You awaken to the screaming fury of your alarm clock.
That’s a generous description. You’re scared to consciousness by whatever ringtone or loud blaring sound that is pre-programmed into your phone (or analog alarm clock for us old schoolers *wink*). The last fleeting moments of R.E.M. sleep evaporates as you desperately fumble for the snooze button in the dark. It can’t be time to wake up already. It feels like you just went to bed. You attempt to enjoy the fifteen minute period that your snooze allows, wringing every precious second to not face the day ahead. Eventually, you wrench the covers from your legs and slide off the mattress and begin to mentally prepare.
That was my reality for months. Toxic work conditions with a few VERY sour apples that laid waste to my entire experience during my day-to-day job. I found every excuse to not have to work in their vicinity and came home feeling drained, even when the workload had been small that day. I skipped days at the gym to go home and sleep early, losing resolve to stay active, be social with friends, or even complete obligations I had. I cringe at the melodrama in my words, but I can’t deny them. Even with a full night of sleep (due to curling in bed early, unwilling to do anything), I still didn’t expect my alarm clock in the morning.
The surprise of waking up every morning between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. was simply due to not going to bed before midnight most nights. I’m a morning person because of my parents. I was a kid who absorbed the mannerisms of individuals hardwired to their early rituals of facing the day. Even when they didn’t feel like it. They were steadfast in accomplishing what they had to do in order to maintain stability in our household. I very much became that same creature of habit. Pushing forward despite not wanting to even face the day at times. I learned to do what I had to do.
But I wasn’t up simply to be up. I really couldn’t help it. My mind was racing. Ideas were coming at rapid speeds even through my drooping eyelids and thoughts of planting myself face down in the covers. But I had to type out one more sentence, and I had to keep flipping one more page. I cared so little for what I did during the daytime that I lived for the quiet moments at night, ruminating with stories and characters and media that could spark my imagination. Sometimes, I’d even stay up late talking to friends about all the dreams and goals we’d want to accomplish once we made it past our roadblocks. But I knew the first roadblock in front of me that I needed to tear down; it was this sense of pity I took on myself when I was capable of wrenching back control of how I felt. I needed to get on the defensive. I needed to block out the unnecessary chatter.
I needed to protect my energy.
This wasn’t a declaration made in order to talk me out of always carrying a notebook around and jotting down ideas. I wasn’t shunning myself for keeping a book to read with me at all times. It was challenging me to face the reason why I did those things in the first place. To escape my present. I was using these methods to spend more time ‘elsewhere’ and not enjoying what I had around me. Realizing that, I sought out the ears and minds of trusted family and loved ones to speak my piece and receive the tough love and encouragement that I needed. Because adversity is a constant companion on our personal journey…and instead of fighting its company, become comfortable with its presence and learn how to handle it in the passenger seat.
2018 saw me rededicate towards protecting that energy and my mind from situations that would drag me down emotionally. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have bad days where I’m frustrated (I had one just as recently as Monday). But it does mean that typically when faced with a problem or an aggravating person…or an aggravating problem-person who threatens to suffocate me with their ill intentions, I make a conscious choice internally to address the situation…and let it go. I don’t hold onto it, it doesn’t stick to me, and, most importantly, I don’t let those feelings bleed over into something else of value to me.
I’ve already commanded 2018 to be an incredible experience and I’m speaking it into existence for anyone else who reads this. We’re all capable of whatever we put our minds to. Tear down your roadblocks and move forward. You can’t race towards what’s yours to take without the will to first burst forth from that starting block.
Until next time.