writing outside of it, and I had few new ideas. So I put up a Facebook post. I texted someone. Then I deleted the Facebook post and tried to blog some more. (EDIT: Once escaping, I first informed someone in the hallway of my recent plight.) Engaging with the community is another way we try to shake out of old habits, until the community becomes a habit—perpetual Facebook postings, long meetings for clubs you’re not even sure why you’re in.
We keep sitting backwards in our chairs because we need to break routine; we need to try something stupid to see if it improves our lives. Innovation is often accidental—so those who have the most accidents might have the best chance at innovation. I’m not saying that hard work is unnecessary, just that backwards-chair-sitters have their own, important place in the scheme of things. And that someone who combines hard work with stupid, silly, brilliant moments is going to come out ahead.
Well, at least I’ve got the silly part covered.
Forgive me if this isn’t as deep as I think it is; I’m stuck in a freakin’ chair.
(Note for the nitpicky: I was indeed stuck in my chair for the majority of this post’s writing. Besides minor edits, all I’ve done since escaping is find some pictures and verify the size of my room.)