A feather poked me in the eye and woke me up moments ago. At 3 in the morning, too. Mind you, this isn’t just an ordinary feather. Oh, no. Not by any means. It has willpower, forcing itself out of my pillowcase the way it did. It couldn’t simply tickle my nose or get lost in the sheets. Instead, it took it upon itself to stick me in the eyelid–in a very sensitive part, too!–and stir me out of sleep. And Roz asleep before 5 am is probably the funniest statement you could mention to someone who knows I’m always and forever up during late hours. But for whatever reason, the feather wouldn’t grant me peace.
I’ll have you know that it took high amounts of concentration to get me to a point where I could fall asleep to begin with. I closed my Macbook promptly at 11:30, brushed my teeth, washed my face and was in the sheets within ten minutes. I force myself to take my night showers in the early evening just so I don’t run the risk of refreshing myself beyond the point of drowsiness right before attempting to fall asleep. I covered my alarm clock with a hand towel to prevent myself from glaring at the time every five minutes (insomniac habit #1). I then positioned myself into what I consider one of the top three positions I’m most likely to fall asleep in: on my back, on my tummy, or in fetal position with a pillow between my legs. Position #3 felt comfortable enough, so I tried that for about ten minutes before feeling restless, which is when I switched to position #2 (they are all rotated very regularly).
I must tell you, falling asleep is no easy task for people like me. For one, I’m constantly in the middle of at least three thought processes at once, each fighting for more attention than the others, which makes me either uncontrollably obsessed with one thing more than the other or not focused nearly enough on any thought at all. There’s the laundry I have to do, the electronic device that I must fix, the dishes I must wash, the bill I must pay, the man I must cuss, the client I must call…the list extends beyond the span of a normal to-do list. Then, not to mention having to rehash events from the day: who made me smile, who pissed me off, what I got done, etc. After I’m done going over those things, then maybe I’ll consider falling asleep, which takes serious concentration and patience, one of the two always lacking in some capacity when I try to utilize both at once.
I’m not sure how much time passed before I actually drifted into sleep this time, but I’m sure it was a while later because by the time the feather poked me, I felt as if I’d been knocked out only a few minutes. You’d better believe that I tacked the damned thing to the wall, too! How dare it awaken me when I’d done the impossible?! It had to be PUNISHED!
So here I am, staring at my assailant and wondering why, and how, I’ve become this late night creature. I was certainly this way all through college, perhaps because of one too many last minute papers or attempts to cram for an 8am exam, and was probably just as bad towards the end of high school as well. But I can’t seem to break the cycle. I’ve never been a morning person. I am most focused and most creative when the sun is no longer in the sky. I’m nocturnal by nature; nothing about my 23 years has said otherwise. I was born at night, I am happiest at night, I am strongest at night. It’s just in my blood.
For the past couple nights (and a few other failed attempts throughout the years), I’ve tried to go to bed early only to find myself discouraged, distracted, or sugared/caffeined past my limit. Nevertheless, I’ve tried to break what many consider to be a bad habit (my parents being the top two enthusiasts of this notion). I’ve exercised before my theoretically ideal bedtime (which is midnight right now) in efforts to tire my body and therefore my mind (doesn’t do a damn thing). I’ve forced myself to start my day at 7 am instead of 10-11 am, which does successfully drain me throughout the day but finds me wide awake at 3am after a naturally unavoidable two hour evening nap. I’ve even tried taking sleeping meds or drinking warm milk, which makes me feel groggy if anything but somehow leaves me rejuvenated come late night because of some creative inspiration or another. All methods seem to fail. I always end up falling asleep circa 5 am, if I get any sleep at all.
When I do manage to fall asleep, I’m stirred awake half the time by one thing or another. Because I’m internationally known for being up at random hours, my phone is incessantly ringing/vibrating with some text message or phone call. I also can’t seem to turn the damn thing off; I can’t even silence it for the life of me. I always must be available in case someone needs me. So usually it’s the phone that wakes me, or my air conditioner (which makes random loud noises these days…must remind daddy to get that fixed), or the sound of some other random household device. But tonight, things just had to be a bit creative. A feather, of all things. Rarely (VERY rarely) am I poked by something that can manage to wake me up. But I figure I must be up for a reason.
Soooo… What does a girl do when she’s up at these hours? Nothing that many others would do, and certainly nothing interesting. I rarely go out unless it’s the weekend (if even), and try to break the habit of working late, which only prolongs my bedtime. I try to distract myself until I’m eventually bored or some derivative of sleepy. The usual obsessions are chatting on MSN or Facebook, reading one of my favorite blogs or writing in my own (thus why I’m here now). I always have music playing, unless I’m watching Nick At Nite (I’m convinced that I’ve seen every episode of George Lopez, That 70’s Show, and The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air that late night television has to offer). Sometimes I’m rambling on the phone, but even my other self-proclaimed insomniacs drop like flies around 3 am. It’s after that time when things get a bit interesting. I am most creative after 3 am. Not sure why, but there is something about feeling alone in the world that leaves me completely full of thoughts and ideas. It’s the time when emails trickle in slowly, my MSN contacts close doors one by one and Facebook chatters silently go idle. It’s when I feel completely consumed by my thoughts. I’d guess that 90% of my creative work was born after 3 am. It’s the sexiest hour of the night to me. Just late enough to still be at a party, but not late enough to feel like you’re approaching the breakfast hour. It’s the time when my ADD has subdued, finally showing mercy on my mind and allowing me to do what I do best: be creative.
So although no one may be awake to read this late night post (note the time!!!), at least I feel mentally lighter after getting this post off my chest. I’m sharing my insomnia with the world! I may not have a cure, but I can’t say I’m complaining, either. I enjoy being creative, and if it comes best past the midnight hour, then so be it. Maybe, just maaaaybe, one night I’ll have someone who can stick it out through the night with me, because I must admit…it gets lonely out here in the wilderness. In the meantime, I’ll continue to embrace my regular distractions until I attempt to fall asleep–yet again. :)