I sleep awesomely.
I fall asleep like a champ.
I stay asleep like I am getting paychecks for it.
But getting myself to the physical action of sleep — body horizontal, mind still — has always been such a damn struggle.
Let me lay out for you my nocturnal timeline as it’s been since working full time (but really since, like, puberty) — if I’m not out for happy hour/dinner/upstairs with my neighbors drinking wine product and playing Cranium…
a typical night, in faces:
As the final hours eke by at work, so does my consciousness. Ability to form coherent sentences wanes. Sometimes I will resort to Cheez-Itz just to keep up human interaction.
Trying-dying-failing to not fall asleep on the D and end up in the Bronx (again.)
“A WHOLE NIGHT TO MYSELF! A perfect time to… get fetal in mah bed and wring out the remainder of my consciousness by wasting away on the internet, bringing any and all productive action to a slow, slutty drip.”
Then. Something. Scary happens.
Jesus H. Christ on a cracker.
*Second wind. Second tornado.
I get in a very scary place where I convince myself the night is still young enough to:
- Spend 4 hours on a blog
- Spend 4 hours scripting, filming and I-mean-I’m-on-a-roll editing video
- Spend 4 hours with my uke, learning & singing every acoustic version of every song I’ve ever liked (and forgetting them immediately)
I’m suddenly Eyes Wide Cracked Out and the thought of sleeping, instead of accomplishing all there is to accomplish in this buffet called Life, scares the crap out of me the way middle-aged women are probably frightened by young, hot women. It threatens my swag.
It gnaws at my deepest first-world-problems.
What about that thing you wanted to start?
You’re always saying you don’t have time to be creative.
If not now, when?
It taps at my skull like the Telltale Heart.
And finally, eventually, when this new, scary creature in my brain feels it has done “enough,”
I’m down for the count because I physically can’t take it anymore, but what you can’t see is me staring into the darkness for the first 12 minutes, unwinding myself, feeling both martyr-y for fighting creation’s fight, and like a goddamn idiot for staying up AGAIN.
Then I’m out like a light.
& Back At One like Brian McKnight.
It starts all over again the next day, only the tiredness snowballs through the week, as it will.
It’s this terrible seed that I know I plant in my own mind; that if I don’t do this thing — this blog, this video, knit this 30-Rock-Inspired wristband — I’ll have wasted a day, schlumped through the motions half-brained, created nothing, accomplished nothing. Granted, I’ve birthed some of my favorite videos and posts in these wee hours.
But there has to be a healthier way.
Because what’s happening is, the best of me happens in the dead of the night, and what’s left of me is what I present, bleary-eyed, to actual Human Beings of Planet Earth in the daylight.
It’s the me I bring to work, to friends, to roommates… It’s not actually me at all.
Insert hypotheses about our generations’ need for perfection, overachieving, narcissism, feeling “fulfilled,” “having” “everything” “”, “”, “”””.
Insert every acronym, your YOLOs and your FOMOs.
But then someone insert an actual solution, per favore.
Girl needs sleep.
What can I do?