The Pursuit of Irrelevance

Do you ever feel like everything you do on a daily basis is to achieve a goal?

I do. From the time I wake up in the morning to the time I go to sleep during the academic year, I feel like everything I do has to be important. Free time? I should probably go to bed early (goal: stockpile sleep for future late nights), or maybe I should go through my old emails and delete some. Maybe I should clean my room or get ahead for next week’s reading.

It’s like I’ve forgotten how to do things for no reason at all. When I was a kid, I didn’t play with Barbies with a goal in mind. I didn’t make mud pies in my backyard to hone my culinary skills (my future husband should be thankful that’s not the case). I didn’t do things for any reason at all. Some things I did were completely irrelevant.

And I miss that.

For most of us, life is a pursuit of relevance. What’s the most relevant internship I need to get to get this job? What are the things I need to do that are most relevant to me achieving my goal of having financial stability/finding a SO/etc, etc, etc.? But I think the things that make life rich are those we find in our pursuit of irrelevance.

Many of the best things in life are irrelevant. A vacation to Hawaii is in no way relevant to any life goal you might have (especially not saving money). An afternoon spent reading a good book won’t gain you fame. But those things are the things that give life dimension: the moments which get us nowhere while taking our minds elsewhere. And we know this intuitively; there are times where we choose sandy beaches and trash TV over number-crunching and the hustle and bustle of daily life.

This blog, for me, is irrelevant. I’m not getting paid to write it. I’m not hoping to get a career in journalism. I’m not writing to please anyone. Blogging is completely irrelevant to my life, and that’s what I love about it. It’s my time where I can sit down and do something that doesn’t count toward anything or achieve any end. Outside of this blog, I want to continue pursuing irrelevance. I want to continue to find things that don’t matter to anything or anyone but me, and then to do them. Maybe I’ll find a good fiction read for my free time, or I’ll set aside Friday night for the sole purpose of watching “Friday, Bride Day” on TLC. Maybe I’ll online window-shop or take up Pinteresting.

The chores of life may take precedence for they determine our means, but they often speak little to what really makes us happy. In the words of Ovid, “In our leisure we reveal what kind of people we are.”

***Credit to Sounds Like Orange for the inspiration for this post.


3 thoughts on “The Pursuit of Irrelevance

  1. This completely hits home for me. What a great perspective! Thanks for your words of wisdom. Irrelevance no longer has a negative connotation for me. Thanks a million


  2. That’s a splendid take on that idea. I love the thought of doing things that might seem trivial just because they bring joy. Most of their lives, people do things for or about big purposes. It’s great to stop sometimes and just be fluffy or silly or vague or irrelevant.


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